My blog each Wednesday is going to discuss the wine offerings of Arkansas from individual vineyards, wines, festivals, to wine-infused events and more.
Jill M. Rohrbach
Arkansas Wine Country is no longer exclusive to the river valley. In the Ozark Mountains in northwest Arkansas, Keels Creek Winery opened in 2006 in Eureka Springs. The retail wine sales and tasting room are located in a Spanish-style building that is shared with Keels Creek Art Gallery.
The vineyards are located in the hills of Keels Creek about 3 miles from the city limits of Eureka Springs. The ten acres of land which was initially planted in 2004 and 2005 now contains more than 10 varieties of grapes. Co-owners Doug Hausler and Edwige Denyszyn estimate that the optimal production from the vineyard will be about 40 tons of grapes which will make about 5,000 gallons of wine.
In addition to its own label, Keels Creek offers one of the largest selections of Arkansas wines in the state.
I have been to several wine tastings here and a majority of the folks who participated bought more than one bottle of wine at the end. Most people walk out with a box filled with several varieties. Not only is the wine good, but the tasting is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. If Edwige is there, and she usually is, you’ll enjoy her beautiful French accent, and passionate description of each glass she pours for you. Both owners and their staff are masters at helping individuals understand the nuances of wine and discover what they like best.
Twice I have walked into the tasting room to see a group of six or so women in the middle of a tasting laughing, clinking glasses, sipping wine and having a grand time. It’s an infectious moment that you want to jump right in and be a part of.
In addition to the wines, it’s always nice to explore the large, open art gallery. Eureka Springs is, after all, an artist town.
Keel’s Creek Winery is located at 3185 E. Van Buren; 479-253-9463; www.keelscreek.com