U Of A Breeds New Varieties Of Wine Grapes Able To Withstand Arkansas Weather

ALTUS (KFSM) -- After spending years breeding wine grapes that would be able to withstand Arkansas weather, a professor at the University of Arkansas is now growing a batch of them at a vineyard in Altus.

Post Familie Vineyards & Winery is growing the two new varieties of grapes, a red wine grape called Enchantment and a white wine grape called Opportunity, that were produced with help from horticulture Professor John Clark.

"The idea is to get varieties that would have a particular sugar acidity to make a quality wine that could withstand our winters, withstand at least some of our variation in climate," Clark explained.

The two grape varieties have been in the making since the 1990s.

Post, who is a fifth-generation grape grower and winemaker, said he is always looking to grow the best grapes in the state, which is why his family has regularly worked closely with the U of A when they select grape varieties for the vineyard.

"We will know a lot more when we see how the consumers react to the wine," Post said about the two new grape varieties. "It is a real opportunity to change my children's or my children's children's lives and I get really excited about that."

Post is the first in Arkansas to grow a small commercial lot of the new grapes and this time next year he should have the first batch of wine using the Enchantment and Opportunity grapes.

Clark said the grapes could be available to other growers in limited supply this winter.