I’ve visited a number of event venues in the Little Rock area, many offering a secluded, rustic retreat for your event. That seems to always be code for a long drive out of the city. Rusty Tractor Vineyards and their event space Sunset Lodge is a quick 15 minutes from downtown, yet offers the experience of being 100 miles outside of Little Rock.
Stepping out to the 100-year-old dairy barn that serves as the cornerstone of the property all you hear is the trickle of a nearby creek, a few chicken clucks, and the occasional sound of a tractor. It is the perfect escape without having to escape at all. It is part of what inspired owners Doug and Sheree Meyer to settle in the area and eventually build a winery and event space on the property.
“I grew up on a farm in Missouri, being surrounded by land is in my blood,” Doug Meyer explains. “Sheree and I both love wine, so in 2011 we decided to plant muscadines and start producing wine. That grew into grapes with multiple varieties. Then we decided to share this beautiful, secluded space with everyone.”
The 5,000+ vines of various grape and muscadines that now occupy the bulk of the property serve as a fantastic backdrop to one of the most beautiful event spaces in the area.
The old dairy barn serves as an intimate 50 person event space they call the barrel room, which also opens up to a small patio area. While the barn has been completely transformed into a modern space, it retains a lot of the rustic charm that you would expect.
A short walk down a wine cellar hallway leads into the grand tasting room and event space known as the sunroom the rivals some of the best spaces in town with seating up to 250. This is a modern space with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the vineyard along with a wrap-around patio space. The area has a huge kitchen complete with cameras that can live stream into the dining area if needed. The bar includes a number of craft beer taps, a full lineup of Rusty Tractor wines, and other carefully selected wines from the cellar.
Speaking of the Rusty Tractor Wines, these have been expertly managed by Vineyard manager Riley Mason. Mason has a degree in Horticulture and previously worked with Chateau aux Arc, so he has experience with winegrowing in Arkansas. When we visited there were 8 bottles available from their label. It was a solid mix of dry to sweet, which are easily distinguishable by the sweetness indicator on the back label. The wines are great too, with the Vignoles and MC2 being honored in their categories in the recent Arkansas State Fair Wine Competition.
The wines are available at several local liquor stores. Tastings and bottle purchases are done by appointment only at the estate.
The event spaces are available to rent now. They hope to have frequent events and dinners at the estate that are available for the public, including a wine dinner tonight and a costume party later this week.
Rusty Tractor Vineyards | Sunset Lodge
10 Rusty Tractor Ln.
Little Rock, AR 72210