1109SusenFosterjml.cfm Holiday wine tour in central Oklahoma
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Holiday wine tour in central Oklahoma

An aura of luxury, mystery and romance clings to each juicy cluster of perfectly ripened grapes. Now, add some drama as all await the moment of truth as the bottled ambrosia takes its first breath. Whether you choose a crisp, cold Riesling or the heavenly scent of a bold Cabernet, wine does soothe the soul and makes a first class gift.

Though thousands of years in the making, the grape growing and winemaking industry is currently reinventing itself across the U.S, and nowhere do the possibilities seem more attractive than in central Oklahoma.

"Agritourism" and "green tourism" are common phrases within the vacation industry these days. As people look closer to home for day trips and short getaways that give the most bang for the buck, a top choice is visiting the rural setting of a vineyard. The holiday season is another reason as tasting rooms fill with unusual gifts choices.

A pleasant holiday wine tour itinerary begins with choosing four or five wineries within a geographical radius where traveling scenic, yet paved, backroads make the journey as much fun as the anticipated tastings.

The following is perfect for those traveling Interstate 35 between Dallas and Oklahoma or visiting the area. Check your map for a route that suits you best. These five distinct wineries express the personalities of the winemakers, the variety of their vines and the spirit of the land where they are grown.

Legends Vineyard & Winery at 12955 Meridian near Lindsay sits high on a knoll overlooking the famed Washita River Valley. The wines are well known as is the winery for its many unusual and frequent events. Call 405-371-5451 or visit www.LegendsWinery.com. Open Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m.

Canadian River Vineyards & Winery at 7050 Slaughterville Road in the town of Slaughterville (which needs a friendlier name), is one of the larger and better known wineries in Oklahoma. I love the unique cheeses they sell in the tasting room, too. Call 405-872-5565 or visit www.CRWinery.com. Open Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

Redland Juice Company (KJ Vineyards 100% Natural Grape Juices) is at 10851 Bryant Road also in Slaughterville, nestled in a pond-studded setting. These grape growers opted to make luscious bottled grape juice from the very grapes that wineries ferment to create the alcohol content. Imagine enjoying the nuances of a Merlot over breakfast. Call 405-527-9181 or visit www.RedlandJuice.com. Open May through September, Friday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Redbud Ridge Vineyards & Winery sits hidden gracefully in the woods at 7301 State Highway 9 near Norman. The owner is also a landscape architect, so not only does he make great wine, he has created a charming setting for his guests and their friends, as well. Call 405-321-WINE or visit www.redbudridgewinery.com. Open Thursday through Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Native Spirits Winery at 10500 East Lindsey in Norman is a recent addition to this bacchanalian quintet. Already a favorite place to sit and sip, the winemakers will also help you make and bottle your own batch of wine with your personal label--for special occasions. Call 405-535-2991 or visit www.nativespiritswinery.com. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to dusk; Sunday 2 p.m. to dusk.

For more information, call or e-mail the wineries direct or contact me at info@greatersuccess.com.

Editor's note: Susen Foster is the owner of Greater Success Advertising. She is the author of numerous travel books. Susen can be reached at www.greatersuccess.com or call 580-622-5408.

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