In the mid sixties Tom Knotts and his father Max Knotts first tried their hands at winemaking. Tom reminisces about nearly getting kicked out of college for having a wine explosion in his dorm room closet right before a room inspection. This was the beginning of a lifelong pursuit.
Max eventually started an experimental vineyard and winery in the mid 1980s named DOS OKIES Vineyard & Winery, Inc. It was a way to demonstrate the possibilities of the grape industry on Oklahoma soil. Max was also instrumental in starting the first state wide association of grape growers and winemakers. Tom took over the operations at Dos Okies in the mid 1990s. And he continued operations until 2005. 2005 was the last harvest at DosOkies. The vineyard and winery area have been repurposed and is no longer the home ofDos Okies.
When Tom realized that he was actually going to live long enough to retire, he began the search for his next adventure. He naturally leaned toward the wine industry. So he started the way he always starts, by researching the subject. He has read about every book printed on viticulture and enology. And if it was in a different language, he at least looked at the photographs. He worked at Dos Okies since its beginning. And he has taken all of the courses offered at Grayson County College in Sherman, Texas at least twice. He continues to attend workshops and seminars to stay current with innovations in the industry.
The current location of Redbud Ridge was purchased in 2002 and the first 1⁄2 acre ofCabernet Sauvignon grapes were planted in the late spring of that year. The Cabernet vineyard was expanded in 2005.
Redbud Ridge Vineyard & Winery received their Federal license in 2006. Tom retired from Oklahoma University in 2007 and opened the winery in October, 2008. Yes...that was the height of the financial meltdown. At least he had wine to drink.