Post Familie Vineyards and Winery
Post Familie Vineyards and Winery is located on state Highway 186 in the town of Altus (Franklin County), on the old farm of Professor Joseph Bachman, a noted creator of new grape varieties. Post Familie Winery has its origins in the immigration into the area of German and Swiss Catholics in the 1880s—which made Altus one of the leading wine communities in the state by the turn of the century—and is today one of the 100 largest wineries in the nation.
The great-grandfather of this branch of the Post family was Jacob Post, who made wine along with his wife, Anna. Originally, the family made wine from wild grapes as well as other fruits and berries before acquiring grape cuttings from regional nurseries. Jacob’s daughter-in-law, Katherine, who was married to his son, Joseph, was sent to jail for making and selling wine during Prohibition. After Prohibition was lifted, many people across the state applied for licenses to manufacture wine for sale. Katherine Post held bonded winery number BW11 until 1943, when she and others in Altus joined together to form the Altus Cooperative Winery, which received bonded winery permit BW106. Then, in 1951, Jacob Post, having purchased the co-op, started the present Post Winery, keeping the same bonded winery number. He and his children were involved in the winery until he was killed in an accident in 1951, and the winery was taken over in 1953 by his son, Matt Post, who continues to oversee day-to-day operations at the winery. He and his wife, Betty, raised twelve children, many of whom are still working in the winery.
The winery produces a variety of wines that run from sweet dessert wines to very dry wines, from dry sherry and tawny port to chardonnay and Cynthiana. The winery has won several awards in both regional and national competitions. Some of the wines are aged in oak barrels in the age-old tradition of wine making. Post Familie is one of the top two wineries in the state in terms of output.
The winery has vineyards on top of St. Mary’s Mountain in Altus, where all the Altus wineries grow most of their grapes. This mountaintop is ideal for the growing of grapes and produces some of the finest grapes in the state. As do all other state wineries, Post Familie works closely with the University of Arkansas Institute of Food Science and Engineering in researching new and better grape varieties. During the summer, the winery sells fresh grapes to the public. Post Familie also produces non-alcoholic grape juice for sale. In January 2012, the winery received a patent for a type of hybrid grape called Prophecy, being a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Munson grapes.
For additional information:
Arkansas Historic Wine Museum. Paris, Arkansas.
Post Familie Vineyards. http://postfamilie.com/index.htm (accessed May 27, 2015).
Whalen, Laurie. “Vineyard Hopes Prophecy Is Divine.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, March 4, 2012, pp. 1G, 7G.
Robert G. Cowie
Arkansas Historic Wine Museum
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