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Crenshaw County winery wins statewide awards

It’s made right here in Crenshaw County, and it can now boast about its award-winning status among the state’s

While most of Alabama’s  most notable wineries are located in the north central part of the state, South Ridge Wines, perched picturesquely above green pastures just a few miles from Fuller’s Crossroads, is fast earning a reputation for its products. The vineyards and winery, owned by the Pippin family, earned two gold and two silver medals during the Fifth Annual Alabama Commercial Wines Competition held on July 20 in Huntsville.

In the fledgling business’s first year of production, South Ridge’s 2018 Black Spanish and Gold varieties both took gold, while its 2018 Blanc duBois wines both won silver at the competition.

“We are humbled and immensely gratified all in the same breath,” South Ridge owner Matthew Pippin said after the local winery’s big win. “It’s a bit overwhelming to launch a new business and get statewide recognition with Gold and Silver awards.”

Pippin is proud of the old-fashioned homegrown aspect of his product, with the muscadine, Blanc duBois, Black Spanish and Lenoir grapes all carefully tended on land owned by his family for decades, then harvested by their own hands and those of close family friends.

“This is definitely a hands-on operation.  We do all the fertilizing, pruning, picking and bottling by hand. It’s done with love and care. Winemaking started out several years ago as a fun hobby for us, but it’s something that really gets into your blood and now it’s our business,” Pippin explained. “And we are  happy to produce a quality product worth folks making a trip to visit us and get their own to take home. We want our winery to be a destination for travelers and for wine lovers from this area—a delicious taste of Crenshaw County.”

The Pippin family prides itself on offering full-bodied wines using 100 percent of the grape juice without ever diluting it with water, with Matthew Pippin stressing, “We let the grapes do the talking.”

The winery’s distinctive red hilltop building houses the European-built vats used in the winemaking process and their tasting room, where visitors can sample any of the winery’s six varieties. In 2019, they also introduced a popular blueberry wine.

August kicks off harvesting season at South Ridge. Visitors can stop in and learn more about the wine making process, sample all the wines and shop among the goat’s milk soap and lotions,  hand-crafted jewelry and other gift items also offered in the tasting room.

South Ridge Winery is located three miles from the intersection of Highway 331 and Highway 50, at 3297 Live Oak Road just north of Luverne. The winery is currently open on Fridays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can contact them at (334) 429-0572 or visit their webpage at www.southridgewine.com to learn more.

South Ridge is one of 17 licensed wineries currently in the state producing more than 230 different varieties of wine.