ARKANSAS has a “Wine Country?”
I can’t believe how often I’m asked that. Actually, I can. I didn’t even know there was Arkansas wine until I was a student at University of the Ozarks. But here we are, smack in the middle of Arkansas Wine Country. Kind of…
Coal Hill is right next door to one of the biggest single-state American Viticultural Areas: Altus, Arkansas. This area was declared a viticultural region before Napa, California.
Aren’t WE fancy?
Arkansas wines have another claim to fame – the vines are used around the world (grafted, they say) to prevent phylloxera (aphids). If French wine is your thing, you can thank Arkansas Wine Country! Of course, the region is also responsible for the phylloxera crossing the pond, but I digress. Basically, if you like wine, you should take time in this area.
How do you get to Arkansas Wine Country? Just take the main highway (64) and go west (from Clarksville) or east (from Ozark) until you hit route 186. At the bottom of the hill, you’ll see Mount Bethel Winery signs, and when you turn onto 186, you’ll find Post Familie Vineyards on the right.
Keep driving north and you’ll hit Chateau Aux Arc, Dionysus Wine & Brew, and the SUPER romantic Wiederkehr Wine Cellars. Probably not in that order. All are worth a stop and a tasting. Please drive carefully.
Safe driving services in Coal Hill/Altus area: Uber & Lyft (maybe).
Be aware that Johnson County (Coal Hill, Clarksville) is a DRY county. No alcohol sales, period. The closest liquor/beer store is on the way to Altus: Tinker’s Liquor Store.