Pontchartrain Vineyards is a little slice of the French countryside on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Tucked away in the town of Bush, near the Bogue Chitto River, its rows of grapevines are planted in a region of rich, well-drained soil that is ripe for producing quality wines.
Former lawyer John Seago founded the vineyard in 1991, using a five-and-a-half acre block of farmland to grow Pontchartrain Vineyards’ first crop. Initially the vineyard produced wines for New Orleans and Northshore restaurants, but soon expanded to stores and mail order, and in 1997 added a French Provincial-style tasting room that sold directly to visitors.
Pontchartrain Vineyards prides itself on its local connections. It’s actually billed as “Louisiana’s wine” for the fact that its labels pair well with Cajun and Creole cuisine Serve the Zydeco Rosato blend with gumbo and crawfish or the Rouge Militaire with Gulf-fresh amberjack caught in the waters of south Louisiana.
Pontchartrain Vineyards not only offers visitors the opportunity to sip a glass of Louisiana’s best. It also serves up local music with its Jazz’n the Vines concert series. Bring a blanket, grab a glass of wine and hear such Louisiana acts as Grammy award winners Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and “The Diva of New Orleans Rhythm & Blues,” Charmaine Neville.