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Rogers Day Trip ~ Altus, AR – for Wine Lovers Only

If you are a wine connoisseur or one who just loves to enjoy a glass of really good wine, you will definitely have a wonderful day in Altus, AR. Just an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Rogers, take I-540 to I-40, then take Exit 41, and drive south on Highway 186 for 2.3 miles to Altus.
Located in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Altus is the heart of the wine industry for the entire state of Arkansas. In 1880, two European families settled in the Arkansas River Valley, and, led by Jacob Post and Johann Wiederkehr, the wine heritage and viticulture in Arkansas began.
Today, there are four primary wineries in the Altus area: Chateau Aux Arc, Wiederkehr Wine Cellars, Post Winery and Mount Bethel Winery.
Each winery offers free tours and operates a tasting room, and some offer other amenities like a restaurant, gift shop, bed and breakfast inn, and RV park. In addition to these four wineries, you can drive a short distance to Paris, AR to visit Cowie Wine Cellars and the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum. The museum preserves the history of Arkansas winemaking with biographical histories of Arkansas winemakers and with winemaking artifacts.
Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards and Winery – The Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards and Winery is the first vineyard and winery you will see when you arrive in Altus. The winery is on Hwy 186 and is an eco-friendly winery that has the largest Chardonnay vineyard outside of California. It is also the largest Zinfandel planter in Arkansas, and the world’s largest planter of Cynthiana grapes. Located on the top of beautiful St Mary’s Mountain, the tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Featuring scenic views of the vineyards and landscaped grounds, the tasting room is a beautiful place to spend a sunny afternoon with friends or that special someone. In addition to the incredible wines, samples of gourmet food are offered daily. The gift shop is stocked with art and crafts, food and wine-related items, and gourmet food. R.V.’s are welcome in the large parking lot. For more information and to arrange a wedding or other special event call (800) 558-WINE.
Wiederkehr Wine Cellars – Located in Altus on Hwy 186 South about four miles from Exit 41 (you will see the signs) is Wiederkehr Wine Cellars, the oldest and largest winery in mid-America. It boasts more than 130 years of Swiss winemaking history. Plan to enjoy touring the cellars of Wiederkehr Winery, have fun in Wiederkehr Village, and dine at the famous Weinkeller Restaurant. Have your wedding at the beautiful scenic winery and spend time exploring the award winning wines. Tours of the winery and cellars are every 45 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily except Sunday, when tours start at 12 noon. There are no tours on major holidays.
If possible, plan your visit to coincide with the Annual Wiederkehr Village Weinfest held in October. During the Weinfest, you will enjoy concessions with International cuisine, FREE wine tasting tours, carriage and tram rides through the vineyards, dining at the Weinkeller Restaurant, arts and crafts displays, a Championship Grape Stomp, conga line dancing through the wine cellars, contests and door prizes, live entertainment, and sing-along’s in German and English. For more information, call (800) 622-WINE or (479) 468-WINE.
Post Familie Vineyards – Established in 1880 and located near downtown Altus, Post Winery is a family-owned and operated winery offering tours of wine production, a wine store and gift shop, and a newly remodeled kitchen with fresh food, gourmet food, soda drinks and coffee. The Post family winegrowing tradition of excellence continues through the current fifth generation, who are today producing Gold Medal winners. You are welcome to taste the Post tradition. Come “Toast with Post.” There is plenty of parking and restrooms are available. For more information, call (800)275-84223 or (479)468-2741.
Mount Bethel Winery – Located on 5014 Mount Bethel Drive just off Highway 64, approximately 1/4 mile east of Altus, Arkansas (just follow the signs), Mount Bethel Winery is operated by Eugene Post and eight of his children. The winery has a tasting room and store, which are open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sun noon to 5 p.m. Mount Bethel produces a wide variety of wines native to America, like Cynthiana (sometimes known as Norton), Muscat, Niagara, Muscadine and Concord. They also produce a full range of fruit wines and, if you enjoy Port, some of the finest Port wine made anywhere. For a semi-sweet crisp flavor that is both light and delicious, they highly recommend their new Harvest Moon Vignoles. For more information, call (479) 468-2444.
Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyards: If you have a bit of time left, drive the short distance, about 22 miles on Hwy 64, then on Hwy 309 to Paris, AR, and visit the Cowie Wine Cellars and Vineyards, which are operated by Robert G. J. Cowie and family. A small winery located in the Arkansas River Valley between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, it produces a limited amount of the finest wine available in Arkansas. Stay at the B&B, take the tour, and have a taste of their fine wine. See how wine is actually made and enjoy the down-home atmosphere. Also, take time to see the only wine museum in the United States dedicated to preserving the wine history of a complete state. For more information, call (479) 963-3990.
Visiting these five wineries will give you a good idea of what winemaking in Arkansas is like, and it will also provide you with a full, exciting day of activities you are sure to enjoy.