A taste of home: Morgan Creek Winery creates distinctly southern wines
Published 1:14 pm Friday, July 17, 2015
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
HARPERSVILLE—With 13 different wines ranging from dry to sweet, Morgan Creek Winery has something to satisfy every palate. However, you won’t find a cabernet, chardonnay or pinot noir at this winery. The Harpersville original uses native Alabama fruits to create a unique selection of wines.
Nestled between rolling farm fields, Morgan Creek Winery is among the largest of Alabama’s 18 wineries, producing, packaging and shipping roughly 180,000 bottles of wine to 15 states each year from the Harpersville.
The winery was opened in 2000 by Charles Brammer Sr. His son, Charles Brammer Jr., joined the family business following his graduation from Birmingham-Southern.
“We just started as a hobby,” Charles Brammer Jr. recalled. “It just kind of grew from there.”
Morgan Creek Winery produces unique wines, blended from locally grown, native fruits, such as muscadine grapes, blueberries, apples and peaches.
“We have something that’s native and people grew up on,” Charles Brammer Jr. said. “We’re filling that niche, people like the sweeter wines.”
Although housed on a vineyard with 8 acres of muscadine vines and a 2-acre blueberry patch, Morgan Creek Winery relies on local growers to provide the 300 tons of muscadines, 40 tons of peaches and 21 tons of blueberries needed to create the wines.
Morgan Creek Winery only uses the freshest fruit to create wine, so the production process is largely determined by the harvest, Brammer explained.
“With us, you only have harvest once a year,” Brammer said. “You’ve got to have your game plan ready… we only use fresh fruit.”
The wine itself also varies depending on the harvest and the fruit.
“There’s not a recipe, it’s what God gives you because the fruit is different every year,” Brammer said. “What we’re doing is so different there’s not a book on it.”
After fruit is delivered to the winery, it is immediately crushed, fermented and stored for bottling. Morgan Creek Winery has 22 tanks, which can hold a total of 60,000 gallons of wine.
Unlike other kinds of wine, Morgan Creek Winery’s fruit and muscadine wines are not aged, Brammer explained.
“Most of our wines are better as young wines because we’re trying to capture that fruit flavor,” Brammer said.
In addition to the winery and vineyards, Morgan Creek Winery also has a tasting room, where guests can sample the variety of wines. The winery also hosts weddings and events, such as an annual grape stomp in September, a Fourth of July celebration and Music and Fireworks in the Vineyard throughout the summer.
For more information about Morgan Creek Winery and upcoming events, visit Morgancreekwinery.com.