The Rusty Nail Winery prepares for one year anniversary
celebration in Sulphur’s historic district
Sulphur, Oklahoma – September 8, 2011 – One year ago, three Oklahoma natives had a vision of creating a fun and relaxing place where they could try their hand at making wine and selling their delicious homemade food. They found a historic building in downtown Sulphur and embarked on months of renovations to set the stage for what would become the Rusty Nail Winery, a boutique winery, gift shop and bistro in the heart of Chickasaw Nation. They opened their doors to the public on September 25, 2010, with over 400 guests in attendance. The three owners, a mom and two sisters – also known as “The Rusty Girls” - had no previous training as vintners but they all possessed a passion for wine, a willingness to learn, and an entrepreneurial spirit that has transformed a rustic old building into an oasis for tourists and locals alike.
Over the past year, the winery has seen steady growth in regular patrons and a dramatic boost in tourists brought on by the summer months. The Rusty Nail was even nominated for Murray County’s “Business of the Year Award” in 2010 only three months after opening its winery doors. General Manager, Leah Lucio, is very pleased with their progress during the first year of business. “We took a huge gamble opening a winery in the middle of a recession, but it has paid off in a big way. We’re very happy to see so many familiar and new faces coming through the doors each and every day.”
“We can’t believe we’ve already been open for a year!” says Marketing Manager, Melissa Alexander Lee. In preparation for the “Red, White and Rusty” Anniversary Celebration on September 24 and 25, Melissa has been working with several local businesses. “We are excited to offer Smokin’ Joes BBQ and Gypsy Girl Cupcakes, both of which are also new businesses in town. We know what it’s like to be the ‘new kid the block’ so we love to help promote other businesses when we can.” In addition to offering food from local vendors and a very large birthday cake, the Rusty Nail is also hosting a free concert by the Middle of Nowhere Band at 3 p.m. on September 24, and a college football watch party of the OU / Missouri game at 7 p.m. the same night. The winery will extend its hours to 11 p.m. on September 24 to accommodate all those who come in for the football game.
The winery is encouraging local musicians to contact them if interested in performing at the Rusty Nail on September 25 between 12-5 p.m. “It’s a great opportunity for artists to be part of festivities and to showcase their talents” says Melissa. The Rusty Nail Winery will also be giving away door prizes all weekend – each receipt of purchase will be entered into the door prize drawing. Prizes include a massage package from The Silver Lining in Ardmore, a cupcake party from Gypsy Girl Cupcakes in Sulphur, and wine parties and swag bags from the Rusty Nail gift shop, just to name a few.
The name “Rusty Nail Winery” is a nod to the building’s history as a hardware store dating back to 1906. The winery produces all of its privately-labeled wine on premises and is an accredited agritourism business, an exclusive designation from the Oklahoma Agritourism Board. Each wine has a uniquely designed label named after a shoe which features a rusty nail as the heel. Thanks to Production Manager, Debbie Alexander, the winery offers over twenty unique wines from sweet, such as Peep Toe Chardonnay, Dorothy’s Ruby Red Chianti, and Boogie Shoes Pinot Noir to semi-sweet and dry wines like Cinderella’s Slipper White Zinfandel and Little Black Pump Cabernet Sauvignon. Debbie quips, “Come wine with us – even if you don’t think you like wine, I think we can change your mind. We have something to please everyone’s palate – from the wine novice to the wine expert.”
The Rusty Nail Winery, located at 218 W. Muskogee Avenue in Sulphur, welcomes large groups and has greeted dozens of tour buses this spring and summer. In addition to a tasting room with wine and draft beer, the Rusty Nail also has a boutique gift shop and bistro which offers homemade fare to accompany its wines. The winery is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 4-8PM, Saturday from 12-8PM, and Sunday from 12-5PM.
About The Rusty Nail Winery:
The Rusty Nail Winery is a family-friendly attraction tourist destination in Chickasaw Nation which specializes in producing custom wines made from the highest quality varietals and boasts over twenty different selections. The Rusty Nail resides in an exquisitely restored, pre-Statehood building in the heart of historic downtown Sulphur. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this venue serves as a perfect location for reunions, receptions and private events.
The Rusty Nail Winery is a women-owned and family-operated business established in 2010 by Sulphur natives: Debbie Alexander, Leah Lucio and Melissa Alexander Lee. These two sisters and their mother like to have fun and love their wine! During your next visit to southern Oklahoma, be sure to stop by to raise a glass with friends and enjoy a personal wine tasting brought to you by The Rusty Girls! Visit the Rusty Nail online at www.rustynailwinery.com for directions and operating hours. You can also find them on Facebook, FourSquare and Twitter.
Melissa Alexander Lee