I haven’t written much about what’s going on with my husband's latest greatest scheme. Here is just an idea of what is going on here on our end.
Jonathan has a brother in California who is interested in coming home to Oklahoma, to run a winery. Jonathan would also love to do this, so the process is in the beginning stages. We are beginning with blackberries. Yes, that is correct. Blackberries yield a full crop 1 year after planting. Grapes yield a half crop 3 years after planting and a full crop at 5 years. As fruit wines are increasing in popularity we think it’s a good place to start and we know that blackberries thrive around here with a lot less water then grapes. We have not quite and acre and a ½ of blackberries planted right now. Weekends have been spent where they are planted on my in-laws property an hour and a half away.
We are spending a lot of time reading and studying wine recipes, viticulture; winery business plans, discussing locations and the purchase of additional land (closer to where we are). We are in the very beginning stages. We know for now we will have to buy our grapes from a supplier to start our recipe experiments. I’m most interested in sparkling wine production (very long involved process, but totally interesting).
If you have a favorite brand, type of wine or something you would like us to try (okay so I’m not really trying anything right now), let us know. We are checking out information about Oklahoma wineries and their web sites (some of their wines are very, very good). We are also examining a lot of stuff from the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association (OGGWMA). It’s an amazing process; it appeals to the part of me that liked chemistry (I only enjoyed the lab).
Just as a fun fact Oklahoma currently has 34 working wineries and 6 in the application process. Many of these have been started since 2000. It’s amazing how things change.