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Landry Vineyards

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It's not Tuscany, Italy or Napa Valley, California...It's West Monroe,Louisiana where grapes are grown and wine is the final product.  And behind this little venture is Jeff  and Libby Landry of Landry Vineyards.  "looking for something we could do as a family. Agriculturally, where you take a raw product, add value to it, and stability. And we found the wine business and it fit that model perfectly."

Who would have thought that here in North Louisiana we can grow grapes and produce wine.  Well not too long ago a hurricane named Katrina devastated South Louisiana and uprooted the Landry family and their family  business.  Fast forward to now and you have Landry Vineyards in West Monroe.  They've been there now for eight years.  

But hold on, Jeff says it's not that unnatural to say "Louisiana Wine" when you learn what already grows wild in these parts. "go walk in the woods and see what you find. And what you'll find is lots of muscadines. And muscadines are a grape. It's a wild grape." don't get me wrong....we're not Napa valley. But according to Jeff, muscadine is not the only grape that can grow here. "we have some good disease resistant wine grapes that grow great in the South. And there's more coming."

Jeff and Libby not only make reds and whites but they also make wines that are more familiar to a southern palate.  "people love muscadines here in North Louisiana. So we make muscadine wine. Peaches. People love peaches. So we make a peach muscadine wine."

Blackberry and other cultural wines that are influential here in the south are also produced at Landry.  But right now it's winter and the vines are bare, but come Easter this place is going to be budding and by July you can have grapes.  Right now, Jeff is tending to other aspects of wine making. "this is pruning season. And that's what we're doing right now is preparation for the Spring budding. Which is gonna occur somewhere around Easter. Jeff says grapes don't waste time maturing as they go from bud to harvest. "from day to day you can almost measure the growth."

At maturity, the grapes are harvested and then....."we bring them straight up to the winery. Crush them as soon as possible. And if it's a white wine, we're going to juice it. Pump it into the tank and ferment it. If it's a red grape it's fermented on the skins."

In the wine room is the wine tanks.  The wine tanks is where they store all their wine. And as you scan the room with the faint aroma of wine in the air, something will catch your eye.  A blatter press. It was actually used on the show Duck Dynasty.

After the crushing and a little time, the juice is then sent to the next process....barreling and storage.  And this is done in the wine cellar. This is where they keep all their reds. You keep wine in barrels in cellars because you wanna be able to control the temperature and humidity.  "we typically age our dry reds in here for one year."

After the tour we even had time for a bit of wine tasting ourselves.  "Really nice, clean, crisp, tropical fruit character."  "This is seventy percent from our property and the rest of it is cabernet, merlot, "  I could taste the barrel. And fruitiness of the aged wine.  I love that. Absolutely love that.  Thanks Jeff!

And what's a good wine without some music.  "Our concert series. People just love coming out here. Sitting on the side of the hill. Drinking a glass of wine. We make it a family event. Lots of kids running around having a good time."  Their concerts run from Spring through Fall. Jeff brings out local artists for guests to enjoy while sipping their local wine. And what's a concert without food. "We're about local wine right? So we need to be about local food. Local music. We do Cajun food of course. We're from South Louisiana. From boudin, red beans and rice. White beans and rice."

This is not just a winery by any stretch but a place to come unwind with the family with good Cajun food and music.  

 

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