Last week we had such an amazing experience on the North Alabama Wine Trail. Who knew that you can experience the taste straight from the vineyards only 5 hours away from Memphis? In this post, I will go over the wineries and cellars on the trail, great eats, and the best darn bed and breakfast in North Alabama!
The trail can be done with a 3 night stay, We stayed at beautiful The Secret Bed and Breakfast which sat in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains perched above lookout mountain overlooking the town of Leesburg, Alabama.
While we enjoyed the majestic views from the main inn, The Secret Bed and Breakfast has four unique guest cottages to choose from as well. The Nautical, The Tree House, The Sugar Shack, and The Jailhouse all make for fantastic themed getaways!
OUR COZY ROOM IN THE INN
Every morning we enjoyed breakfast, freshly cooked by Charlie and Kris and in the evenings we would hang out downstairs in the common area and enjoy complimentary wine and movies.
The Secret had many relaxing accommodations such as a deck top pool, mountainside views, and a very scenic property. Each morning I enjoyed my morning coffee atop lookout mountain, one of my most favorite moments during our stay.
North Alabama Wine Trail
The trail consists of 5 vineyards and one cellar. We did 3 wineries on one day and the other 2 wineries plus the cellar on the next. The entire wine trail can be done in two days. The vineyards are roughly 45-25 minutes apart and each has a very unique flavor, independent of each other.
Jules J Berta Winery
Jules J Berta is picturesque vineyard ran by the the Berta family. This vineyard is mainly comprised of Cabernet, Merlot, Sylvaner and Chardonnay grapes. They also work with local farmers to produce Muscadine and fruit wines. You can visit for a wine tasting or enjoy a social outing in their garden. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, locals and visitors alike come out the enjoy their wood fired pizza and social atmosphere under the stars. The gift store is also packed with their wines, james, gifts, and more.
Wills Creek Winery
Wills Creek Winery was just as breathtaking as the first. We got to witness harvest season here in which we observed the Muscadine coming in and being squeezed into fresh juice. ost of these wines are very sweet as they are comprised of the muscadine fruit. We enjoyed a tasting given by Jahn, the owner, and also got to taste fresh swedish cheese that he and his wife Janie have for sell in their shop. Wills Creek also hosts a very popular Sunday brunch in the vineyard. What a perfect way to end the week?
Like the other vineyards, Maraella Winery is a family ran business. Each year the participate in the Witches and Warlock Wine races and we arrived just in time to see their Halloween decorations for the upcoming race. Their wines were lovely and equally good were their homemade, Uncle Ed’s wine jellies. We enjoyed a tasting, jelly, and a walk through the vineyard.
DINNER – F.C. Weiss
We finished out our first day with an enjoyable dinner at F.C.Weiss Pub not far from The Secret Bed and Breakfast in Centre, AL. Their fresh pub grub was the perfect ending to a day of tasty testing. The pub is located in a historic building in downtown Centre. I loved the military memorabilia that was on display in the shadow-box table. F.C. Weiss Pub also hosts karaoke on Thursday nights. Come try your luck with the mic while you are in town and become the star you have always wanted to be.
Fruithurst Winery had the largest vineyard out of the 5 that we attended with 15 acres of muscadine fruit. Visiting right in the middle of harvest season, we got to go out into the vineyard and observe the machines harvesting. Fruithurst is owned by two cousins, Josh and Dylan, and operated by the entire family. Their efforts have produced the tastiest muscadine wine. I am a fan of dry wine and their dry white and rose were my favorites!
High Country Cellars
High Country Cellars is not a vineyard. Owner Keith Roberts obtains his fruit from local farmers to develop a very large product line of sweet, semi-sweet, and dry wines. With 60 wines in their selection, I purchased most of my wine here for taking back home as their selection was incredible! Among my favorites were the Honey Mead, Sangria, and Peach. High Country is very innovative in their flavor mixing, sure to offer a wine for all taste buds.
White Oak Vineyards
White Oak Vineyards was immaculately clean and felt very serene, almost spa like. Owners, Dana and Randal Wilson, have successfully harvested the Sauvignon Blanc grape in Northern Alabama to produce a dry, yet fruitful Sauvignon Blanc wine. The couple has partnered with University of California at Davis and Auburn University to bring in disease resistant traditional grape varieties (such as Chardonnay) cultivated at UCD. White Oak now has over 7 acres of these grapes planted, with their first harvest of chardonnay in the bottle now.
DINNER – Gridiron
We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at the Gridiron Restaurant. It didn’t take long to see that this local restaurant was the town hangout on a Friday night. We enjoyed country music from a local artist and home cooked Alabama fare. The patrons dressed in cowboy boots and hats and the lively conversation was plentiful. We stayed quite a while after eating to enjoy the atmosphere.
The North Alabama Wine Tour makes for a wonderful fall or spring weekend getaway.
If you want to do the tour, start by booking your stay with Kris at The Secret Bed and Breakfast and visit North Alabama Wine Trail for more planning.