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The Mad Hungarian Winery

This guy may own the place:Jules J. Berta

But this is who runs the show:Puppy with an attitude

The place is the Jules J. Berta Vineyards, located atop Sand Mountain in Albertville, Alabama. Recently I was treated to a wine tasting and tour of the Mad Hungarian Winery with a group of Alabama master gardeners. (I'm not a master gardener, but they let me tag along.) When one thinks of vineyards, Alabama may not immediately pop to mind, but there are a number of vineyards in my state, with most of them producing dessert wines. Muscadine grapes are common, and muscadine wine is a southern specialty. Jules J. Berta is man with family roots in the vineyards of Hungary, and he determined to broaden the spectrum. Folks said it couldn't be done, that his fancy grapes would be eaten up by the molds and viruses that thrive in our hot, humid climate. 

Mr. Berta proved the skeptics wrong, and his European style vineyards are thriving. His winery produces traditional red and white wines, as well as fruit wines and the classic muscadine wine. His Sylvaner received a wine rating of 89, which means it is very good with special qualities. I tasted it. I don't drink a lot of wine, so I'm no expert; but I thought it was very fine, indeed. It is the highest rated Alabama wine.My oldest son is getting this bottle of wine for his birthday.

The cute doggie, by the way, is about six inches tall, but he has a huge personality. He officially greeted the guests gathered under a large pergola for the wine tasting. Watch out for this Hungarian puppy, however, because if he likes you, he will lick your toes!


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Reader Comments (11)

The Hungarian puppy looks so adorable!

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Its really good that new areas are growing wines, and good that newcomers can show the old hands a thing or two! We have always been told that French wines are the best, but now here in the south of England, people are producing wines that beat the French in wine tasting sessions, and are now winning awards. Love the puppy!

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPauline Mulligan

looks great, it has always been a dream of mine to own a winery and make a living off my own wine.... who knows, maybe one day I might win the lottery....

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGraziella

We discovered a little known winery in the next town over from us and some of their wine is spectacular. Lucky you to have found a wine you really enjoy at a local winery. I loved visiting our little gem and seeing how they grow and process the grapes. We also found a couple of wines that we thought were spectacular.

If you haven't looked into the Wine Tasting Course at the Teaching Company, I highly recommend it. Steve and I purchased it and we are learning so much. You get a DVD and book, and for all of their programs, they get outstanding experts to teach the courses. You can really appreciate the various aspects of the wine's flavor after just a couple of lessons.

Anyway, you can find it here: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=9123 Keep an eye on the site... it;s on sale now for $45 but it was actually marked down even mower (I think we only paid $25 for the course DVD and book)

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCathy and Steve

I love discovering local wineries. I love the name of yours. I had no idea Alabama grew wine grapes. Sounds like a fun day! :)

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

so wonderful to see so many states having these lovely wineries...love the name

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

What a great trip. I had read about many of the great wineries on the "Alabama Wine Trail" but had never visited any. Definitively need to check them out. The summer sizzle has arrived it seems, hope you and Lou stay cool this summer!

June 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I didn't know wine was grown in your State, as the experts say humidity isn't usually good for grapes but experts can always be proved wrong. Christina

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I never realized you could grow grapes that far south. In NY there is a lot of vineyards and much wine making. I am not a wine drinker and would be useless deciding if wine is tasty or not, but it would be a fun place to visit and photograph.

June 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Well I would never have guessed you had a Hungarian winery in your neck of the woods! What a find! You must have had a wonderful day out.

The dog is great!

June 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gardening Shoe

That dog is so cute!

July 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay
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