Rick Wells, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- In most places, wine making is a rural activity needing lots of room to grow the grapes and do all the other activities associated with wine.
But if you can grow the grapes in the country, you can produce the wines almost anywhere – even in downtown Tulsa.
Chris Girouard is showing us around Tulsa's downtown winery where stainless steel tanks are full of wine.
I guess when I hear winery I think of acres of vines and country estates - not downtown Tulsa.
"Just open the sample tap," Girouard said. "Voila: a new 2010 Spotlight Merlot."
Chris and his wife Jan opened the winery in 2007, but it's just in the last year they've been open to the public. Tulsa Deco is their brand. They have six wines on the market right now - prize winners too.
"The product helps honor and give attention to the Art Deco history of Tulsa," he said.
The Fire Alarm Red features a terra cotta panel from the historic fire alarm building, The Chardonnay label has images of the Atlas Life building.
They grow grapes in south Tulsa, northwest Oklahoma and in California and in a small demonstration vineyard out back.
"This is one of my father's hybrids," Girouard said, indicating a vine.
His father had a backyard vineyard and began cross-pollinating different varieties more than 50 years ago, trying to produce great wine grapes in Oklahoma.
"These are going to be red wine grapes, and you can see they are just beginning to turn," he said.
As the grapes ripen and become sweeter the birds like them too, so he'll bag the grapes to protect them from the birds.
Before we left he poured me something new that goes on the market this week: Streamline Cab-Franc. If my nose knows anything, you'll like it.
The tasting room is open every Thursday evening from 5 to 8 p.m.