A peek into our past
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
– Marcus Garvey
A man named Kramer founded the town of Bremen, GA in 1883. He named the town for his beloved hometown of Bremen, Germany. Kramer owned huge tracts of land which he planted in vineyards. Vineyards covered the area where the Hubbard Slacks facility is located. The hillside adjacent to Higgins Memorial Hospital was also dotted in grapevines. The area was a true melting pot with its citizens hailing from all over the world.
In 1888 an entrepreneur named Ralph Spencer enticed 200 Hungarian families to move to Haralson County, GA. These Hungarian men were working in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. It was not hard to encourage them to plant and tend vineyards as their forefathers did in the old country. So, they packed their belongings and moved to the fresh air of Georgia.
There were three vineyard communities. Trillium Vineyard borders two of those communities, Nitra and Tokaj. Budapest, the third, was a short distance away. The vineyards thrived, and the wine was shipped by rail all over the nation. There was a glass blowing facility to make the wine bottles, a basket weaving business to make the harvest baskets, and a resort hotel to house and entertain the tourists. The Prohibition Act was enacted in Georgia in 1907, and the vineyards were reportedly burned. The Lithia Springs Hotel was dismantled, and the lumber was used to build residential homes in Tallapoosa. Most of the Hungarian families returned to the coal mines of PA where they could find work.
In an effort to return to our area’s roots, Bruce and Karen Cross began to research the possibility of planting a vineyard. The land had a rich history of grape cultivation. It is in a Piedmont area with rocky soil and gently sloping hills. Piedmont areas produce wonderful wines in other countries. Could our piedmont produce great wine, too? In 2012 they hired a vineyard consultant, Fritz Westover, to come and advise. Fritz had a deep auger that he used to bring up soil samples. The farther he went into the earth, the more excited he became. “This soil is perfect for grapes!” he exclaimed. And so it is!
Trillium Vineyard was planted
Tasting room vineyard planted
First bottling of Blanc du Bois
Tasting room opened
Trillium Vineyard awarded the Colonel William Stephens Winery of Distinction by the Georgia Trustees Wine and Spirits Challenge
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