Commercial Meadery Category: Commercial Meaderies
Driving 30 miles south of Albany, GA., past fields of peanuts, corn, and cotton, you turn on to a road of red Georgia clay. Drive a couple of miles down this road and all of the scenes are those that you would expect to find in rural Southwest Georgia. Then you round a bend in the road and see what some have called Shangri-La… acres and acres of Muscadine vines (also known as Scuppernongs and Swamp Grapes) and the unexpected discovery of Still Pond Vineyard and Winery.
Over 130 years ago, during the height of the Civil War, the discovery was just as exciting. Sitting on the banks of an isolated pond was a still, turning out peach brandy to provide comfort, relaxation, and escape for exhausted Confederate soldiers…thus the name Still Pond.
Through the years, the legend of Still Pond was enhanced by other proprietors of the still. Still Pond Vineyard owner Charles Cowart remembers, ” When I was growing up the Hunt brothers lived here and were known for the spirits they delivered around. Dad used to pick them up and bring them home. He told about finding one of them under a pine tree one morning with frost on his beard. Evidently the croaker sack of liquor had been sampled too liberally during deliveries and he did not make it home.”
Today, the Legend Of Still Pond continues, but with a much more legitimate (and legal!) direction. Charlie Cowart Sr. started over 45 years ago by planting a few muscadines, a grape variety native to the South… Still Pond Vineyard was born. The vineyard did well and Charlie Sr., along with his wife Peggy, continued to expand the vineyard with additional plantings each year. After the deaths of the elder Cowarts, son Charles and his wife Susan took over the operation Still Pond.
What started out as a location for weary Confederate troops to gain a little comfort with a bottle of peach brandy, has now become one of the largest commercial vineyard in Georgia. Charlie Cowart Sr’s small planting of muscadines has grown to become a commercial operation that is a reliable supplier of fresh Muscadine juice for a growing list of wineries across the Southeastern United States. Whether you call them Muscadines, Scuppernongs, or Swamp Grapes, this grape, native to the South, is a wonderful source of great taste.
Also new to the product line are Still Pond Meads. A mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water. Some claim that mead was the first alcoholic drink, predating wine and beer.