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Getaway Weekend to Arkansas Wine Country

On the edge of the Ozark Mountains lies the fertile Arkansas River Valley and the small town of Altus, Arkansas. In a 5-mile stretch, there are more than 100 wines to sample, making this charming town a great getaway.

By Juliana Goodwin

Sep 2019

Vineyard in the Arkansas River Valley in Altus, Arkansas.
Photo courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks & TourismThe Arkansas River Valley is home to several wineries worth visiting on a long weekend.

Arkansas Wineries

Norton lovers should visit Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards and Winery, which boasts a variety of Cynthiana—another name for the Norton grape. This winery also grows and produces its own Chardonnay. The vineyards are planted in front of the European-inspired building and tasting room, which has a patio where you can sit outside and enjoy a glass or bottle.

Post Familie Winery has a fantastic free tour, tasting room and gift shop. Jacob Post founded the winery in 1880, and it is now a sixth-generation operation. This is the largest winery in Arkansas, so you will find the biggest selection of wine styles. There are roughly 30 options on the tasting menu. During the tour, watch automated bottling in action and gaze up at the 12,000-gallon wine tanks. The gift shop has hilarious wine-inspired merchandise. 

Mount Bethel Winery opened in 1956 and produces a wide variety of wines including Merlot. It is known for its fruit wines, Muscadine and port. Tours are available upon request. 

Wiederkehr Wine Cellars Wiederkehr Village was founded by Swiss immigrant Johann Wiederkehr in 1880 and is a fifth-generation operation. There are free tastings and tours. Favorites include the Muscadine, but there are dry options, too. The centerpiece of this Swiss Alpine-inspired building is the stunning Italian mahogany tasting bar from the 1800s. 

Dionysus Wine & Brew LLC is a smaller winery where you’ll find Sauvignon Blanc and California Red Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Syrah. The winery also sells beer and wine-making supplies.

Where to Eat

Weinkeller Restaurant is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is housed in the original hand-dug wine cellar at Wiederkehr Wine Cellars. The menu features traditional Swiss fare. The ambiance is dark and cozy. Try the quiche Lorraine and the Swiss onion soup. Reservations are recommended.

For a farm-to-table experience, try The Trellis Room located at Post Winery. This restaurant features fresh produce, so the menu changes based on what is in season. This is an excellent option for a lighter meal, but save room for the popular homemade dessert.

Places to Sightsee 

St. Mary’s Catholic Church is a 1902 Roman Basilica–style church listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was erected from sandstone dug from the hillside on which the building sits. The stonework was completed by masons from St. Louis. Stop by to see its stained glass, paintings and ornate gold leaf work. 

Where to Stay

Dionysus Wine & Brew has camping, RV hookups and a yurt. The yurt includes a shower, vanity, wet bar, microwave. refrigerator, air conditioner, skylight, queen-size bed and futon.