My sister and I went to the East Alabama Wine, Art, & Cheese Festival last weekend. It was held at Smith Farms Store, at exit 205 off I-20 west in Heflin, Alabama. Admission to the festival was free, but the tickets to the tasting were $25 at the gate. We were given free tickets to the tasting in exchange for this post.
The Smith Farms Store has been in business since 1955. The sell smoked meats, cheese, candy, jams, jellies, imported beer & wines, and spices and sauces.
Their advertising says it is the home of the best smoked meat, wine, and cheese. You can see more about the store at their facebook page.
There were several tasting booths at the festival. One of the first ones Linda and I stopped at was Bamawise. Bamawise is a specialty food supplier that believes products made in Alabama are the best available. They represent some of the finest products from small businesses from all over Alabama. We tasted some Peach Chutney from Holmsted Finest; some Watermelon Pickles from Pickled Pink; and some Cheese Cookies from Merry Cheese Crisps. We talked for a few minutes with Patrick Davis, who is one of the owners of Bamawise. He said they help individuals with a good recipe or idea for a product get it produced and into stores so they can make money. With this arrangement, the small producers can focus on their products, while Bamawise helps them get sales. It’s a win win partnership. All of the products we tasted were very good.
Next, Linda and I went on to what we went for–the WINE! And, there was plenty of that. We tasted wines imported from Italy, wines made in California, and wines made in Alabama. All were good, and I would have bought a bottle of each one I tasted if I had had a pocket full of money, but alas, I did not. So, here are the ones we tried and loved:
From World Wine Imports: Mango Moscato Premio Italy: An aromatic Sweet sparkling wine with natural mango flavors. A very sweet, bubbly wine that I loved. But then I love sweet wines.
I also like a good Riesling, which is a white, sweet, bubbly wine. Can you see a pattern here? My sister and I both tried the Northport Gemini, because we are both Gemini’s. It was good for a red wine.
We talked to Jules from Jules J. Berta Winery in Albertbille, Alabama. They had many varieties of wine available for tasting. Jules, show in the blue shirt above, said the winery has been in his family for over two hundred years. He and his wife, Becky were representing the winery at the festival. I tried their Riesling and loved it. We may go to Albertville for a tour.
The last booth we stopped at was for the Fruithurst Winery. This winery is just a few miles from my house, and I will be going there for a tour soon. I met Joshua and Dylan Laminack who own the winery and make the wine. They were fun to talk to, and posed for a picture for me:
Their wine offerings include several Muscadine wines, Blueberry, Peach, Strawberry, Blush and Blackberry wines. I tried the Sweet White Muscadine and it was so delicious. It tasted just like white muscadine grapes picked from the vine.
All of the wines, cheeses, and other treats we tried at the East Alabama Wine, Art, and Cheese Festival are for sale at Smith Farms Store in Heflin and Cullman, Alabama. For more information:
Smith Farms Store in Cullman, Alabama is located at 1-65 Exit 308 256-737-0505
Smith Farms Store in Heflin, Alabama is located at 1-20 Exit 205 256-463-4400
Oh! I did bring home one bottle: