Making Wine And Visiting The Preacher

Think Brennan Vineyards was the first to make wine in Comanche County? Not so! Years before the winery was even thought of, Geneva Mercer was trying her hand at winemaking. Of course, the preacher would pick that exact time to come calling! LOL


Alton and I had probably been married two years and it was cold, cold, with snow and ice on everything. Mr. and Mrs. Yantis lived west of Grannie and Granddad Mercer, a house with a little dairy barn set up behind where the Wilson house was.

Mr. Yantis heard that Alton was sick so he came and brought a jar of wine and came to cut wood for us. As he cut the wood, he put it on the porch. Of course we didn’t have a cover over the porch, but I got it in the house out of
the snow.

That wine really did help Alton with his coughing so the next year Alton said, “I want you to get Mrs. Yantis1 recipe and make some of that wine.”
So I did.

Well, of course, the grapes came off at the time when it was revival time, which was the first of August. I had the grapes going and the wine was doing good.

We lived down there on the creek, and hot, oh, my goodness, it was hot and I looked out and here was our preacher, the visiting preacher, and the song leader. I had never asked men in my house before with Alton gone, but it was so hot. We didn’t even have a cover over the porch for them to stand in the shade.

So, I thought, “Oh well, I’ll invite them in”, and they didn’t get through the door until I thought about the wine. Oh, my goodness, SMELL!!!!!

We had four cane bottomed chairs, and we all sat there, and I didn’t offer them any water or anything. They sat there and talked a little bit, and I could just have cried. When they left I am sure they laughed until they cried leaving out of there. But anyway the wine did turn out real good, and everyone we gave a jar to just
went on about how good that wine was.

But that is not the end of the story about the wine. Years and years after that, my sister, Missy Jones, and I decided that we would make some wine. So while Alton and Darrell were working, we made our wine, went to town and got us some white cotton socks, and put them in that wine juice and let them dry. They were so nice and purple.

When the men came in for supper that night, we had those socks on, walked out on
the porch with no shoes, and stood out there with purple feet. Yes, we had been stomping
our grapes. Any way, we enjoyed the wine.


Mash grapes, cover with water. Let stand 4 days and stir every morning. Strain off, and add 1/2 gallon water to 1 gallon of juice.

To each gallon of juice, add 3 lbs. of sugar and let stand 3 or 4 days. Skim and stir every morning. Put in jars and seal, or bottles that seal.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for and marketing small-town Texas.
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