(AL Mountain Lakes Tourism/Contributed)

Few things are hotter than an Alabama summer. By late-July, locals and visitors alike are searching for inventive ways to beat the heat. While it might not be the first activity to come to mind, you can’t get cooler — literally and figuratively — than meandering down the North Alabama Wine Trail.

Made up of six wineries nestled within the mountains and valleys of North Alabama, the trail creates a breathtakingly scenic road trip. The vineyards are all within 75 miles of each other; several can be visited in one day, or all of them in a weekend.

Located in the southern tier of the Appalachian Mountains, the trail consists of Jules J. Berta Winery (Albertville), Wills Creek Winery (Attalla), Maraella Winery (Hokes Bluff), Fruithurst Winery Co. (Fruithurst), White Oak Vineyards (Anniston) and High Country Cellars (Heflin). Each winery hosts wine tastings and has bottles available for purchase.

(AL Mountain Lakes Tourism/Contributed)

Experience the Alabama Wine Trail as a romantic getaway with your partner, with your closest couple friends, or even as a fun weekend away with the girls. No matter how these beautiful vineyards are explored, nothing is cooler on a hot summer day than sipping a glass of chilled local wine with friends or loved ones. At Jules J. Berta Vineyards, for example, you can relax and take in the scenery while filling up on their wood-fired pizzas and — for a real treat — signature wine slushies. How “cool” is that?

And now, enjoying North Alabama’s wine country is easier than ever: Thanks to newly passed legislation, beginning August 1, Alabama’s small farm wineries will now be able to self-distribute their wines to retailers and sell directly to consumers under Act No. 2021-440. Wineries will also be able to ship their products directly to Alabama homes. This is good news for local vineyards and wine drinkers — More business for wineries and more options and convenience for consumers.

Ready to hop on the trail? AL Mountain Lakes Tourism makes it a breeze to plan, customize and receive discounts on your trip with their North Alabama Wine Trail App. Download it to your mobile device and let the coolest scenic summer adventure begin. We’ll drink to that!