Nestled in South Central Oklahoma, Chickasaw Country represents thirteen counties in a 7,600 square-mile radius spread out on both sides of I-35. If coming from Texas, it’s a straight shot and just before Oklahoma City. Its diverse culture, art, and outdoor recreation bring visitors to the area year round. But Chickasaw Country isn’t just filled with beautiful nature views — the region is also packed with breweries and wineries to visit. Planning a tour is half the fun, and tastings, whether beer or wine or both, are a great way to find a new favorite while touring around the countryside.
Wherever you decide to start the trail through Chickasaw Country, you’re in for a treat at these breweries and wineries listed here. A great place to start is the Chickasaw Visitor Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma. Sulphur is right off I-35 and is the gateway to the Chickasaw Nation, packed with shopping, attractions, lodging, camping, and beautiful areas to have a picnic. Pick up brochures on attractions in the area, shop for memorabilia in the gift shop, and ask questions if needed. It’s next to the Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa, which makes a great host hotel. This boutique hotel boasts 81 beautifully adorned guest rooms, onsite dining, a casino, and shopping opportunities adjacent to the hotel. When we checked in, we were given coupons to use at these various shops, which we did. All guests receive a coupon book.
And while in the area, you may want to explore the Arbuckle Mountains, Chickasaw National Recreation, and the largest waterfall in Oklahoma at Turner Falls. Chickasaw Country hosted my trip. On our tour, we were able to visit some breweries and wineries listed here. All opinions are my very own.
1. Black Mesa Taproom II, Ardmore
Tracy Edwards, franchise owner of Black Mesa Taproom II is a one-woman-owned taproom in the heart of downtown Ardmore. As a huge vintage record collector, she had a dream to start up a business of her own, and the only thing she knew was that her ’90s record collection was going with her. Tracy thought about opening up a boutique but realized there were already a few in town. Her friend suggested she check out opening a place where locals could come to relax and hang out. She hired a spray paint artist to cover the walls with, well, you guessed it, singers from the ’90s. One wall is dedicated to Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl of Nirvana. If you didn’t know, Dave later became the founder and lead singer of the Foo Fighters. Her most popular beer is Big Dipa API, and she does sell hard-to-find vintage records. She was a hoot to talk to, and we enjoyed our flight of beers.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for lunch, look no further than a 4-minute walk up the street to Scout Market. It offers build-your-own salads, flatbreads, and sandwiches. Everything is fresh and made daily.
2. Canadian River Brewing Company, Chickasha
Grab a beer and order a smoked meat platter for only 10 bucks. Where else can you enjoy a beer or two and eat lunch at that price? Canadian River Brewing Co. is a veteran-owned, woman-owned, and Native American-owned brewery, located 45 minutes from Oklahoma City. Crafting world-class beers is what it does best.
3. Kochendorfer Brewing Company, Duncan
With over 30 years of making beer, Kochendorfer’s motto is simple — “We make damn good beer.” Owned by two couples, the Kochendorfers 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 made of gold, and it shows. Be sure to read “About Us” on the website. We didn’t get to visit this one, but it’s on my list for next time.
4. Old Silo Winery, Tishomingo
Old Silo Winery is a small-batch winery tucked away on a country road. The couple-owned winery opened its doors in 2018, but Jim and Michele Reilly are not new to winemaking. They have been making wine since the early ’90s. Their winery and small vineyard sits on land next to their homestead that provides picturesque scenery. Outside seating on the covered patio overlooking a pond among the tall trees is a favorite for visitors. It’s kid-friendly with outside games to play, and dogs are welcomed on the patio. The owners pride themselves on offering low sulfite wines, and their bestseller is a blackberry merlot. I’m more of a dry wine lover, but my friend loved their strawberry fields offering. I couldn’t help but sing a tune to 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. Because of this, there is no Wi-Fi available. But with a view like this, who needs to keep up with Facebook!
5. Mulberry Wine Bar And Retail, Tishomingo
Chickasaw’s culture meets LA vibe at Mulberry Wine Bar & Retail. Chickasaw native, Ezekiel, an LA flair filmmaker, brings his talents back to the country. On one summer visit, he and his partner got the inkling to open up a wine bar in downtown Tishomingo (or Tish is what they call it) and spend their time in both places. The wine bar has energy flowing throughout, with a mix of native Chickasaw decor that includes a large photo of Ezekiel’s Chickasaw grandmother. When you walk in, you’re greeted with Chokma (pronounced “Chickma”), which means hello and welcome in Chickasaw.
For eats, the wine bar offers two sizes of charcuterie boxes filled with several types of meat and their favorite cheeses from Trader Joe’s. If you like sweet wine, try their most popular Rizzi Moscato from Italy. They also serve the largest tastings we came across. They do charge for them, but you’ll get plenty in a glass!
Pro Tip: While in Tishomingo, check out Blake Shelton’s restaurant — Ole Red. It’s directly across the street from the winery. Who knows, you may get lucky and see the man himself. He’s been known to make surprise visits.
6. The Rusty Nail Winery, Sulphur
Eleven years in the making, The Rusty Nail Winery is a boutique winery owned and operated by Debbie Alexander and her daughters in downtown Sulphur. It features a gift shop, tasting room, and bistro, and all their wines are mixed, vetted, and bottled at the winery. What’s unique about their distribution of wines and how to tell them apart is every sweet wine has a high heel with a nail running through it on the label, and all bottles of their dry wines have an Oklahoma landmark on the label. We thought that 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 schedule for an evening of canvas and cork. What a better way to spend an evening with friends.
Pro Tip: When you get ready for dinner, head up the street to Flower Bluff Manor for a hefty steak and large portions of its home-cooked vegetables, and a glass of sweet tea. If time allows, check the dates for the murder mystery dinners and ghost tours.
7. Waddell Vineyards, Ada
Waddell Vineyards is not only a gorgeous winery and tasting room, but it’s also the most beautiful wedding venue with a large reception barn and wedding chapel I have ever seen. The Waddell’s, a retired doctor and nurse couple, started with the wedding venue and soon learned it needed a winery. Their semi-dry white Vignoles won Best in Show & Gold at the Oklahoma State Fair in 2020. All their wines are named after grapes.
Before or after your wine tasting, take a stroll around the vineyard grounds and take a peek at the 6-acres of vines, and if you’re into photography, you’ll have a gorgeous backdrop for photo opportunities. And, if you are or someone you know is planning a wedding and wants to come to Ada, Oklahoma, I highly recommend checking out this place. The bride and groom also have a cottage honeymoon suite available to them.
Pro Tip: The winery is busy almost every weekend with a wedding, and for that reason, the tasting room is by appointment only. Wine tastings are complimentary.
8. Crystal Creek Winery, Mead
Well, this venue tops it all with its fun outdoor seating — swings and all! Head to Crystal Creek Winery for a splash or a glass of its best-selling sangria, or pick a favorite to try. Don’t worry, beer drinkers, It has that, too! Either way, it’s certain to be fun swinging on the swings and gabbing with all. The first four tastings are free here.
9. Coal Creek Vineyard And Winery, Tuttle
Coal Creek Vineyard and Winery provides a wine bar, gift shop, and a private tasting room for your enjoyment. These days, not too many wineries ship wines outside their home state because of the strict laws and cost of licenses, but this one does. If time allows, visit its sister winery, Summerside Vineyards & Winery, also located in Tuttle.
Pro Tip: As with most wineries, and maybe breweries, too, some will have seasonal hours. Be sure to check for hours of operation by visiting them online or calling. When you’re ready, grab a map and stake out your trail, and get ready to explore the beautiful landscape of Chickasaw Country.
While most travelers may not think of Oklahoma as a wine and beer region, the state has many vacation surprises: