Wine Tasting at White Oaks Vinyards
Name: White Oaks Vinyards
What: Tour the winery grounds, have a tasting, and bring home some goodies
Why: Fun low-impact activity for couples and families that pairs great with going out to dinner
Where: Take 10th St. East over the mountain following these directions into the countryside.
How: Call ahead 256-231-7998 to verify tour availability Fri 1-6 or Sat 10-6. Expect to spend an hour or two at the winery. All seasons.
The only Alabama Wine listed in Epicurious.com's 50 American Wines, Southern Oaks label wine Norton red is produced at White Oaks winery just 30 minutes drive east of Anniston.
Touring the winery is a relaxing, low-key activity just before going out to dinner. You'll get to walk the grounds (or just rock on the front porch) and have a sample of their wine: Muscadines, Fruit Wines, Whites, and Reds. Look forward to purchasing a few bottles.
Randal Wilson is the co-owner and winemaker at White Oak Vineyards. He is also the resident expert on growing most everything, from fruits to flowers and vegetables. He hails from Mobile, Alabama and still returns to the Gulf Coast as often as his winemaking duties will allow. Many of the farm's native flower collection comes from this area.
From the White Oaks web site:
White Oak is a small farm winery, meaning we grow the fruit and produce the wines for our trademark label, Southern Oak Wines. We planted the first vines in 1998, and since then have experimented with various grape varieties to match our climate and soil, otherwise known as terroir. Currently we have approximately 5 acres of wine grapes, including the Southern favorite, muscadine. We grow several varieties of muscadines, the most flavorful including carlos, pam, frye, noble, ison, and others. We also grow several French hybrid varieties for our dry wines. Presently, these are Villard Blanc, Chardonnel, Norton (Cynthiana), and Chambourcin. Soon we hope to introduce new Pierce Disease resistant varieties cultivated at the University of California at Davis, and in a field trial at the Clanton, Alabama experiment station, in cooperation with Auburn University. Thanks to our Alabama Winery and Grape Growers Association for their vision and hard work pulling this off.
Randal loves to plant all sorts of things and this includes red raspberries and the most absolutely wonderful blackberries you've ever tasted, approximately one acre of luscious, organically grown fruit. During the harvest season from approximately the first of June through July, look for fresh fruit sold at the winery, and in local farmers markets, at least that's the plan for this summer! The also farm boasts pecan and walnut trees, persimmon and peach trees, a large summer vegetable garden, and of course outstanding flower gardens.
The farm boasts a stunning collection of native rhododendrons and azaleas, including the most sought after oranges, reds, and yellows. Come for a glass of wine, sit by the pond, and enjoy the view. The flowers are at their peak in mid April, but every season has a beauty not to miss