Tres Suenos Winery
New Tasting Room & Gift Shop Overlooks Vineyard
Green on the vine isn’t how you would describe Tres Sueños Winery and its owners, Richard and Rose Kennedy. The Kennedys have owned and operated the winery since 1999, making it the third winery to open in the state.
Nestled in the cross-timbers area of rural Logan County, just a short drive east of Edmond on historic Highway 66, Tres Sueños beautifully displays one of Oklahoma’s fastest growing agricultural industries: grape growing and wine making.
“There are currently 39 wineries in the state,” said Richard, who is a member and former president of the Oklahoma Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association. “We’ve already passed New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado in the number of wineries and I think we’ll surpass Texas in the next two years,” he added.
But the land Tres Sueños sits on hasn’t always bore such beautiful fruit. According to Rose, the land, that’s been in the Kennedy family for over 20 years, has been used for many things: a truck farm, a vegetable garden, and most recently, a cut your own Christmas tree lot.
In the mid- to late-90s, Richard, who Rose describes as “always liking to grow things,” began planting grapevines and making homemade wine at their home in Piedmont. His new passion led him to enroll in a viticulture and enology program through Munson Viticulture Center in Denison, Texas. In May 1999, Richard, with the help of two partners, opened Tres Sueños, which fittingly means “three dreams” in Spanish.
According to Rose, they decided to have a wine festival as a grand opening, an event that had never been done in the state. Expecting a couple hundred participants, they were quite shocked when anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 people were in attendance. “We ran out of wine and the vendors ran out of food; we had someone at the driveway telling people we were all out but they still came up to see the winery and enjoy the entertainment,” she said. Even six years later, people who came to the first festival still return to the winery.
But, plenty of things have changes since then. In 2000, the Kennedys bought out their two partners, who have since then started their own wineries. In 2004, their new 4,000 square foot tasting room and gift shop, complete with huge panes of glass that reflect the Oklahoma sunset and a balcony overlooking the four acre vineyard, opened.
But, just in case you’re not a wine connoisseur, Rose offers the following tips for wine tasting: “Swirl your glass, smell, sip, swish, and hold the wine in your mouth.”
The vineyard yields 14 different grapes. “Each grape tastes different. A concord grape tastes different than a merlot grape. It’s amazing that God made grapes that all taste different,” said Rose.
August and September are harvest months at Tres Sueños. Sugar and acid levels are checked before grapes are removed from the vines. After harvest, the grapes are crushed and de-stemmed. What happens next depends on the type of grapes. Red grapes are sent directly to the fermentation tanks. Green grapes are immediately pressed, so the juice can be extracted. Tres Sueños uses a bladder press, where a water-filled bag squeezes the skins against the side, forcing the juice out. The juice, called must, is then sent to airtight fermentation tanks. Richard then adds sugar and yeast to start the fermentation process.
Once fermentation is complete, red wines are sent to the press to separate the skins from the wine. Unlike white grapes, the skin of red grapes is left on during the fermentation process to retain the color. Both wines are then filtered and stored in either stainless steel storage tanks or oak barrels to age.
Although the winemaking process seems fairly intense, Richard sums the process up in seven words: “crush me, stomp me, make me wine.” “Wine making is both a science and an art,” he continued. “The science part is easy. The artistic style is how you make it your own.” How your store, filter, and blend the wine all create different flavors, he added.
Different wines, go well with different foods. Richard recommends trying the Blush Delight with Mexican food or hamburgers, the Merlot with venison, or the Oklahoma Select Wine with pasta.
Richard also stresses that it is important to educate citizens about the benefits of adding a small serving of wine to create a healthy diet.
Tres Sueños offers free tastings and tours Thursday-Saturday from noon until 7:00 p.m. Special tours can be set up for school groups. Check their web site, www.tressuenos.com for a list of special events, like the wine festival and murder mystery dinners. For additional information, call (405) 277-7089.