Wine Wednesday: Arkansas Historic Wine Museum

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

Jill M. Rohrbach
In Arkansas Wine Country, the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum at Cowie Wine Cellars near Paris exhibits and displays information and items of wine history in Arkansas. This state has had a long history of wine production. The first settlers of the state used wild fruit and berries to produce wine. Most of them brought this knowledge with them from their native country. Wine to these people was a food to be enjoyed with a meal or in a social environment. In 1938 and 1939 there were over 800 permits issued by the state for the manufacture of wine for home use and/or for sale. These permits were issued in many counties that are now dry. The first permit was issued to a person in Magazine, Arkansas in the southern part of Logan County. Most native persons of the state can recall that a relative made wine for home use.

This wine museum is a lesson in that history. It is a family museum that educates persons about the ethnic, social, and art of wine and people who made wine. The museum is always interested in receiving information or artifacts relating to the production of wine and the people who practiced this art. Contact the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum if you have any information on this subject at 479-963-3990 or email the museum at
Cowie Wine Cellars is located on Ark. 22 at Carbon City, three miles west of Paris.

A second wine museum, an expansion of the one at Cowie, opened in 2006 in Hot Springs at 1503 Central Ave. in the Winery of Hot Springs building. Housed in the museum are more than 10 exhibits to tell the story of wine and its relationship to the life of the people of Arkansas. The general public may visit the museum during the regular hours of the winery store.
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