Old South Winery added to state agritourism list

Published 12:05 am Sunday, October 7, 2012

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Old South Winery Diane Galbreath talks to a customer as she boxes up bottles of Miss Scarlet wine for them Friday afternoon at the winery, located at 65 S. Concord Ave.

NATCHEZ — Agritourism isn’t a term most people are familiar with — yet.

But according to Old South Winery owner Scott Galbreath III, it is something that is catching on and becoming a trend with people all over the United States.

Old South Winery in Natchez was recently added to a growing list of sites across Mississippi that offer people a way to see where local products are grown and produced.

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“It’s becoming a trend where people want to see where things come,” Galbreath said. “People are wanting more locally made and homegrown products.”

Sandy Bynum, communication bureau manager for the Mississippi Development Authority’s tourism division, said the Mississippi Agritourism trail was launched three years ago to help promote local agricultural attractions.

“Mississippi is an agricultural state,” Bynum said. “There is a growing number of people wanting to do what they call ‘green activities.’

“In Mississippi, we’ve been doing (green activities) for years.”

Galbreath said agritourism is good for small businesses like his and helps draw people that might have otherwise not known about Old South Winery.

“The government is trying to help promote small business in the state and get the word out to consumers,” Galbreath said. “Hopefully, through agritourism, people will come out and not only take a tour but buy some wine.”

Bynum said agritourism is a way to showcase products and ways of life that are unique to Mississippi and the South.

“There are some people that may never have seen a muscadine or had the chance to see how a farm works,” Bynum said. “Through the agritourism sites, people have those opportunities and many more.”

Bynum said sites included fish hatcheries, corn mazes and working plantations.

At Old South Winery, Galbreath said his tours — depending on the time of year — show how the muscadines are juiced, where the juice is kept while fermenting and how it is bottled.

“People actually get to see the equipment used in producing the wine and on some days see it being bottled,” Galbreath said. “We explain the whole process and give a lesson on wine making.”

Galbreath also allows visitors to taste the different varieties of wine he produces.

Bynum said agritourism is continuing to grow and it is something Mississippi can thrive in.

“Mississippi has a lot of potential through agritourism,” Bynum said.

Old South Winery tours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 601-445-9924 or go to www.oldsouthwinery.com.

For more information on agritourism, go to www.visitmississippi.org.