My blog each Wednesday discusses the wine offerings of Arkansas from individual vineyards, wines, festivals, wine-infused events and more.
Jill M. Rohrbach
Make plans now to attend the 30th annual Arkansas Championship Grape Stomp & Cowie Wine Fest celebrated Sept. 11 at Cowie Wine Cellars near Paris. Activities include blessing of the new wine, grape stomping, live music, games, food, and tours of the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum. The event begins at noon. It ends at 6 p.m. with the “Ringing of the Bells,” 26 large church bells.
Cowie is located three miles west of Paris on Ark. 22 in Carbon City. Call Robert Cowie at 479-963-3990 or visit http://www.cowiewinecellars.com/ for additional information.
Cowie Wine Cellars, a small family winery, became bonded in 1967. It vints an assortment of wines from locally grown grapes: full-bodied classic wines, dry dinner wines, sweeter sipping wines, authentic fruit wines. Cowie won its first award in the Eastern Wine Competition in New York in 1982 with its Cynthiana Wine. The Cynthiana was awarded a silver medal out of over 700 wine entries and only six gold medals and 51 silver medals awarded. Cowie has also won awards and medals in Arkansas, Indiana and Tennessee. In 1996, Cowie’s Blueberry Wine was selected to be offered to the official wine taster for Queen Elizabeth II. Its Port Wine, a gold medal winner, has also received many accolades.
At the winery, visitors can tour the wine cellars, where wine is fermented and aged, observe winemaking operations and enjoy a wine tasting. Unique to this winery is a new Bell Tower and the Gallery of Barrels, a collection of barrels adorned with oil painting scenes of wine and wine history by artist Bette Kay Cowie.
The winery is also home to the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum, the only winery in the nation devoted to preserving the wine history of a complete state. The museum includes commercial and home winemaking equipment and information of the growth of the winemaking process since it first began in this viticultural region by early settlers.