Our hosts in Little Rock treated us with thick, juicy fillet minions, twice baked potatoes, and news that their first child was on the way. The steak was delicious and their house was incredible, and it was good to see my old roommate from school. We took off early that morning and spent the next 7 hours and 45 minutes traveling a mere 300 miles and helping ourselves to five, yes, five wineries along the way.
Four of them were on the same exit in the self-proclaimed wine capital of Arkansas, Altus. Altus has a population of 841. I don’t know where they all could have been hiding. Each winery had it’s own distinct characteristics.
The first one was German themed and was run by a cute 21 year old in a dirndl. I’m used to seeing German alcohol in the form of huge mugs of beer, but the wine was a nice change of pace.
The next winery was not run by a cute 21 year old in a dirndl. In fact, it was a lot more Arkansas as a very obese, smelly woman in a dirty purple t-shirt and jeans manned the tasting room. Seriously, I had to put my nose in the wine glass the whole time she was close to us to mask her stench. The building itself was classified as “historic.” This just means the building is really old and has had no upgrades ever. It was more dungeon-like than anything else, with a few shelves for their wine supply. Surprisingly though, this place had the best wines top to bottom we had all road trip. Great books with horrible covers around the world rejoice.
The third winery was unremarkable, and the fourth had labels featuring the owner of the winery. She was 34 years old and looked nothing like the label. It kind of reminded me of the time I met Lance Burton. For hundreds of miles driving into Las Vegas, you could see several billboards featuring the young, strapping magician. In person, the only thing that resembled the picture was his pearly white teeth that were always showing. He was nothing but an older, wrinkled, weathered man who had been in show business way too long.
In Okalahoma, the first winery we tried to see was closed. The hours were posted on the gate: “Friday through Sunday 12-6 and whenever the gate is open.” The gate was not open.
Now it’s 3 and 4 year old munchkins to abide our time for the next two days before we set forth toward the only hotel on our stop in New Mexico.
Miles: 291.1 (total: 1498.6)
Time: 7 hours, 45 minutes (total: 28 hours, 35 minutes)
Money spent on gas: $34.00 (total: $176.06)
State License Plates: 0 (total: 30)
Cracker Barrels: 3 (total: 23)
Roadside Carcasses: 12 (total: 49)