Located far from the dominant wine regions of the United States, these family-owned wineries near Shreveport, Louisiana blend southern fruits with more traditional grapes. And their winemaking and expanding vineyards are fermenting success.
Owner Debbie Keckler started the winery for her On Cloud Wine near Shreveport in 2009 as a retirement investment. Now, the family-owned business is bottling 52,000 cases of wine a year. Some of the grapes used in this winery come from a small vineyard of muscadine grapes. Newly planted crimson cabernet vines will provide two acres of grapes for winemaking within a couple of years. The wine list here also includes a variety of sweet wines – blueberry with pinot noir, black raspberry with merlot, pomegranate with red zinfandel and peaches and apricots with chardonnay.
shreveport wineries keep in local
“All of the names on our bottles are part of Louisiana,” explains Keckler. She reads the labels as she lines up the bottles on the winery’s tasting bar. “This is our Sunset Rouge, the Blueberry Moon, the Black Bayou, and Penelope Peach with the Ruston peaches.”
As we talk on the outdoor patio, Keckler describes the scene, “it’s quiet, peaceful, listen to the birds. And we have some ducks that come up here. People really love it.”
Another Shreveport area winery with a twist
The Kickapoo Twist Winery is a 20 minute drive south of Shreveport. Eddie and Tracy Jordan operate the small winery and 5 acre vineyard next to their home in a rural area called Kickapoo. Eddie shows me a bottle of his muscadine wine and explains why the label includes a tornado and rooster. “This is the original Kickapoo Twist label,” Eddie says. “We’re in Kickapoo and a twister came up our driveway, and I like roosters.”
challenging climate for grapes
Northwestern Louisiana is far from the cooler and drier wine-growing regions of California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys. The southern climate with its heat, humidity and abundant rainfall is harsh on many types of grapes. Eddie, who teaches agriculture at the nearby high school, gives me a tour of his vineyard. He points out the southern friendly muscadines and blackberries. But his vineyard also includes rows of crimson cabernet and blanc du bois grapes that are nearing maturity.
Tracy Jordan, a dental hygienist, says she and her husband had differing ideas about winemaking. “He was thinking hobby and workroom,” she says. “I was thinking tasting room.” But their venture turned into a business when they planted an acre of crimson cabernet grapes, which can produce 6,500 pounds of grapes. “And that’s more wine than we can drink,” Tracy says with a laugh.
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getting to these shreveport wineries
On Cloud Wine Winery is located on the southwestern edge of Shreveport at 6936 Buncombe Rd, Shreveport, LA. Phone: 318-687-9816.
Kickapoo Twist Winery is located is located at 7670 & 7672 Hwy 5, Gloster, LA. Phone: 318-393-5004.