Feed Your Soul: The Thirsty Farmer Winery
531 LA-144, Calhoun
CALHOUN, La. (KNOE) - Wine is normally not associated with Northeast Louisiana, but The Thirsty Farmer is trying to change that perception.
Located in Calhoun, it recently opened and invites people to try wine here in the area, but not without some food as well. The winery is currently open to the public Saturdays from noon to 8:00 p.m.
Owners Michael and Savanah Ray started the process a few years ago when they went to California for a conference. They took some time to roam around Napa and Sonoma Valley. They decided to try their hand at making wine, so they bought some grapevines.
“We thought those would be fun to try, so we planted them. And they grew for three years,“ Michael Ray said.
They found out that it was not as easy as it looked, there was more to wine than growing grapes.
“As soon as they started to mature we found out real quickly that they had a disease that we didn’t even know anything about,” Michael Ray explained.
They didn’t want to give up on their dream and decided to find the knowledge they needed for them to succeed.
“We messed up some wine,“ Savanah Ray said. ”We learned that we need to be more educated, so we went to enology and viticulture classes at Grayson University in Denison, Texas.
Once they figured out the science, they started to focus on getting products out to friends and family to try. They made a few different ones and found those that worked. They even had some extra hands to help in the fields -- their children.
“They were always out there always helping, playing in the dirt, helping dig holes and pull trellis wires and everything,” Michael Ray said.
Even now, the kids help out at the winery. Porter Ray, one of the children, has even started to try her hand at being a chef, offering flatbreads and charcuterie boards at the winery.
“Here we do have three different types of olive flatbreads it all bread Margarita and they have a pepperoni that you can give to adults or your kids,” Porter Ray explained.
They are amazing and complement the wine as well.
Watching her parents struggle through hard times has taught Porter Ray important life lessons.
“So if I have a struggle, it’s just kind of like ‘Well, I’ll just follow what they did -- pursue a dream, and see what it brings me,” Porter Ray said.
When you have some time to head to The Thirsty Farmer Winery, take a moment with some friends, relax with some wine and food, and feed your soul.
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