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From the vine to the bottle, Fruithurst Winery Co. makes muscadine magic

Fruithurst Winery

Jessica and Dylan Laminack box up bottles of reserve muscadine wine at the end of the wine making process at the Fruithurst Winery in Fruithurst Alabama. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

France and California probably come to most minds when one thinks of winemaking regions, but folks in Cleburne County are happy to remind you they make their modest contribution, too. Indeed, that’s how the town of Fruithurst got its name — the Alabama Fruit Growers and Winery Association came to the area in 1894 to create a center of grape-growing and winemaking. They bought 20,000 acres of land and recruited people, mainly northern Europeans, to work the land and plant vineyards.

Eventually supply exceeded demand, and that coupled with Prohibition put an end to the local winemaking business.