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Louisiana WineriesWith an early French and Spanish influence, it's often assumed that the winemaking tradition is strong in Louisiana.

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 remains a challenge even today.

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 passing interest in growing the grape in Louisiana.

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.

Technically, Louisiana falls under the Mississippi Delta AVA (American Viticultural Area) that also encompasses Mississippi and Tennessee.

(Above right, the Feliciana Cellars Winery in Jackson, Louisiana.)

More information about Louisiana wineries around the Web:

Landry Vineyards - One of the state's newest entries begun in 1999 is located in West Monroe, La. with info on their tours, an online shop, photo gallery, map and directions.

Wild Bush Farm & Vineyard - Once known as Pontchartrain Vineyards, Wild Bush carries on the tradition of hosting local events and gatherings, plus check out the virtual tour with map and directions.

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