Home / Features / Community / Kickapoo Twist Vineyard and Winery
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Kickapoo Twist Vineyard and Winery


Book your wine tasting at Kickapoo Twist Vineyard and Winery.

Wine that maketh glad the heart.”

Psalms 104:15

Tracy and Eddie Jordan grew up on farms in Sabine Parish and were educated on the lessons of agriculture and country living.

Unlike too many of their peers, they opted to remain close to their roots and create a marriage and a business that mellows with age.

Tracy is a full-time dental hygienist, and Eddie is a full-time agriculture teacher in Stanley, La. But those essential and respected jobs are not all that occupy their lives. Now, their “roots” are literal and produce a vintage bounty.

They are the sort-of part-time proprietors of a budding vinery in Kickapoo, La., a community just east of Gloster and about 17 miles north of Mansfield; they opened their second career venture on part of their five-acre home site in 2019.

Twenty varieties of wine are offered.

“This was all my husband’s idea,” Tracy said. Eddie was always in agriculture and teaching agriculture, and their children were involved with 4H and FFA.

Tracy said, one day, Eddie announced, “I’m tired of animals, I’m going to plant some grapes.”

“He started with a few and then did some research. He wanted the Crimson Cabernet out of Indiana. It’s trademarked and patented. An older gentleman created it. His name is Lucien Drexell.”

So, they signed a business deal to produce the grapes in Sabine Parish.

“I thought my husband had lost his mind,” Tracy said, but the community has responded. “We’ve had a lot of community support, especially through the tourist bureau out here. We’re in the Bible Belt here, and a lot of people don’t like that we’re producing alcohol. But I try to remind them that Jesus turned water into wine.”

When they took on the varietal contract, Eddie told Tracy that the yield could reach 6,500 pounds of grapes in five years. “I said, that’s way more than we can drink. So, he started working on his ATC [Alcohol and Tobacco Control] license. This is a dry area. So, we had to get approval to have a winery here. The police jury granted us a license, and we got our ATC and worked from there.”

They started with a small tasting room on the side of Eddie’s mother’s house. As the project grew, that expanded. They eventually added a food truck and started opening their place on weekends for the locals to sample their wares.

Kickapoo Twist owners Tracy and Eddie Jordan.

“We’re open year-round. Our busiest months are usually October, November and December. People come out to buy Christmas gifts because it’s a local product. Usually, everything is harvested at the end of July into August. It depends on the weather.”

Sometimes, it goes badly.

“We had a bad year. We have two grapes that bloom early. They were in full bloom, and we had two nights of 29-degree weather, so Chris [Alexander of Hillcrest Farms] gave us blueberries, and we crushed and pressed them. We created some blueberry wines. I did the blueberry sangria, vanilla almond blueberry, sweet blueberry and one I named Blue Jean Beauty Queen. We try to come up with some cute names.”

Currently, the couple offers about 20 varieties of wine. They create and blend their own crimson cabernet with a pinot noir, which Tracy dubbed Sabine Red. “I do a Rollin’ on the Red that [is] a Syrah and our cab[ernet] blend. We do a lot of fruit wines. The most popular selling things are usually sweet wines.

We’ve got peach, watermelon, raspberry, blackberry and cherry. We grow the Spanish red, too, and I blend some of the fruit wines to that.”

It’s not all been wine and roses for the Jordans, though. In 2015, a tornado severely damaged their home. “We had to move out for five months while our house was being rebuilt,” Tracy explained. The twister leveled their barn and forced them to move to Shreveport’s Broadmoor neighborhood while their place was restored.

Through it all, Tracy tried to remain positive. They used the experience to help create the name of their venture, Kickapoo Twist Vineyard and Winery. “Kickapoo is the name of our community. Kickapoo Corner is right here. This area had Kickapoo Indians in it.” The twist is for the twister that blew an ill wind their way.

“You just have to put your boots on and muddle on through it,” Tracy asserted. “Right now, we’re not interested in being in stores.

At some point, that might change. Since we both have full-time jobs, this isn’t what feeds us, so we can take our sweet time.”

You can visit them on Facebook at Kickapoo Twist Winery and Vineyard.


The Forum News