About 40 miles from Albany, down a dirt road sits Still Pond Winery, Southwest Georgia's first licensed winery.
This land wasn't always the family owned and operated vineyard it is today but it does have the history to match.During the height of the Civil War, a liquor still sat along the banks of the pond making peach branding which provided comfort and relaxation for the Confederate soldiers, hence the name "Still Pond." Then during Prohibition the Hunt brothers made moonshine on the farm. Owner Charles Cowart jokes that they are the first legal alcohol producers on the land.
Originally the Cowart family was hand picking grapes for supermarkets and other wineries. When times got tough they turned to making their own wine. Now a third generation run business and the next member of the Cowart family, who will take over when he is bigger, just turned three.
The entire wine making production happens right there at the vineyard.
"We grow the grapes, we crush them, we press, ferment them, bottle them and sell as much as we can," said Charles Cowart, owner and President of Still Pond Vineyard.
They grow about 180 acres of grapes featuring six different grape varieties. Some are sweeter, others and dryer but all are made from Muscadines.Muscadines are the native grape to the Southeastern United States. It's the southern equivalent to the northern Concord grape. Muscadines have a very distinct taste and smell which makes for a fruity, smooth, easy drinking wine. Still Pond Vineyard is in Calhoun County just two miles off Highway 62 between Leary and Arlington. They are open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and always offer complimentary wine tastings of their 20 different labels. For more information on Still Pond Winery, or to order some of their Muscadine wine, check out their website.