Tag:Ross Coyle
Posted on: June 24, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 4:21 pm

Barry Switzer: Wine Baron

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Barry Switzer has never been shy about his childhood or what his father did to make money. I mean, this is a man who named his autobiography Bootlegger's Boy after all. Well, now it seems that Switzer is getting into the family business, but he's doing it legitimately this time around. As Berry Tramel informs us, Switzer has launched Switzer Family Vineyards. 

Switzer went into business with Andrew Hoxsey, one of the leading winemakers in California’s Napa Valley. Jeff Coyle — the son of two-time OU all-Big Eight end Ross Coyle (1957-58) — now is vice president of Republic National Distributing Co. and helped broker the deal.

“We’re going to work about 500 cases a year,” Coyle said. “We sold 112 (wholesale) in three days.” The wine is being marketed in Oklahoma and Texas. A single Iowa steakhouse ordered 56 cases. Outlets in Nebraska have inquired, too.

Coyle said the trucks delivering the wine just now are reaching Oklahoma.

Switzer says that he truly developed his love of wine while working for the Dallas Cowboys, where he would spend the night before a game having dinner with Jerry Jones and drinking expensive wine. 

As for Barry's childhood experience with his father, the label on each bottle of wine from his vineyard gives a deeper glimpse into how Switzer was raised.

“My rural home in Arkansas was a shotgun house built in 1893. You could shoot a shotgun through the front door, out the back, not hit a thing. Hallway down the middle with three rooms on each side. No electricity, no plumbing, heat from a wood stove, light from coal oil lamps. There was something special about that old house, and I think there is something special about our wine. I know, since I happen to be a bootlegger’s boy. Enjoy! Barry Switzer.”

The house I grew up in was basically the same way, except that if you shot a gun through the front door it wouldn't hit anything until it got to my bedroom in the back. Now I'm wondering why my parents were trying to get me killed. Oh, and we had electricity and plumbing, but that all seems rather trivial now that I realize I was in the line of fire.

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