McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

June 25, 2013

Local winery benefits from USDA grant

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A local winery recently added $200,000 in new equipment paid for by a matching grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Whispering Meadow Vineyards and Winery Owner Karen Stobaugh said because of the new equipment, the winery is now the most state-of-art wine making facility in the state of Oklahoma.

“We are very excited about this,” Stobaugh said.

She said the grant was the result of two years of work and was obtained with the help of former MPower Director Shari Cooper.

With the new equipment including 11 new tanks and a new automated bottling machine, Stobaugh said she expects to increase the wine production.

“We are doing about 3,000 cases a year and we hope to double that,” she said.

The winery is home two bottling lines, Whispering Meadows and Urban Wine Works. Both lines are produced under the Stobaugh Wine Group at the McAlester facility.

Wine making is nothing new to the Stobaugh family

“The Stobaugh family has been in the business for five generations,” Stobaugh said.

The lines are sold through-out the state.

“Our wine is sold in liquor stores in McAlester, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Lawton,” Stobaugh said.

And she said it’s also been featured at 65 different festivals.

“We were recently in Bartlesville for the Mozart Festival and we will take part in McAlester’s Culture Fest in August.”

With all the new equipment Stobaugh said the winery has been undergoing some major renovations.

“We are finishing the final phases of our barrel room that we call our “Wine Cave,” she said.

She said the new tanks will be on the ground level with the wine-lab and the bottling area.

Meanwhile Stobaugh said she encourages visitors to come to the winery for tasting and a tour.

The winery is 34 E. Choctaw Ave.

For more information call 918-423-9463.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.