While not well known like their California counterparts, the wineries along the Alabama Wine Trail offer a unique taste of elegance that is pure Alabama.
The most common grape in Alabama is the Muscadine grape, with five times more antioxidants than other grapes and an interesting rich sweetness. Muscadine is a Southern tradition. But Alabama wines have started to grow up a bit, and away from the strict adherence to the Muscadine varieties. Some of the best examples are found at three wineries just outside Birmingham.
Ozan Vineyard & Cellars
Just a mile off I-65 at the Calera Exit, Ozan Vineyard & Cellars is well worth a stop. The tasting room at Ozan Vineyard & Cellars is styled after a European farm and offers gorgeous views of the vineyards stretched out across the rolling hills. The Patrick family hand craft their wines and use grapes grown on site for their Estate North Rose and their Norton Red. One of their specialties is a Chilton County Peach. Unexpectedly pleasant without an overly sweet flavor, the peaches are brought in from nearby Chilton County. Ozan Vineyard & Cellars is open Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and for groups by appointment.
Vizzini Farms Winery
Vizzini Farms Winery, run by second generation Italian winemakers,
features varieties such as Merlot, Sangiovese, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Peach Dessert Wine, Black Raspberry Merlot, and Chocolate Raspberry Merlot. Rather than being sweet and overpowering, the Black Raspberry Merlot was a lovely glass of wine, perfect for sipping on a hot Alabama evening. The tasting room at Vizzini Farms Winery features a small market of local products. The winery can ship to most states. Vizzini Farms Winery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Morgan Creek Vineyards
Founded in 2000, Morgan Creek Vineyards is a state-of-the-art facility 30 miles outside Birmingham. The intimate tasting room at Morgan Creek Vineyards is perfect for sampling any of nine different wines from a dry Muscadine to a Sweet Blueberry. The Vulcan Red is a deep wine, off dry with a very smooth finish, while the Regal Red has an aromatic cherry nose, a lovely deep rose color and floral notes. Free wine tours and guides are available daily. The tasting room at Morgan Creek Vineyards is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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