Jules J. Berta Vineyards in Albertville wins 2016 Alabama Winery of the Year

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. -- The 2016 Alabama Commercial Wine Competition boasted 50 wines from 13 wineries and two breweries.  This year, Jules J. Berta Vineyards, a Marshall County winery with roots deep in its craft took home the top award - Winery of the Year.

Jules Berta's family's home in Albertville is surrounded by the beginnings of what makes their livelihood thrive. Everything the winery produces is a product of the family's land and work.

For them, it's a craft that spans generations. "My father had a hobby of growing wine grapes and it probably goes back in our family probably a couple hundred years," Berta says. "We've got some cellars that go all the way back to almost the 1700s in Hungary. We started in 2007, but my father moved down here in 1983," added Berta.

"We started making some wine and planting more grapes and then making more wine. Then from turning into a hobby ,it turned into an obsession from an obsession it turned into a business," Berta explained.

At the Big Spring Crush Wine Festival in downtown Huntsville in September, Jules J. Berta Vineyards received an award its customers would attest to.  "We got Winery of the Year and we got several gold medals on some of our wines.  We're real proud of that," Berta said.

The winery was also awarded Best Sweet White Wine for their "Born Dixie," Best Fruit Wine for their "Dog at Large," and Best Label also for their "Dog at Large."

The winery is continuing a tradition that spans continents and generations to pass down through even more. The awards are the result of a combination of family, history and tradition -  right in the heart of Sand Mountain.

Here is the complete list of the "best of" winners in the 2016 Alabama Commercial Wine Competition:

2016 Commissioner’s Cup
Alabama Wine of the Year:
Hodges Vineyards and Winery 2015 “Lenoir”

2016 Alabama Winery of the Year:
Jules J. Berta Vineyards

Best Dry White Wine:
Maraella Winery 2015 “Riesling”

Best Sweet White Wine:
Jules J. Berta Vineyards 2015 “Born Dixie”

Best Rosé Wine:
Bryant Vineyard:  “Dixie Blush”

Best Dry Red Wine:
Hodges Vineyards and Winery 2015 “Lenoir”

Best Sweet Red Wine:
Hidden Meadow Vineyard “Meadow Rose”

Best Muscadine Wine:
Bryant Vineyard “Dixie Blush”

Best Fruit Wine:
Jules J. Berta Vineyards “Dog at Large”

Best Specialty Wine:
Salty Nut Brewery “Vern’s Pomegranate Cider”

Best Label:
Jules J. Berta Vineyards “Dog at Large”