Wine Wednesday: A Little Piece of Tuscany in the Ozarks

My blog each Wednesday discusses the wine offerings of Arkansas from individual vineyards, wines, festivals, wine-infused events and more.

Jill M. Rohrbach
Arkansas’s newest small farm winery, Raimondo Family Wines, operates its tasting room and produces its wines at Blue Lady Resort in Gamaliel (near Mountain Home) in the north central Ozarks. While it’s new to Arkansas, the Raimondo Family Winery has been producing wine in California since 1950. Italian varietals, reds and whites, are Raimondo’s specialty – not surprising since the family heritage is rooted in Palermo, Sicily. The winery offers the widest selection of dry and semi-dry wines made from California grapes in the Ozarks.

Owner Margie Roelands is committed to producing wines from old world Italian varietals such as Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Viognier and Roussanne. This year, she will expand her offerings by making wine with local fruit from a nearby berry farm and creating new blended brands. The Sangiovese is one of my favorites!

I’ve had the pleasure of attending two wine tastings at Blue Lady – one, with a business group, and the second, with a group of girls. The tasting room is small and cozy. Owner Margie Roelands is knowledgeable about wine making and dispenses it from her bubbly disposition. She puts out a nice spread of dips, crackers, vegetables, breads and cheeses on the bar.

On my girls’ trip, we then took bottles of Raimondo wine onto a houseboat that picked us up at the dock at Blue Lady Resort. We had dinner on the boat and lounged up on the top deck, drinking wine and feeling like celebrities in the golden glow of the sunset.

This is a destination worth traveling to just to taste the wines, but also place that offers so much more to do with Norfork Lake lapping at its property. Raimondo is now also selling olive oils. I can’t wait to get back to the resort for a taste.

To keep up with specials the winery offers, follow it on Facebook or visit their Web site

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