Nestled in south-central Oklahoma, Chickasaw Country represents thirteen counties within a 7,600 square mile radius on both sides of I-35. If you’re from Texas it’s a forehand and right before Oklahoma City. Its diverse culture, art and outdoor recreation draw visitors to the region year round. But Chickasaw Country isn’t just filled with beautiful nature views – the area is also full of breweries and wineries to visit. Planning a visit is half the fun, and tastings, whether it’s beer or wine or both, are a great way to find a new favorite while touring the countryside.
Wherever you decide to start the trail through Chickasaw Country, you will feast on these breweries and wineries listed here. A good place to start is Chickasaw Visitor Center in Sulfur, Oklahoma. Sulfur sits just off I-35 and is the gateway to the Chickasaw Nation, full of shopping, attractions, accommodations, camping, and beautiful picnic areas. Pick up brochures on area attractions, shop for souvenirs at the gift shop, and ask questions if needed. It is next to the Hotel Artesien, Casino & Spa, which makes it an excellent hospitality hotel. This boutique hotel has 81 beautifully decorated rooms, an on-site restaurant, casino and shops adjacent to the hotel. When we arrived we were given coupons to use at these different stores which we did. All customers receive a coupon book.
And while you’re in the area, you might want to explore the Arbuckle Mountains, Chickasaw National Recreation, and Oklahoma’s largest waterfall at Turner Falls. Chickasaw Country hosted my trip. During our visit we were able to visit a few breweries and wineries listed here. All opinions are mine.
1. Black Mesa II Games Room, Ardmore
Tracy Edwards, franchise owner of Black Mesa II Games Room is a one-woman-owned faucet room in the heart of downtown Ardmore. As a great collector of vintage records, she dreamed of starting her own business, and the only thing she knew was that her collection of ’90s records went with her. Tracy thought about opening a store but realized there were already a few in town. Her friend suggested that she open a place where the locals could come and relax and unwind. She hired a spray paint artist to cover the walls with, well, you guessed it, singers from the ’90s. One wall is dedicated to Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl. If you didn’t know, Dave later became the founder and singer of the Foo Fighters. Her most popular beer is Big Dipa API, and she sells vintage records that are hard to find. She was great to talk to and we enjoyed our flight of beers.
Pro tip: If you are looking for lunch look no further than a 4 minute walk down the street for Scout Market. It offers salads, flatbreads and sandwiches to compose yourself. Everything is fresh and prepared daily.
2. Canadian River Brewing Company, Chickasha
Grab a beer and order a platter of smoked meat for just $ 10. Where else can you enjoy a beer or two and have lunch for that price? Canadian River Brewing Co. is a veteran, female and Native American owned brewery located 45 minutes from Oklahoma City. Making world-class beers is what he does best.
3. Kochendorfer Brewing Company, Duncan
With over 30 years of brewing beer, Kochendorfer’s motto is simple: “We make pretty darn good beer.” Owned by two couples, the Kochendorfer and Cripps, Kochendorfer Brewing Co. is here to serve its customers. I love a good story behind an establishment, and this is one of the best. Their hearts are gold, and it shows. Be sure to read “About Us” on the website. We weren’t able to visit this one, but it’s on my list for next time.
4. Old Silo Winery, Tishomingo
Old silo cellar is a small wine estate nestled on a country road. The couple-owned winery opened in 2018, but Jim and Michele Reilly aren’t new to winemaking. They have been making wine since the early 90s. Their cellar and small vineyard is on land next to their property which offers a picturesque landscape. The outdoor seating on the covered patio overlooking a pond among the tall trees is a favorite with visitors. It is child friendly with outdoor games to play and dogs are welcome on the patio. The owners pride themselves on offering wines that are low in sulphites, and their bestseller is a blackberry merlot. I’m more of a dry wine lover, but my friend loved their Strawberry Fields offer. I couldn’t help but sing a tune from the song every time someone mentioned the name. You know, “Strawberry fields forever.”
Pro tip: The owners want visitors to come out to relax and enjoy the beauty. For this reason, there is no Wi-Fi available. But with a view like this, who has to follow Facebook!
5. Mulberry Wine Bar & Retail, Tishomingo
Chickasaw culture meets LA vibe in Mulberry Wine Bar and Retail. A native of Chickasaw, Ezekiel, an LA flair filmmaker, brings his talents home. During a summer visit, he and his partner came up with the idea of opening a wine bar in downtown Tishomingo (or Tish that’s what they call it) and spend their time in both places. The wine bar is bursting with energy, with a blend of native Chickasaw decor that includes a large photo of Ezekiel’s grandmother Chickasaw. When you enter you are greeted with Chokma (pronounced “Chickma”), which means hello and welcome to Chickasaw.
For dining, the wine bar offers two sizes of deli boxes filled with several types of meat and their favorite Trader Joe’s cheeses. If you like sweet wine, try their most popular Rizzi Moscato in Italy. They also serve the greatest tastings we’ve come across. They charge for them, but you’ll get plenty of them in a glass!
Pro tip: During your stay in Tishomingo, discover Blake Shelton’s restaurant – Red Olé. It’s right in front of the cellar. Who knows, you might just get lucky and see the man himself. He is known to make surprise visits.
6. The Rusty Nail Winery, Sulfur
Eleven years of preparation, Rusty Nail Cellar is a boutique winery owned and operated by Debbie Alexander and her daughters in downtown Sulfur. It has a gift shop, tasting room and bistro, and all of their wines are blended, checked and bottled in the cellar. What is unique about their distribution of wines and the way to distinguish them is that each sweet wine has a high heel with a nail running through it on the label, and all bottles of their dry wines have a point of Oklahoma landmark on the label. We thought it was pretty cool.
If you like sweet wines, a must try is their peach chardonnay called Peep Toe. And if you’re coming to town with your girlfriends, check out the program for a canvas and cork evening. What better way to spend an evening with friends.
Pro tip: When you’re getting ready for dinner, head to Flower Bluff Manor for a hearty steak and large portions of its homemade veggies, and a glass of sweet tea. If time permits, check the dates for mystery dinners and ghost tours.
7. Waddell Vineyards, Ada
Waddell vineyards is not only a magnificent cellar and tasting room, but it is also the most beautiful wedding venue with a large reception barn and a wedding chapel that I have ever seen. The Waddells, a retired doctor and nurse couple, started with the wedding venue and quickly realized they needed a cellar. Their Semi-Dry White Vineyards won the Best in Show & Gold award at the Oklahoma State Fair in 2020. All of their wines are named after grapes.
Before or after your wine tasting, take a stroll through the vineyard and take a peek at the 6 acres of vines, and if you’re into photography you’ll have a wonderful backdrop to snap photos. And, if you or someone you know is planning a wedding and would like to come to Ada, Oklahoma, I highly recommend you visit this place. The bride and groom also have at their disposal a honeymoon suite in a cottage.
Pro tip: The cellar is occupied almost every weekend with a wedding, and for this reason the tasting room is by appointment only. Wine tastings are free.
8. Crystal Creek Winery, Mead
Well, this place tops it off with its fun outdoor seating – swings and all! Head toward Crystal Creek Wine Cellar for a splash or a glass of his best-selling sangria, or pick a favorite to try. Don’t worry, beer drinkers, she has that too! Either way, it will definitely be fun swinging on the swings and chatting with everyone. The first four tastings are free here.
9. Coal Creek Vineyard And Winery, Tuttle
Coal Creek Vineyard and Vineyard offers a wine bar, gift shop and private tasting room for your dining pleasure. Few wineries these days ship wines outside of their home country due to strict laws and the cost of licensing, but this one does. If time permits, visit its sister winery, Summerside Vineyards & Winery, also located in Tuttle.
Pro tip: As with most wineries, and perhaps breweries as well, some will have seasonal hours. Be sure to check the hours of operation by visiting them online or calling. When you’re ready, grab a map and plot your trail, and get ready to explore the beautiful scenery of Chickasaw Country.
While most travelers don’t think of Oklahoma as a wine and brewing region, the state has plenty of vacation surprises in store: