Mapping a Modern Mississippi < Places < Old South Winery

Old South Winery

Old South Winery, Natchez, MS, was founded in 1979 by Scott O Galbreath Jr, DVM, and his wife, Edeen. Dr. Galbreath, Doc, remembers helping his Grandmother Vic make muscadine wine when he was a teenager; right across the street from the winery's present location! Doc and his favorite cousin, Louise, went to the woods, shook the vines and brought their juicy bounty home to learn at the feet of their German grandmother. Edeen encouraged him to start another career in the city and come home from the farms, so they decided to open a winery that specialized in muscadine wines.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Natchez.

The Stories

Credit to: Mississippi Public Broadcasting

Natchez holds a little sweet secret that has been a part of the historic landscape since 1979. It's the Old South Winery, which uses one of the state's perfect fruits: muscadines.

Scott O. Galbreath Jr., the son of a soybean and cotton farmer-turned veterinarian from Lorman, Miss., had some free time every year after the crops were laid. He started making a little wine that tasted pretty good—at least to him and his childhood friends.

On a recent trip to Natchez, my twin and I went to pick up a few bottles of wine (a little "communion" as we call it in the Hill Country) from the Old South Winery. While there, we got the rare opportunity to sit down and chat with Galbreath, the founder and owner of the winery...

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Credit to: Brinda Fuller Willis

The best wine starts with fresh fruit. At Old South Winery, the grapes are crushed, pressed and pumped into the cold room tanks within 8-12 hours of harvest! The juice is chilled, % sugar is checked, then yeast and sugar are added to the juice.

Temperature control is top priority in making wine. In fact, early winemakers in the Middle East discovered thousands of years ago that the best wines are made at cave temperature! We don't have caves here in south Mississippi, but we use electricity and the miracle of air conditioning to keep our fermenting juice at cave temperature - 56 degrees...

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Credit to: Old South Winery

We enjoy trying different regional wines and supporting family-run wineries. This was a fun stop, thanks to a humorous and friendly vintner who let us sample several of his wines using Muscadine grapes since 1979. We liked two of them enough to purchase them for sipping on our hotel patio beside the river (Carlos and Sweet Scarlett). We're Californians who run into California wines all over the world. Nice to try something new. Not far from town, easy to find, parking near the door. I recommend you stop and try these affordable wines yourself.

Credit to: Linda C., TripAdvisor Reviewer

Originally started by Scott O Galbreath Jr. decades ago, Old South Winery was one of the first of its kind in Mississippi. Now, it's a multi-generational family business using Mississippi muscadines to create a home-grown favorite. Even the decor is different, part Deep South hunting camp (complete with taxidermied trophy buck), part cutting-edge stainless steel.

"We have communion in here all day long," says Diane Galbreath. "I think about God all the time. Because Jesus didn’t say you just sit in church to have communion; He just said every time you do this you think about me."

Credit to: Modern Crew

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