Newsletter

February 2024 Newsletter

An Observation and a Confession

This may seem like an odd note from a winemaker and co-owner of a large, Oklahoma vineyard. But, I believe in truth telling, and I am an optimist.
 
The European grapes most wine-lovers love are all one species, vitis vinifera. Different genetic varieties give us Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and so on. All of them originated in Europe. If you plant a whole (“own root”) European grapevine in North American soil, it may last a few years, but it will eventually succumb to various soil pathogens native to American soils. Thomas Jefferson learned this lesson the hard way. Subsequently, he (and other viticulturalists in America) unwittingly exported the bad bugs from our soil all over Europe. As our bad bugs proliferated in their new environment, thousands of acres of European grapevines died.
 
North America has about a hundred different species of grapes of the same genus as Europe – vitis. But none of them make wine that you would want to drink. The one good quality they have is that they are all resistant to the bad bugs in American (and now European) soil. So, the first solution in the mid-1800s was to mechanically join or “graft” the European, fruit-bearing part (called the “scion”) to American roots. To this day, almost all grapevines worldwide are grafted hybrids.
 
The second solution was to develop genetic crosses between European and American grapes. We refer to these as “hybrids” including, Chambourcin, Vignoles, Vidal Blanc, and others. Winemaking with hybrids requires different techniques and finesse. Otherwise, you get stuff that smells like a junior high locker room after three weeks of class.
 
We have made our Purple Martin brand of Cabernet Sauvignon from 90% Lake County California grapes. It is very popular and competes favorably against all the other California cabs in its price range. Recently, we bottled some 2021 Zinfandel we also made from California grapes delivered from refrigerated trucks. Same result. Very good wine. This tells me that our winemaking from grapes is at least comparable to winemaking from other regions.
 
We grow four European grapes in our own vineyard – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Riesling. We have small test plots of two others. Our Riesling is quite good. We make a rosé from Tempranillo, and it will probably win some international awards this year. But we are still working on the reds – Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our reds tend to be lighter in color and body. We are learning new things every year of what to do in the vineyard and in winemaking with them. And every year our plants reach deeper into the soil and get a bit more mature. Our red vinifera is not quite as good as we would like it to be. It is 90% as good as the best west coast wines in its price range. But these wines are getting better every year, and they age well in the bottle.
 
Life is a process of continuous improvement. As we progress into our tenth year of business, our European, vitis vinifera grapes and the wine they make will continue to improve. My bucket list goal is to win gold with these in several California wine competitions. Help us reverse the old Okie Dust Bowl migration, and bring some gold back here to the heartland.

Bob Wickizer
Winemaker

New Releases Just in Time for Spring

  • Estate Vignoles 2023 – Grown at the Pecan Creek Winery vineyards. Last harvest, we were able to keep our refrigeration system running smoothly so that we held the fermentation down around 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This slower, colder fermentation retained more of the tropical fruit aroma of these grapes. You have to try it yourself. Initial bottling will be 25-30 cases in mid-February.  $19 per bottle.
  • Lorelei Riesling – Also grown on our estate, Lorelei is the main figure in a German legend, and the wine is a favorite of our daughter. This is a dry (German “Trocken”) white with green apple aroma and flavor characteristic of Rieslings. This will also be bottled in mid-February and available at $19 per bottle.
  • Saturday, February 24th: National “Open that bottle night”- 50% off for a glass of wine. We will be open until 8 pm.

Email the winery at info@pecancreekwinery.com to learn when these are ready.

The slightly sweet versions of these are Creekside and Zucker Küsse respectively. They will be bottled at the end of this month.

Two Events you DO NOT want to miss!!!

  • Chocolate & Wine Pairing – Come out Saturday, February 10 anytime between 1:00 and 6:00 pm. We will have different stations of various kinds of chocolate and a sweet and dry wine pairing suggestion. Come learn about flavors and why wine is so much better with your food than other spirits. Bring your friends and enjoy the sweetness of life with the fruit of the vine. $24 per person. Sign up on Eventbrite HERE.
  • Valentine’s Dinner – This is our tenth annual Valentine’s Dinner. We will host this on Wednesday, February 14 from 6-9 pm. We have seats for 32 guests, and they sell out quickly.  The menu is fixed along with wine pairings for each course:

Appetizer- Asian salmon bites and Warm pear & Brie tartlets
Salad- Spring mix with mandarins, feta, and candied pecans
Main Course- Grilled rib-eye steak or Spinach-artichoke chicken
               With roasted red potatoes and honey-glazed carrots
Dessert- Caramel brownie hearts

$90 per person OR $170 per couple. Sign up on Eventbrite HERE.

Winery Events

  • Saturday, February 10th: Chocolate Pairing with wine
  • Wednesday, February 14th: Valentine’s Dinner
  • Sunday, February 18th: National Drink Wine Day- 10% off in the Tasting Room
  • Saturday, February 24th: National “Open that bottle night”- 50% off for a glass of wine. We will be open until 8 pm.
  • Sunday, March 17th: 1st Sunday Brunch with Chef Preston

Outside Winery Events

Saturday, February 24th: Muskogee Chocolate Festival

Wine Club News

It’s not too late to make your wine club selections.  We will have 2023 Riesling and Vignoles bottled this month, and they are better than ever thanks to improved winemaking. Hop on the website and order your wines.

Looking Ahead

Our new north building remodel may take longer than a year. It needs a lot of work. We are evaluating a combination of roofing companies and solar panels. Meanwhile, this spring we are setting up for sun shades over the existing winery patio.  This will provide additional seating on those beautiful spring days we are all looking forward to.
 
Meanwhile, we have some interesting antiques and a commercial auto-body paint booth for sale. The buyer must disassemble the unit on site and arrange for transportation to their shop. This is an expensive heat and ventilation system that, when new, costs more than a new car. Interested parties should contact info@pecancreekwinery.com

Wine Dinners and Public Tastings

We have done many wine dinners around the state of Oklahoma. We are the only winery in the state that can make four or five wine pairings from our wines that were not only “Made in Oklahoma” but grown here as well. We love to do wine dinners. Ask your favorite restaurant to give us a call at 918 683.1087 or info@pecancreekwinery.com. We do fun and sometimes educational events. Everyone has a great time.
 
We also do public tastings at liquor stores. If your favorite retail store does not carry Pecan Creek wines, just ask them. Tell them that we can do a public tasting and zero in on the labels they want to carry. Our winery customers tend to be our best promoters.  Thank you for your help.

WE SHIP TO 38 STATES!

Wine makes a GREAT gift! did you know that we ship to 38 states, making it an easy gift to send to your loved ones? Ordering is easy on our website!

We ship to the following states: AK, AZ, CO, DC, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Like our Newsletter? Want to see more? Get our current Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.
Click to subscribe below.