Winery shows local growth

Published 8:30 pm Thursday, May 2, 2019

Today, LaGrange has one more winery than it did less than two weeks ago. For the last several months, Neil and Trish Liechty have been overseeing renovations to Nutwood Plantation, in an effort to prepare the property and budding winery for public consumption. After a series of soft openings, the Liechtys are prepared to unleash the space for all to see and use.

Nutwood Plantation, named for the approximately 200-year-old pecan trees that grow on the property, holds the title of the only property to produce commercial wines within LaGrange and offers a family-friendly atmosphere to boot. With the Nutwood Plantation mansion on the property, which was built in 1833, the winery and vineyard offers a setting that cannot be easily matched, locally or elsewhere.

While the winery will no doubt be a success and attract visitors from far and wide, the opening of the business is just the latest significant step for the city of LaGrange as it relates to increased economic activity in the city. Business owners and entrepreneurs in LaGrange and Troup County have recognized the need for breweries and brewpubs over the last 24 months, which has led to the installation and success of Wild Leap Brew Co., Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse in West Point and Beacon Brewing Co. in LaGrange. All three have opened up since 2017 and have all developed fans and loyal customers throughout the area in that time. It was only a matter of time until potential entrepreneurs and business owners recognized the potential for a winery to work.

Wines from the plantation will not show up in retail stores in the near future, most likely, as the Liechtys approach growth and expansion like the tortoise approached the race with the hare. Slow and steady. The couple is putting a premium on perfecting their offerings in-house before branching out further. With seven wine varieties already bottled, the Liechtys expect to have 12 by midsummer, most of which are fruit-based.

“We are trying to get fruit with the wines for just a little different flare,” Neil Liechty said. “Most of it is still grapes, but if you add enough fruit to it, then you can smell the fruit. It is good.”

With a burgeoning brewing industry in the county, the wine industry will not be far behind, we are sure.