Road trip to Alabama means wine?

When you take a road trip to Birmingham to visit family, the last thing you may think about is wine. But all along I-65 are signs for wineries. Too many to stop at or you'll never get to your destination.

We are on the road to visit my daughter who is a ballerina in the Alabama Ballet. Before overnighting in Louisville, KY Janice and I stopped at River City Winery in New Albany. New Albany is just over the Ohio River, north of Louisville.

As an avid reader of industry news, I had read many mentions of this winery especially their award winning Vignoles.

Vignoles is a white grape that is a cold hardy and bred from Riesling. It's the bottle on the left in the photo above. This varietal was developed by the French viticulturalist Ravat and so it's technical name in the vineyard is Ravat 51.

As a home wine maker, I love working with this grape since it has a good deal of flexibility in terms of finishing (from dry to sweet) and has tropical aromas with bracing acidity. Being cold hardy, its great grape for the Midwest and is a late harvester usually picked in October so has plenty of time to ripen on the vine.

We were not disappointed!

After trying all the wines that River City Winery makes, we bought a bottle of Vignoles (early harvest) to drink with our dinner. It was a great find and we had an excellent meal with wonderful service!

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