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Enoch's vineyard

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EAST TEXAS -

Altus was a grape farmer in South Africa but he sold his grapes to others who made the wine.

Altus was a grape farmer in South Africa but he sold his grapes to others to make the wine. Back in 2001, Altus moved to East Texas and met a doctor at church. "One day he [the doctor] asked me to go find a place to go plant the grapes and I thought he was joking" says Altus. But then, the doctor asked him again and Altus knew he was serious.

Enoch's stump is just north of Longview , Texas and you would swear you were somewhere else. It was a private home place but divorce put it on the market and the two families transformed it which overlooks the entire vineyard.

A lot of people visit for the lodge, which is over 3000 square feet. Then there's the winery where they don't crush the grapes with their feet except on special occasions for the kids. Instead, it's all very high tech. Once the grapes are crushed out to pour pure grape juice, it's pumped into tanks where it is chilled and mixed with yeast. The yeast turn the sugar into alcohol. Within about six months or so, the red wine is moved to oak barrels.

Altus says "the wine mixes with the oak and gives it that oak flavor."

That flavor has been a big hit already. Enoch's wines have won bronze, silver and gold medals. Not too bad for a fellow from Africa who never made it to the Napa Valley and who had also never made a drop of wine in his life until now. Altus and the doctor have made this little patch of East Texas sparkle.

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