May 16, 2005
The American Wine Society–Arkansas Chapter was co-founded by Robert G. Cowie and Mary Jane Cains in Ozark (Franklin County). This non-profit organization was dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge about—and the cultivation of an appreciation of—wine and its role in culture and cuisine. Cowie is the founder and owner of Cowie Wine Cellars in Paris (Logan County), while Cains is from the family of the Mount Bethel Winery of Altus (Franklin County). When the national wine society was created in 1967, Al Wiederkehr of Wiederkehr Wine Cellars in Altus was a member of the organizing meeting. He and Justin Morris of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) were honorary co-chairmen of the state chapter. The chapter is now defunct, though several members of the American Wine Society continue to be active in Arkansas.