This guy may own the place:
But this is who runs the show:
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.
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!