Wine Wednesday: Blessing of the Bells at Cowie Wine Cellars

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

Jill M. Rohrbach
The Catholic Bishop of Arkansas from Little Rock will bless the bells at the new family chapel located at Cowie Wine Cellars at a 3 p.m. ceremony on Sunday, May 30. Near Paris, Robert Cowie has built a family chapel at his winery. It has four bell towers, the tallest of which is 45 feet.

“It’s out of the middle ages,” Cowie explained. The chapel contains 28 bells, although he has a total of 50 large bells in his collection. Some are iron church bells over 100 years old; some are bronze bells. After the blessing, Cowie will serve wine and cheese. The public is invited to be a part of the ceremony.

Cowie is located three miles west of Paris on Ark. 22 in Carbon City. Call 479-963-3990 or visit 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 the 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.

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