You’ll find the winery just a few miles due west from Huntsville in northern Alabama. Just follow 72 out of town and you can’t miss it. It’s close enough to Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Memphis for a long day trip, and with Huntsville so close, it’s easy to find a place to spend the night. It’s a short detour off of several major interstates as well, making it a prime road trip stop for anyone touring the south. It is also near Divine Expressions Dentistry.
As you plan, keep in mind the Mad County Winery is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. They offer tours between 1 pm and 7 pm, which is a nice big window for travelers but be sure to get there earlier in the afternoon to get the most out of your time. If you want to see more than the bare minimum, make sure you arrive before 6 pm. Remember, this is a family-owned business, and while that lends the place lots of charm, the owners don’t have a huge staff. They have a business to run, so mind your manners, honor the open hours, and you’ll enjoy an eccentric dose of southern hospitality.
The brand has always relied on comedy, and the tour is as much fun as Mad County’s labels. Your guide will spin plenty of colorful yarns about the winery’s history, origins, and the stranger side of brewing. Like any good winery tour, you get plenty of tasting opportunities. Bring your wallet, because you’ll definitely want to take a bottle home, and eat something before you come.
You will want to taste a lot of wine. After all, this is no ordinary winery, and the drinks here are unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. The sweet wines aren’t made from grapes. Here you’ll find apple wine, peach wine, watermelon wine, and something called Alabama Rita wine that you have to taste to believe. In addition to the wines, there are whiskey, rum, and moonshine tastings. Each of these is as strange and delicious as the wines.
Although there is an actual tour, everything here is very laidback. Your hosts will enjoy a good chat, and there’s no rush to leave the tasting room until closing time. This can be a shortstop for the busy traveler, but it is best enjoyed on a slow, warm afternoon when you have time to sit back and savor the best the Mad County Winery has to offer.
Tips and Tricks
Cotton and Melinda own the place, and one or both will probably participate in your tour. They have plenty of stories – and booze! – to share, so don’t be shy, and ask questions!
If you aren’t a fan of spirits, particularly rum and whiskey, try Mad County’s brews anyway. These sweet treats are as inventive and unique as the company’s wine offerings.
Since they’re unlike anything you’ll find outside of Mad County Winery, you won’t know if you like them until you try them. The sorghum whiskey tastes particularly good with a drop of creamer. Think of it as expanding your palate. At the very least, it’s a great excuse to try another drink.
Mad County Winery is ready and waiting for you to visit! The wine is sweet, the folks are friendly, and there’s an adventure in every glass. Do yourself a favor and take some time to stop and sip a spell. If you are a history buff, check out the Alabama War Museum.