"Good wine is a necessity of life for me." Thomas Jefferson
Mount Bethel in the news THV KTHV Little Rock News Article
Harvest Moon Vignoles wine is on sale, go to the White Wine Page for information
Eugene Post Sr. pressing grapes early in his career of wine making. Also pictured is Eugene's cousin.
The 2nd annual Grape Festival in 1926
Three generations of Post men right before decommissioning the old bottling line.
Grapevine displayed in the town sqaure in the 1926 Altus Grape Festival.
Local Vineyard in 1926 with St. Mary's Church shown in the background
This is Mount Bethel's tasting room. This hand-dug cellar was the original location of the Mrs. Joseph Post Winery, grandmother of the founder of Mount Bethel.
Eugene and Peggy Post in front of the winery, Mount Bethel, bonded winery #138 in the state of Arkansas
The newest Jacob Post, great great great grandson of the Jacob Post who started our wine making heritage in the United States in the late 19th century, is learning by working side by side with his father and grandfather.
Circa 1926; The Post family proudly displays grapes grown in the vineyard beside the family homestead. Eugene and Peggy Post made this home their own when they opened Mount Bethel Winery in the cellar beside the home. Eugene's grandmother, Mrs. Joseph Post, made and sold wine from this same cellar in the early 1900's.
Mount Bethel Winery has its roots in the renowned grape growing regions of Europe. In the early 1880’s, the German and German speaking Swiss ancestors of the Post family brought to Arkansas, the time-honored European tradition of growing grapes and venting wines for personal use. The westward expansion of the railroad provided the means of transportation and employment for most immigrants of the time. One of the stopping places of the train was the town of Altus, Arkansas, a thriving coal mining community in the Arkansas River valley. The Post family found Altus to be the perfect place to live and to grow grapes and other crops that could provide food and a source of income. However, what started as a personal way of life soon became a business when the public discovered the wine making skills of Jacob Post. Although the prohibition years or 1918 through 1934 halted wine sales, it did not stop legal wine making for personal consumption by the Post family.
The end of prohibition was the beginning of a new era for the Post family and wine making. In 1935, Mrs. Joseph (Katherine) Post, daughter-in-law of Jacob Post, acquired a federal bonded winery permit and an Arkansas license to manufacture and sell wine. With the help of her children and grandchildren, she made and sold wine for many years. Her grandson, Eugene Post, tells of the wonderful times he spent helping her serve cheese, sandwiches and wine that she sold to customers and guests in the family homestead. After Katherine’s death, Eugene’s father, James (Jake) Post, recognized his son’s love and affinity for wine making and encouraged him to learn all that he could about wine making that would help to continue the family tradition. Eugene subsequently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Arkansas, with the goal of merging the time-honored family wine making methods with modern technical knowledge. In 1956, he chose to open his winery in the old underground cellars of the original Mrs. Joseph Post Winery where the Post family wine making tradition had its roots. He purchased the family homestead with the cellars and the vineyard land from his mother. The name he gave his winery, Mount Bethel, was in keeping with tradition. It was in honor of the local grape-growing district on top of Pond Creek Mountain, named after the landmark Presbyterian Church and public school located there. In 1984, this Mount Bethel grape growing area, a viticulture area that Eugene considered so important to the wine industry that he named his winery after it, received federal designation as the Altus Viticultural Area.
Striving to make a new winery out of the remnants of the old, Eugene and his wife, Peggy, turned to Peggy’s father, Russell Murray for help. His invaluable engineering and design skills enabled them to construct fermenting and bottling facilities. As the winery grew, so did the Post family. The children of Eugene and Peggy: Debbie, Mary Jane, Eugene, Jr., Linda, Janet, Michael, Peggy Ann, and Robert grew up making wine. Working beside their parents, they learned the skills and patience of dedicated vintners. They pruned, hoed, plowed, tied, cut and fermented the grapes. As with the generations before them, the children learned the joys of winemaking from beginning to end.
Now that the children are grown and creating their own families our history is continuing on. Eugene Sr passed away but left a very large family behind to continue working on this family tradition.
Here is a little more information about the Next Generation of Post Families:
The Eugene and Peggy Post Family
The Debbie Post (Ramey) Family
The Mary Jane Post (Cains) Family
The Eugene Post Family
The Janet Post (Emigh) Family
The Michael Post Family
Peggy Ann Post
The Robert Post Family
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