Whispering Oaks Vineyard and Winery

  (Seymour, Missouri)
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October Events

The newly created pruner attachment for the tractor is completed and testing is underway.  This will really help with vineyard management.  We could even expand a bit since this will speed up the late winter/early spring pruning schedule.

 The stomp was a great success.  We had lots of new customers and some long time friends out to visit.  Mike and Nancee Micham (EzNDil) put on a wonderful show.  The day was a bit chilly, but the sun shone and the food was good.  Couldn't ask for much more.

 We will be at White Rose Winery in Carthage on October 16 for the Ozark Wine Trail event.  This will be part of the Maple Leaf Festival. 

 The foliage is beginning to really show it's colors.  Ava is having their annual Glade Top Trail Tour on October 17.  Stop in and see us on your way to the tour.  It is gorgeous country in Douglas and Ozark county.  There is music and BBQ at Caney Mountain Pavilion.  Check the Ava Chamber of Commerce for more details.

 We will be closed Monday, October 11th.  We are going to visit Arkansas Glass Containers.  We hope to buy our bottles from them instead of the imported "stuff" we've gotten in the past.  Local saves us shipping and reduces our carbon foot print.  It also helps a business that employs over 100 people.  Buying local is a good thing!


Cool Front Happiness

The cool front yesterday made it feel like fall.  Woohoo!  The Virgina Creeper and Sumac are turning crimson.  The vineyard is starting to change to yellows and reds.  It is gorgeous.

 The grape stomp is on October 2nd.  The weather is looking very promising.  Bring a lawn chair and enjoy EzNDil from noon til they get tired of us.  Stomping starts around 2.

 We'll be road tripping to Jonesboro, AR to visit a new to us bottle vendor.  They make the bottles in Arkansas.  No imports! This will save us on shipping and will help 100 people in Arkansas grow their business.

 Happy fall to you!  Hope to see you soon!


September to Remember

Harvest is still going strong.  We're down to Catawba, Vidal and St. Vincent.  We've had more orders than ever for our grapes.  We've taken what we need and selling the rest.  It's been great meeting some of the other wine makers in the area.  We seem to be one of the few who started their vineyard first, then opened a winery.  

 The grape stomp is coming up October 2, 2010.  It should be a great time.  I can't wait to hear Ezra and Dilly (Mike and Nancee Mitchum).  They are great!  They are often at Bakersville (Baker's Creek Seed) and they used to perform at Silver Dollar City. 

 My good friend Karen Light will be serving her wonderful Honduran/Mexican/Hispanic food from Mama Talis' Restaurant in Fordland. 

 We may have a few grapes for home wine/juice/jelly makers.  Please give us a call or an email to check availability.

 I hope the cool temperatures hang around.  It's been great a great harvest season so far, if the weather could hold on just a little longer.



Harvest Set to Begin

August is here and so is harvest.  We will pick the noble Vignoles and the Traminette on Monday, August 16, 2010.  The Vignoles look to be the best harvest in years.  The vines are so loaded with clusters, they are pulling the trellis down nearly to the ground.  Viva Vignoles!

The varmits have been troublesome this year.  The normal predators seem to be scarce.  We have know something big has been in prowling about, but we won't "go there" else we'll be accused of wearing "tin foil hats".

 The vines are very healthy and doing well.  The heat has not hurt at all.  Rain has shown up at all the right times this year (knock on wood).  Hopefully, the stress of the high heat will convert to extra sugar and flavors in the grapes.

 If you are interested in grapes or juice, please contact Larry at the winery.  We have lots of orders from our commercial customers, but we often keep juice around for the home wine maker or jelly makers.

Happy harvest season!  May the cool weather come in time for picking and processing.


July's Update

July has arrived and the Frontenac are beginning to show verasion.  They are usually our first variety to harvest.  We should get enough this year to have Frontenac wine to sell soon (but not too soon).  

 The rain we got this past week should really help the fruit.  It is almost at the point that we don't want a lot of rain because it will reduce the sugar and flavor in the fruit.  It can also cause the skin to rupture, much like tomatoes will do.  

 The grape stomp is coming soon, October 2nd will be be for we know it.  We've confirmed that Ezra and Dilly will be back and we have a BBQ crew lined up.  It should be a great day!

 If you are interested in grapes or juice, please contact us and we can discuss what you are looking for and what we should have available.  We have orders in from 2 wineries and some individuals, so do get in as soon as possible.

 So far, the growing season has been generous to us.  It should be a great harvest this year. 


June Happenings

May was wonderful.  Good rains, good weather and good events.  Maifest at OOVVDA was a success.  We also attended Spring Fling at Le Cave in Billings, Mo and Pierce City Arts Fest.  It was great to meet so many people interested in wine and in buying locally produced wines and woodworking.

 The vineyard is doing very well.  No fungus issues, and the vines have put on more grapes than usual.  If all goes well, we should have a great harvest.  This means we will have enough grapes for ourselves, our commercial customers and for the home wine or juice makers.  

The 5th Annual Grape Stomp is set for October 2nd.  We have a BBQ crew set and should have the music folks ready to go as well.  It is always a great event with food, music, hayrides in the vineyard and the stomp. 

I have been thinking about the amount of petroleum products it takes to bring wine to Missouri from California, Washington, New York, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and South America. California vineyards demand a lot of water from an area that has no natural water resources.  Buying local wines just makes good sense if you are someone who is concerned about the environment.  We only use what spraying is needed to keep fungus in check, no pesticides and we do not irrigate.  The most our grapes travel is 2 miles from the furthest point on the farm to the winery.  We will be visiting a local bottle producer too.  No more imported bottles for us.  This keeps local people employed and cuts down on the petroleum used.  One more element is that our customers get to try our products before buying them.  Its a win for us, the planet and the customer.

Okay, off the soap box.  Have fun in the summer heat and we'll have the wine chilling in the fridge for you!


May's Update

Wow!  April was so busy!  The pruning is pretty much done.  We participated in the Missouri Food and Wine Festival at Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Mo.  We also participated in Maifest at OOVVDA Winery in Springfield, Mo.  We'll be at Le Cave Winery in Billings, Mo and at Pierce City Mo's ArtsFest in June.  Details coming soon!

 The vineyard looks so lush and thriving.  We could do with a bit more rain, but otherwise, all is going very well.  The grapes bloomed on schedule and the berries should be setting soon.  Yes, grapes do have flowers.  It is not something most folks get to see.

 Nathan and John took some of their wares to Bakersville for the Spring Garden Festival.  John sold a lot of his metal work.  He is completely out of his treble clef dinner bells.  It was wonderful to meet so may people who are interested in buying locally produced good.  John and Nathan demonstrated metal working using John's portable forge.  It was great!

 Hope to see you soon!


March came in like a lamb.

March came in with wonderful temperatures and great weather.  Hopefully it is "goodbye" to the below average temps.  We are trying some new pruning techniques, mostly due to being so behind schedule.  Hedge trimmers seem to do a great job when used with care.  The wires and the trimmers do not get along.  We are looking at using some methods used in the larger vineyards out west.  We just don't have the people power to take care of the 13 acres (more or less) that we have in production.  The younger vines near the winery still get the TLC that only pruning by hand can provide.


I get lots of questions about starting grape planting this time of year.  The secret is to wait.  I know it looks nice and the breezes are warm, but don't be fooled.  The night time temperatures can really drop in a hurry.  April 15th isn't just Tax Day, it is the "average" last frost for southern Missouri.  After this time, go ahead and give it a go.  Grow tubes are advisable as well.  Use a bamboo stake and a grow tube to prevent critters from eating the tasty shoots that will soon appear.  It also keeps them from being accidentally mowed over or stepped on.  The tubes are reusable so they are friendly to the earth.  They are great for berry bushes/canes and other garden goodies.


If you are interested in vineyard management, give us a call or send an email.  We'll be happy to talk with you.  Better yet, stop by and we'll give you a tour.


Valentines Day

Wow, what a winter so far.  Record cold the first week of January and then snow, and more snow... Yikes!  It is making it tough to get to the vineyard.  The ground is just saturated making it difficult for the truck.  We don't want to do any damage.

Hopefully the worst is behind us, but being an El Nino year, we tend to have a wet winter. 

We've been bottling to restore our stock after Christmas and New Year's.  So far, everything has been tasty, no leaks in the seals on the tanks to get oxygen to the wine. That happened in the past and ruined some great vignoles.  It was sad to see all that time and effort destroyed.  It pays to do QA when you bottle.

 An economical and fun Valentine's treat might be a trip to the winery to select the perfect wine to accompany a wonderful home cooked meal.  A day with your special someone in the country, antique shopping, wine tasting, and then an evening to snuggle and enjoy your finds.

 Best wishes!



Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  We'll be on our winter schedule now that the holiday season is past.  Our hours will be 12 to 6 Wednesday to Sunday.  Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

This is pruning season in the vineyard.  We usually start in February and prune through March.  This has to be done in a time when the coldest temperatures are over, but the sap has not begun to move back up to the vines.  It is nice to get outside if the weather is cooperating.

There is a lot of artwork on display at the winery.  Nathan continues to create bowls and vases.  The photography of the Ozarks is still available.  A good friend of ours is making great decorative metal works. 

A great way to beat cabin fever is to get out into the country and see what the Ozarks has to offer.  Antiques, flea markets, wineries, and great restaurants are open for business on this side of Springfield.  You can also tour Amish Country in the Fordland and Seymour area. 

Check us out on Facebook as well.

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