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“Sweet Home Alabama”

The gently rolling landscape of Shelby Country is the backdrop for the vineyards planted at Lewis Lakes Vineyards. Long-time residents of this area may remember the buffalos roaming in the beautiful meadows across the highway from the vineyards. The original vineyard was planted in 2007 and consists of three varieties of what is widely known as muscadine grapes, specifically identified as Muscadinia rotundifolia. The original land where the vineyards were planted was part pasture and part woodlands so many of the trees had to be removed before planting. When planted, each vine is groomed to attach to a guy wire which is supported by wooden posts thereby supporting the expansion of the cordons to either side of the trunk. The vineyards lie just below picturesque Lake Michelle, one of two lakes on the property, and provides the water for the drip system that serves the vineyards.

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The vineyards are dormant during the winter months during which time each vine must be meticulously pruned by hand. They begin to produce leaves in the early spring and then flower in May. The fruit begins to appear in June and grows rapidly during the warm summer months. At maturity, each of the muscadine vines is expected to produce 75 to 85 pounds of fruit per season. The fruit ripens and is harvested by hand usually during the month of September but sometimes as late as October depending on the particular variety as well as seasonal variations.

Additionally, we grow and produce a Vitus vinifera hybrid grape known as Lenoir which is similar in appearance to the grapes you would see growing in California or France. Our very fine dark red wine is made from the fruit of this vine. The Lenoir is a very high maintenance grape and presents a difficult challenge to grow and prosper but the quality of the fruit and resulting wine is worth the extra care and attention.

During the season, our vineyards are colorful, scenic and just plain beautiful, but more than that, they are a visual reminder of the investment Lewis Lakes Vineyards has made in this community, this county and this state.