Recently I went to Canadian River Vineyard and Winery to do a tasting and tour. I didn’t want to go by myself and I didn’t know anyone else in the class who could go, so I ended up getting a group of friends from work who all went with me, and it was great!
We started out with a wine tasting – or I did at least. My friends all happened to be about 15 minutes late while I was about 10 minutes early, so I spent some time talking to the owners. They’re really nice! I told them I was in the class and they knew what I was talking about. We had a great conversation about Italian wines too, once I mentioned that I had been to Italy. And I had a glass of their Noble Blush wine while I waited.,
Once everyone (finally) arrived we got right to tasting! Canadian River had a lot more wines that I would have expected from a small vineyard in Oklahoma!
Our group sprang for a cheese and cracker and meat plate to sample while we were tasting, and I loved it! It felt like I was back in Italy again!
These are most of the wines I tried, with the exception of their award winning Chocolate Drop wine, which was good but not my favorite.
I went back a few weeks later to go to their grape stomp festival, and I tried a few more wines then, but I don’t have any pictures of those.
I got a glass of the White Zinfandel “to go,” and then we went on the tour!
We started by going into the field to see the vines.
Canadian River harvests in August, by hand, so that had already happened. But they only grabbed the grapes that were suitable for wine production, so there were still quite a few on the vine. They said those are used for the grape stomp festival (which was super fun!)
The guy giving us the tour really seemed to know his stuff, which was awesome. He brought a refractometer with him to show us how they measure the sugar content to determine exactly when to harvest. Their vines are 17 years old right now, and all of their wine is made from their own grapes (when they first started, that didn’t used to be true).
Then we headed inside. They have a de-stemmer as well as a crusher that they use, and primary fermentation happens in stainless steel holding tanks.
They use cultured yeast for fermentation (which I want to say is pretty common, but they specifically said that, so I though I’d include it) and age their reds in oak barrels for two years.
They get their barrels from the owner’s son, who has a winery in California. After he uses them for a few years, they get shipped to Oklahoma and used for a few more years. Yay Recycling!
They do all the bottling by hand and they use real cork, but I think they have a machine that labels the bottles for them.
and the owner said that they recently made a business deal that will get them in local stores next year! That was the end of the tour, which was timed perfectly. Right as we went back into the tasting room it started absolutely pouring, so we took our time packing up. I bought three bottles of wine from them: their White Zinfandel, the Dry Riesling (my favorite that they make), and the Chocolate Drop (for my mother – she loved it). You can’t see them, but I promise they’re in those bags! 🙂
Eventually it did stop raining, and then we took a few pictures before going to get food together! I had a great time and I can’t wait to go back!