Taste some Alabama wines at inaugural Lee County Historical Society tasting

Posted on May 31, 2013 

The Lee County Historical Society will host a wine tasting featuring wines made at wineries across Alabama on June 8 from 5-7 p.m. EST (4 to 6 p.m. CDT) at Pioneer Park in Loachapoka, AL. Some wines will feature the most commonly known Southern grape, Muscadine, but organizer Charles Mitchell expects Alabama vintners will also have their dry white wines, hybrid wines, fruit wines and novelty wines available for attendees to taste.

Besides Muscadine, Alabama-grown grapes such as Norton, Fox, Cynthia and Black Spanish are used by Alabama vintners. Many wine makers also create hybrid wines which combine juice from California-grown grapes with juice from Alabama-grown grapes. As Mitchell researched Alabama's wine-making history and tasted wines at various wineries across the state, he was impressed with the quality and variety of wines.

Several Alabama vineyards are producing dry, rich wines that taste quite different from the sweet Muscadine wines often associated with Southern wine making. Fruit wines made from locally grown fruits such as peaches are also popular in Alabama wine production.

Mitchell was especially surprised when he tasted a flavorful lemon wine. "It was described as lemonade with a kick, and it was," he said.

This event is free for all LCHS members. Non-members are welcome to join the association on the day of the event for $25 per person or $35 per family. A commemorative Pioneer Park wine glasses will be available for $10.

Attendees, those 21-older, may taste different wines from the various vineyards and wineries located across the state in Alabama. Alabama has over 10 vineyards and wineries, and seven have already confirmed their participation at the tasting. Organizers hope to have all 10 confirmed by June 8. Cheese, crackers and water will also be available to guests and acoustic music will be performed during the event. Vintners and representatives from the wineries and vineyards will be on hand to discuss wine-making and grape growing in Alabama.

Donations will be used to help re-build the Barnard-Newell Log Cabin at Pioneer Park.

Alabama wines made from the native muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) are sweeter and different from traditional California and European wines made from V. vinifera grapes. Some Alabama wineries have been successful at growing hybrid grapes that produce a remarkable wine. Some of Alabama’s premier vintners will share with us their knowledge of grape growing and winemaking in Alabama. Those in attendance will be able to sample the wines of their choice and talk to the winemakers. The vintners are featured on the Alabama Wine Trail.

The Lee County Historical Society is a non-profit organization established in 1968 to promote the history of the County. The Park incorporates nine buildings on six-and-a-half acres in the center of Loachapoka. Membership is open to all interested parties. For more information, see www.leecountyhistoricalsociety.org or call Stacy Lipscomb at 334-740-4555.

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