A Guide to Wine Tasting in Alabama

Alabama has some excellent wineries and vineyards, with most near Birmingham in the central part of the state. The northeastern Piedmont region has a suitable climate for vinifera cultivation thanks to a more adaptable weather pattern, not so hot and humid as other parts of the state.

Muscadine and Norton grapes grow here and are native American, as are peach and blueberry wine. You’ll find some French-American hybrids like Chardonel and Chambourcin. Still, the wine industry in Alabama has some growing to do, giving a good reason to try the wines.

Some of the state wineries and vineyards are close enough to each other to fit two or three different tasting rooms or tours in a day or take the whole weekend and visit several.

Besides having a great time learning about wine tasting in Alabama, you’ll experience some health benefits with Muscadine grapes having 500 percent more antioxidants than other grapes.

Where to Go for Wine Tasting in Alabama

1. Jules J. Berta Vineyards

red wine bottles stacked

Winner of Alabama Winery of the Year again, this slice of heaven offers a wide variety of wines because its five acres of vines on 22-acre fame rests atop Sand Mountain in Albertville.

Here, Jules J. Berta Vineyards is Alabama’s first producer of Vitis vinifera wine grapes, with 1100 feet elevation, the highest location in the state.

They grow Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Syra, and other varietals. The vineyard has Muscadine wines and fruit wines produced by local farmers.

The vineyard is rich with history, dating back to 1959 when Jules’ father immigrated to America as a young Hungarian refugee. He moved to Alabama in 1983 and believed northern Alabama was wine country. He planted vines in 1987; ten years later, he planted eight more acres.

Blaufrankisch is the oldest varietal, a personal hobby of Jules’ father. The Blaufrankisch wines offer aromas of dark ripe cherries, dark berries, spicy with medium tannins and some have good acidity.

Stop by for Wine Tastings of their handpicked wines, Mondays through Wednesday, from 11 to 6 PM and Thursday through Saturday, from 10 to 4 PM. Sip their award-winning Bama Belle Red Muscadine, luscious and artfully sweetened.

Or try this other award winner, 2019 Black Widow Cabernet Franc, dark medium-bodied, rich, and spicy, with intense notes of black pepper. It’s great with pizza and is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

2. Maraella Winery

Tucked away in the picturesque foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hokes Bluff, you’ll find a delightful vineyard and winery.

Established in 2005, their vineyards included estate-grown and bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. They host a choice between traditional Alabama fruit wines and traditional viniferous varietals.

Maraella Winery prides itself on heritage and continuing the legacy of fine winemaking for the generations to come.

Book a private wine tasting online before coming to the vineyard open from Sunday through Wednesday from 11 to 5 PM. Or the public can walk in Thursday through Saturday from 11 to 7 PM.

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Romanian Oak is an exceptional wine as a gold medal winner. Subtle notes of pecans with minerals satisfy the palate as a classic red.

Try the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, another gold medal winner, founder Jimmy Lee’s first. The Merlot is Maraella’s top-selling red wine, pleasing all palates with a pleasantly dry finish and notes of black cherry, vanilla and cherry.

On your visit, walk the grounds and discover the unique items for sale, like Uncle Ed’s Wine Jelly, lemon oil, garlic oil, and pottery.

3. Wills Creek Winery

grape harvest

A family tradition that spans many generations of winemaking from Switzerland, you find Wills Creek Winery near Duck Springs.

It’s north of 1-20, along with three other wineries. The vineyards grow in the pea-shell hills of Duck Springs Valley, the center of Duck Springs wildlife preserve, serving several varieties of Muscadine, fruit, and grape wines.

On your arrival, you relax, discovering a peaceful and beautiful world away from ordinary cares. You’ll marvel at the deep history and design of the estates, invigorating your senses.

Make it an evening by dining on the deck patio with a gorgeous view of the Appalachian Mountain pea shell hills and, at the same sitting, overlooking the nature preserve and natural spring-fed pond.

Tour the grounds and view the facility that produces 2,000 cases of wine annually. The Wine Tasting Room is open year-round Mondays through Saturdays, from 11 to 6 PM, and Sundays from 11 to 5 PM, with brunch from 11 to 1 PM.

Please your palate with 20 varieties of wines to try. Your server will tell you where to start.

4. White Oak Vineyards

White Oak Vineyards’ high-quality wine includes organically grown fruit wines, dry white and red wines, Muscadine wines, and bubbly, sparkling Muscadine wines. Enjoy the gorgeous, eco-friendly vineyards surrounded by stunning mountain views of the historic Choccolocco Valley.

Halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta and five minutes from I-20, the winery is only minutes from Anniston.

Co-owner Randal Wilson is the winery’s winemaker. When he retired in California, the green rolling hills of Alabama called Randal, and he came. He loves the challenges of running the farm and making organic, award-winning wine.

During your visit, spend some time with Randal and learn more about the art of winemaking in this southern state. Take a tour during operating hours, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 PM to 5 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM. Or call Randal and set up a tour on Mondays through Wednesdays.

The Tasting Room offers five wines for $5.00. If you rather tease your palate on Mondays through Wednesdays, give Randal a call to set an appointment.

Try the Petite Sirah, a medium-bodied red with a peppery ending. The Red Chardonnay is a surprise, with crisp notes of plum and apple. Always give the fruit wines a try, from Blueberry to Strawberry Dream.

5. Fruithurst Winery

red wine bottle

If you ever wondered what a vineyard village was like, now’s your chance to find out. Nestled north of the city of Fruithurst, the winery’s name comes from one of the first wineries in Alabama.

Encircled by fifteen acres of Muscadine vineyards, owned and operated by two cousins, you’ll experience the culture and elegance of an authentic vineyard.

The Fruithurst Winery is a symbol of the extensive history of fruit and wine growth in the region from 1894 until the prohibition closed the wineries in 1919. During wine production in the heyday, there were large corporate to small independent family operations, making claret, port, muscatel and sherry.

The Tasting Room hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 to 6 PM and closed Sundays. Let your palate taste the 2019 Special Reserve Red Muscadine Wine, a sweet, single-varietal made from the exceptionally acidic Creek berry.

The handcrafted wine has unparalleled flavors and character. Give the Dry Red Muscadine a try with a full, smooth beginning that ends with a Noble tannic swirl.

If you get a chance, inquire about their Christmas Spice Wine, which is seasonally available in limited quantities. You’ll enjoy the festive, semi-sweet red Muscadine wine steeped with cloves, allspice, ginger, dried cherries, almonds and a touch of cinnamon and honey. Serve it gently warmed.

6. Bryant Vineyard

grape vineyard hills

Officially the oldest continually operating winery in Alabama, Bryant Vineyard holds the second wine grower license in the state. The family-owned land since the mid-1800s, the Bryants planted the first vines in 1965.

Besides learning about the long history of nurturing wine grapes in the area when you visit, the property overlooks one of the most beautiful lakes in Alabama – Logan Martin Lake in the east-central region.

The estate encourages to wander the grounds, picking Muscadine and other wine grapes off the vines. You can take a couple of pounds how with you.

Also, there are vegetables from their extensive garden and many kinds of peppers, like the legendary Bhut Jolokia. Also known as Ghost Pepper or Red Naga, rated the hottest pepper in the world.

Stop by the vineyard Thursdays through Saturdays for complimentary, from 10 AM to 5 PM. On other days, you can make an appointment.

Sip the award-winning Dixie Gold, a blend of Magnolia, Carlos, and other Muscadine grapes. It’s refreshing, tangy, and fruity.

Another award winner is Dixie Blush, and exceptionally Creek Muscadine Rose, aroma jumps from the glass. It’s a favorite as a semi-dry with a long finish. It takes just one sniff, and you’re in love.

7. Corbin Farms Winery

Another vineyard known as one of the oldest in Alabama, Corbin Farms Winery, rests on five acres of rich farmland.

The vineyard produces and bottles a wide range of wine grapes from Alabama and other grape regions in the US. Established in Calera, the Corbin family owns and manages the farm, which is deeply rooted in the Birmingham area.

The Corbin produces vinifera wines, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and more. They also bottle local fruit wines, like peach, pear, Muscadine and others.

The Corbins are passionate about being an optimistic company that gives back to the community culture.

Come by for a tasting or dine at their bistro. Open Thursdays and Fridays from 12 to 3 PM, Saturdays from 12 to 6 PM, and Sundays from 12 to 3 PM.

Please your palate by trying the 2020 Tuxedo Junction, the most popular, with dancing chocolate, raspberry, and caramel. Or the Chardonnay, classic dry white, lightly oaked with a light buttery finish.

Further Reading

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