Life in the Vineyard
MATTHEWS, Ala. (WBRC) - He is an Army vet. She served in the Navy. He is from Florida. She grew up in The Texas Panhandle. Yet, the marriage of Daniel and Rita Lewis works well, and they’ve turned their partnership into Lake Point Vineyard and Winery.
“I’m retired military, Army, 26 years, two tours in Iraq,” explains Daniel. “My last tour in Iraq I got blown up by an I-E-D, almost died. I just prayed to God. Let me make it back to America in one piece, just want to get a little piece of property and live the rest of my days. So, I was blessed with this 10-acre piece of property. That’s our home over there and I’m from Florida so I brought a little Florida with me. Got the beach out there and palm trees. So, I told my wife, being from Florida I didn’t want to plant anything I can’t eat. We bought this place in 2009. In 2009, we planted 15 fruit trees, 2010 we planted 15, 2011 we planted 15 and 2012 we planted 15. By 2013 we had so many peaches, pears, plums, figs, apples we didn’t know what to do with them. My wife came up with the idea of let’s try to make some wine.”
Rita remembers, “By the time the idea came of making wine, it just seemed like, what are we going to make it out of? We’ll just make it out of what we got. We got too many muscadines. We got too many watermelons. Make it out of watermelon. Whatever we got. Some of the unique wines that we have are wines that it was just like, we think this, and this might be good. OK. Let’s just go ahead and try the ratio and see where the sweet spot is with whatever it is.”
Daniel explains the process, and the variety, “Our peach wine, speaking of Alabama, this is Clanton peaches, best peaches in the States, and this next one over here is our traditional Cab. We call it Classic Red is our traditional Cabernet. This next one over here is our one and only dessert wine. We call it Chocolate Cherry.”
“Daniel was the one who had the idea,” Rita continues. “We should have a Sweet Tea and Lemonade Wine. Daniel comes up with all the catchy names.”
Daniel says all their experiences have been a part of Lake Point, “My wife was in The Navy stationed in Italy and Greece. So, she saw all this stuff out there I was in The Army stationed in Germany, Korea and, of course, Iraq. So, I see all this stuff. We brought a little world-wide to here in small town Alabama.”
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