MATHEWS, Ala. (WSFA) – When you think wine country, what comes to mind? I’m guessing you didn’t yell out “Mathews, Alabama,” first. Turns out, it’s a perfect climate and soil to make a special type of wine. It all started when Daniel and Rita Lewis semiretired in Alabama.
“I’m retired military,” said Daniel Lewis. “Twenty six years and two tours in Iraq.”
They both work full time jobs, and their hobby may be even more than full time.
“I like growing fruit, so I started planting fruit trees,” said Daniel Lewis.
“We started making jelly,” said Rita Lewis. “Well you can only have so much jelly. We were watching a show about making wine. I just threw it out there; we should make wine.”
“Like the old saying goes, if life gives you lemons make lemonade,” said Daniel Lewis. “Life gave us fruit, so we made fruit wine.”
So they spent several years trying different recipes, hoping to get that perfect mix.
“We just kept trying different ones based on the fruits we had,” said Rita Lewis.
By December 2018, Lake Point Vineyard and Winery was up and running.
“We are the only minority owned winery in the South,” said Daniel Lewis. “That includes Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana. In the whole United States there are only 12 minority owned wineries.”
They grow the fruit, make the wine on site, and they provide a unique atmosphere. It’s perfect for a Friday date night with wine tasting, or you can take it outside on their private lakefront beach.
“We have 24 different wines,” said Daniel Lewis. “We have sweet tea, called Bama Sweet. We have lemonade, called Limon Limon. There’s peach and Tonea’s Chocolate Cherry.”
“What I enjoy is that my husband and I get to do this together,” said Rita Lewis. “There is a real pleasure in making something we like, and we can share it with someone else who enjoys it just as much.”
With the winery taking off, who knows, one day soon they could really be enjoying the fruits of their labor.
“Then I might be able to retire from my day job, what!!!!” said Rita Lewis.
Wine country, who knew, in Mathews, Alabama.
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