Locals make homemade wine at Sturdivant Hall

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Making wine from native fruits has been a tradition in Dallas County and lower Alabama since anyone can remember.

Tuesday at Sturdivant Hall,

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Selmians continued the tradition converting Muscadines, the red, grape-like fruits with a sweet taste and slimy texture, and scuppernong fruits, which are similar to white grapes, into mash, the first step in wine making.

Vicky Stoudenmire and Tracye Howe-Murphy volunteered to do the stomping.

After carefully washing their feet in a fountain they were carried and dropped into two separate wash tubs filled with the fruit.

It took the women about 25 minutes to crush the grapes sufficiently.

Robert Gordon estimated that it took an hour to pick the berries for each tub and that each tub would produce about six gallons of wine.

Next, the mash is poured into big butter churns, yeast and sugar is added and the fermentation process begins.

The fermentation will take place at Gordon’s Antiques on Mabry Street.

The original recipe was given to Robert Gordon by Jeff Ratcliffe.

The potency is measured the old fashioned way.