an early French and Spanish influence, it's often assumed that the winemaking tradition is strong
The reality is that early European settlers were not so interested in growing their
own. Rather, they were more keen on importing the 'genuine' article direct from Europe. And so the Mississippi River became a main avenue for shipments of imported
wine from France and Spain.
Of course, the hot, muggy climate also played a part in the struggle that local grape growers underwent -- battling vineyard pests and diseases that even today remains a challenge.
That's not to say that regional winemaking was totally without merit. According to the historical records, at least one homegrown wine (made from local Cynthiana grapes) went on to win awards at the World Industrial Exposition at New Orleans in 1885.
Prohibition finally eliminated any scant interest in growing the grape.
Today, there are only a handful of wineries that call Louisiana home, a situation that will likely continue until a hybrid grape is developed to withstand the heat and humidity of the Deep South.