July 8, 2013
Mark and Pam Thomeczek of Marshall, Mo., sample wine in the tasting room at BlueJacket Crossing Vineyard and Winery outside Eudora. BlueJacket Crossing, a designated Kansas agritourism site, sells more wine by being able to offer a farm experience to go with it, owner Pep Selvan-Solberg says.
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The first rule about trying Kansas wine? Be open-minded to trying Kansas wine. “Get the California out of your mind,” said Lori Henderson, who along with her husband owns the newly opened Crooked Post Winery in Ozawkie. “Put all preconceived notions out of your head about what wines are supposed to taste like.” By Sara Shepherd
Kansas agritourism sites range from ranches where city slickers can help burn pastures to alpaca farms where visitors can feed the furry animals. On the more refined side, upscale dinners in orchards and cornfields attract people willing to pay $100 per ticket. Agritourism is one way small Kansas farms are increasing visibility of their products to boost their bottom lines. At the same time, farmers say, opening to the public is a chance to share their passion for what they do with people who may not otherwise experience it. By Sara Shepherd