Born in the Ozarks… Bear Creek Wine Co.

I have the best job in the world.  It’s true.  At Bear Creek we are fortunate to meet folks from all over the world.  They stumble upon us on their way to and from Branson and are always pleasantly delighted to find, not only great wine, but one of the most unique winery atmospheres around.  Every inch of our property reflects the style and culture of not just the Ozarks, but our family and our personal style as well.  The only thing we love more than the great Ozarks outdoors is the style, culture and local history of the Ozarks.  Bear Creek wine tasters are always fascinated by our labels.  We didn’t create stuffy European wine labels like many wineries tend to do; we created labels that remind us of growing up in the rural Ozarks with hunting, fishing, farming and family.  Tasters often enjoy the stories behind our label designs just as much as the wine itself.

Hillbilly Persuasion–  This wine has the shotgun on the front.  It’s a Chardonel grape.  This is the “Missourah” version of a Chardonnay.  It’s stainless aged and has a crisp, light, fruity finish.  Great paired with Taneycomo trout.  We chose a shot gun and the name “Hillbilly Persuasion,” because the distinctive sound of a shot gun being cocked is the most useful tool for hillbillies to do some “persuadin.”

The Back-Forty- This wine has the tractor on the front. The Back-Forty is a Norton grape; it happens to be the state grape for Missouri.  It’s oak aged 15 months and is very dry, acidic and sharp in nature.  It’s great with dark chocolate.  Most farms have a Back Forty around here or even a back sixty; either way there’s discussion over supper as to fence needin fixed, or hay needin cut, raked or baled on the Back Forty.

Bear’s Breath- This Chambourcin blend has the bear on the front.  It’s oak aged as well and is great with a good ole ribeye or smoked brisket.  We had to have at least one label with a bear on the front for our love of our property name and for our love of the creek nearest us.

Vigilante- This blend of Norton and St. Vincent grapes is perfect with bbq ribs.  It’s a hair sweeter and compliments bbq perfectly.  As most locals know the guy on the front is a part of our very own historical vigilante group the “Baldknobbers.” (not the music show).  This vigilante group roamed the hills and hollers of Bear Creek and the surrounding Ozarks burning, thieving and terrorizing the local population.  We would’ve overlooked a major piece of Ozarks history and culture if we had not had at least one label with one of these rebels on the front.

Whitetail- Probably nothing represents Ozark life more than a whitetail buck.  Every major event such as birthdays, weddings and probably even funerals are scheduled around those last weeks of November.  Unless you’ve got one dressed and hanging in the barn already, you’re not going anywhere but the woods for that two week period.  This semi-dry white is a blend of Vingoles and Traminette grapes.  It’s stainless aged and pairs great with spicy Mexican or seafood dishes.

Innkeeper’s Brew- This sweet, white blend of several Missouri grapes is my mom’s favorite of all of our wines.  She’s the owner and Innkeeper of Bear Creek Lodge Bed and Breakfast and Bear Creek Wine Co.  Those who truly know her are aware that she (ironically) isn’t a fan of alcohol in general. She is part hummingbird and does love anything sweet, so this has become the only wine that she does enjoy drinking.

Fiddler’s Swig- This sweet, crisp, fruity wine is made with Catawba grapes.  Growing up in and around Walnut Shade and Bull Creek meant pig roasts and music parties with neighboring families and a ton of cousins.  Bring your fiddle or any other instrument, a covered dish and a mess of kids.  Tag, hide-n-seek, and lightning bug catching was left up to the kiddos and the music was left to the adults.  Music that began as  gospel early in the evening got a little more lively after fiddlers passed a little something and took a swig.

Chestnutridge Red-  This sweet red blend of Concord and Chamborcin grapes is a great dessert wine.  It’s great with cheesecake, buttermilk pie or even a butter pound cake.  This wine is named after the curvy road that visitors find themselves on off of hwy 65 on their journey to the Branson area.  For us it’s home and we refer to that curvy road as simply “The Ridge.” Generations of local families have grown up there as well as ours.  It’s one of the most beautiful drives in this area and I’m lucky enough to have it as my commute every day.

Cobbler- This sweet, tart, jammy dessert wine has all the bold blackberry flavor of your granny’s cobbler, without braving fence row of thorns and chiggers.  I don’t think we ever have a gathering of any kind without a blackberry cobbler.  I’m lucky to have had two of the best grandmother’s in the world and they both skillfully mastered the art of blackberry cobbler making.  We had to name our sweet blackberry wine “Cobbler.”

Occasionally we get an “out of towner” that says “Wow. This is in the middle of nowhere.”  I always laugh and say “Oh it’s not the middle of nowhere; it’s definitely somewhere to us.”  Swing by our little winery and Bed and Breakfast and experience a more local and less touristy experience in the Branson area.  We have live local musicians playing each and every weekend. We look forward to your visit to our neck of the woods.

 

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