Arkansas isn’t exactly known for wine, but that is not to say there are not good local wines to be found. In fact, I am rather surprised at the quality [and the mmmm, deliciousness] of the wine that can be found in Altus–Arkansas’ wine country! Albeit, a very small wine “country.” My favorite winery in Altus is Mount Bethel, founded in the 1800s. To say Mt. Bethel is “family-oriented” would be an understatement. The first time we went for a tasting, the proprietor’s son [and 5th generation family member] was helping his mom with cleaning the cellar, where the tastings are conducted. He was also so good as to help his mother bottle some fine blueberry wine earlier that day! Those are family memories I wouldn’t hesitate to get on board with!
One of my favorite things about Mt. Bethel is that they carry fruit wines!!! My absolute favorite is blueberry, a semi-sweet. I buy it every time I see it. Because it is the best blueberry wine and liquor stores and the Walmarts tend to run out. That is not okay. Their blueberry wine is especially amazeballs in my Berry Sangria, which I may perhaps have to post so you all can attest to it’s amazeball-ness. In addition to blueberry, Mt. Bethel also offers blackberry, elderberry, strawberry, and plum. Most of which is produced on site! Gotta love it. This year, I tried some new wines–the Merlot, Cynthiana, Chardonnay, and another dry white whose name I do not recall. Um, I really LOVED the Chardonnay. It was, in my opinion, the perfect Chardonnay. Crisp and light. I don’t know why I didn’t buy any. Probably because I’m dumb. I did happen to purchase Merlot, because I’m a red wine snob now, obvs. B’s selection included his favorite, Cab Sauv, Cynthiana, and the Blackberry. Cynthiana is a Native American grape and Mt. Bethel is one of the only growers around this area. It was interesting–had spicy notes and organoleptically, reminded me of roasted garlic…in a good way.
So did I mention that everyone at Mt. Bethel is overly family-oriented, in a warm and inviting way? I mean, their house is RIGHT now to the tasting cellar. How lucky are they!? Well, as we were wondering around the winery, we met 2 family members. One of which, was a tiny widdle baby girl. The nice man, I believe his name was Bob, showed us the thoroughbreds the family was raising. Wow. These horsies were so majestic and curious and now I want one! Maybe not for racing, but for taking photos, as they are so photogenic. He also happened to hint at an up-and-coming baby horse we should probably bet money on–the Duke of Altus. You’re welcome.
Fun Fact: Altus, AR is the location of the first season of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s reality show, the Simple Life! In fact, I had never even heard of Altus until the show!
Some photo cred to My Boyfriend, the Talented.