Edmond's Wine Country

 

Written by Lance Evans in the September 2013 Issue

Wine BottlesA glass of wine can provide the perfect form of therapy. No one knows this better than Thomas Ingmire. After years of working a stressful job, Ingmire decided to venture into the wine business with his wife Kim. Twelve years and thousands of grapes later, the Ingmires are enjoying the sweet taste of success.

North of the OKC Metro area and far from the noise of the city lies the hard work of the Ingmires and one of Oklahoma’s best kept secrets. As you head down the small two-lane highway that local residents know as Waterloo, you’ll slowly creep up on the gates of Clauren Ridge Vineyard & Winery. Before you can even get a full appreciation of the brand new construction inside the winery, your eyes immediately gaze out the large glass windows as the sunrays hit the hills and light up the vineyard outside. White ceremony chairs are neatly lined up in the middle of the vineyard and the massive pergola draped in white linens makes the setting feel like something from a movie.

WineryThis is where Thomas decided to plant his dream. His new project started off as a small hobby that only included a few vines. The following year he decided to plant a few more and didn’t stop driving his tractor until the entire hill of his property was covered with vines. “Pretty soon we had more grapes than we knew what to do with,” says Kim. “The mature vineyard, where we harvest our grapes, is on the back of the property—8 to 10 acres of 12- to 13-year-old vines.” The Ingmires have learned a lot about the wine business over the years and hope to see it continue to grow in Oklahoma. “It’s a relatively new industry here. The wines are getting better!”

Kim IngmireKim never imagined that her husband’s new interest would turn into such a profitable business. They are continuing to expand their reach in the wine market. “We hope to start distributing. That’s one of our major goals.” The Ingmires will have a number of wines for retailers to choose from once distribution starts. Their fully-stocked winery also features a wine cave that can’t be found in many other wineries in the city. The wine cave is temperature-controlled and also provides the perfect setting for receptions and special events. Clauren Ridge provides a full staff, linens, flatware, stemware and even flowers for your occasion. “We have the weddings out here at the pergola,” says Kim. Brides near and far are calling to book their special day months in advance. “We’re booked every Saturday for 2013 and 2014 is filling up.”

Wine CavePeople aren’t just flocking to the winery for weddings. The staff opens their doors for wine tastings Friday through Sunday. Visitors can pick from a variety of different red and white wines and also nibble on wine cake balls, assorted mini quiches or cheese and crackers. The Ingmires also offer a unique dining experience for Titanic enthusiasts. “I have china imported from the UK,” says Kim. “It’s an exact replica of the first-class china that was on the Titantic. My husband and I dress up and we play the music that was heard on board.”

The couple hopes to make Clauren Ridge a first-class experience for wine enthusiasts. For now, Kim says that they’re just trying to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  “We have a lot to learn, but we’re getting there!”

www.claurenridge.com

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