Chateau aux Arc (pronounced "Ozark") officially opened on July 21st, 2001 and was the 5th winery to open in Arkansas since Prohibition, and the first and only winery in Arkansas to be owned and operated by a woman. At that time Audrey House was the youngest winery owner in the world. The doors opened in 2001, but the Altus community was reaping the benefits of Dragonfly Ranch well before then. Local wineries benefitted from her grape growing prowess and were able to purchase the fruits of her hard labor to work into their bottles. When Chateau aux Arc opened, she had only 2 wines: Chardonnay and Altage. The wine selection has exponentially expanded in the 20 years she has been making wine, commanding the scene with a focus on 100% Arkansas grown vintages and winning multiple international awards each year. The lineup grew with the vines, from a small harvest of Chardonnay to planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Vignoles, Syrah, Malbec, Barbera, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Merlot, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Niagara, Steuben, Jupiter, Neptune, Muscadine and Cynthiana, the State Grape of Arkansas. Chateau aux Arc is a picturesque retreat for those looking to reconnect with the world of splendor around them over a glass of award winning Arkansas wine.
Audrey House landed on St. Mary’s Mountain after many years of travel. Upon graduating from Pulaski Academy she went to Oklahoma to pursue a degree in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma at Norman. All through college she worked at The Greenhouse, and despite having no formal training she is a viticultural force of nature. In February of 1998, she bought 20 acres of land from Al Wiederkehr and began whipping the ten acres of Chardonnay vineyards, planted in 1980, into shape. She lived in a tent for a year with occasional visitors that were most certainly roped into helping getting the vineyards in order and making way for what was to come.
Though Ms. House started small she is nowhere near lacking in achievements. She belongs to the Court of Master Sommeliers and in 2010, at the tender age of 33, she made Arkansas’ 40 Under 40 by Arkansas Business. She has been a voice for the wine community in a number of different capacities. Ms. House never would have dreamed she would have to fight for her right to ferment and serve her loyal customers. Each legislative session has been like every vintage, challenging, fruitful, and a visionary journey in order to liberate her wines from the shelves direct to your home. From 1999 still to this day, she haunts the State Capitol and has earned the notorious nickname
"The Grape Lady."
In 2009, with the help of Rep. Kathy Webb and Rep. Beverly Pyle, she passed legislation naming Cynthiana as the State Grape of Arkansas. In February 2017 she was at the legislature again, fighting for wine shipping. We already know Arkansas wine is just as good as Napa, but with her shipping victory the Arkansas Wine Industry will be able to make its place in the homes of Arkansans with ease. She served as the President of the Arkansas Association of Grape Growers, the head organization for furthering viticulture and enology in the state of Arkansas, for three years. Arkansas Technical University at Ozark is proud to have her on their advisory board for the Viticulture and Enology Associate's Degree Program. Her contributions have been used in similar degree programs in over half of the states in the Union, spreading her knowledge and love of wine, and helping to train the next generation of vintners. Her commitment to sustainable farming and business practices are seen throughout Dragonfly Ranch Vineyards all the way to the State Capitol where she was an Alternative Energy Commissioner, serving at the will of Governors Mike Beebe and Asa Hutchinson from 2011-2019. As if managing a vineyard and winery wasn’t enough, Ms. House is also the only female member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles and is a staunch advocate for breast cancer research. In 2016 she, with the help of a dear friend and survivor, blended a wine called Smashed. Smashed has been a crowd favorite since its creation, and proceeds of its sale go to Washington Regional Cancer Support Home. Her most recent accomplishment is being appointed by Gov. Hutchinson, replacing the creator Al Wiederkehr, to the Arkansas Wine Producers Council.
Never will you find anyone that works harder than Audrey House. She is up at 4AM each morning pruning, picking, bottling, or burning to give the Arkansas Wine Industry something to be proud of. From the tractor to the tasting room there is no part of the process she is not involved in. Every vintage is handcrafted using sustainable practices and every grape that goes into your glass comes from Arkansas, a principle she prides herself on. She takes what nature gives her and crafts it into a living, breathing art that varies from year to year, making each bottle a unique illustration of her abilities. Audrey House has a talent and passion for her craft that is unparalleled; in each bottle of wine there’s a little bit of her heart and soul, and each sip is as bold and dynamic as she is.