LIVING AND LOVING LOCAL: Lone Star Vino
Vast and Beautiful, Texas is Known for Beef, Bluebonnets, Barbecue and Regional Wine Trails
By Robin Barr Sussman
The Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail is a collection of wineries that offer award-winning Texas wines, spectacular country views and much more. With its close proximity to Houston and Austin, you can make a day trip or take a break while antique shopping for winery tours, tastings, grape stomping, wine pairing dinners and concerts. Member wineries along the trail work together to present five seasonal events per year, including the upcoming Wine and Sausage Trail (October) and Holiday Wine Trail (December), so mark your calendars!
Eight miles from historic Montgomery, this small mom and pop boutique winery produces classic varietals including wines made with grapes unique to Texas like black Spanish (Crimson red blend) and blanc du bois (Blanc du Bois Estate white). The unique setting is atop an emerald green hill overlooking endless rolling hills and valleys. Think Tuscany.
9043 County Road 204, Plantersville, 936-894-9820, www.bernhardtwinery.com
CORK THIS! WINERY
Located on Highway 105 right in the heart of downtown Montgomery, this winery-retailer is a great place for teambuilding retreats (try a blending class), wine bottling parties, ghost tours (a walk through the historic district), private events, or just an escape from the daily grind for happy hour with friends to taste a large variety of wines.
21123 Eva, Suite 100, Montgomery, 936-597-4030, www.corkthiswinery.com
MESSINA HOF WINERY & RESORT
Based in Bryan on a 100-acre estate, award-winning Messina Hof was founded in 1977 by Paul Bonarrigo and his wife Merrill. A visit might include tours, a harvest festival with grape picking and stomping, sipping and shopping in the tasting room, fine dining and wine pairing at the Vintage House restaurant, or weekend getaways at the Villa Bed & Breakfast. The winery, which has garnered myriad awards worldwide, produces 50 (!) Texas varietals including a new canned wine.
4545 Old Reliance, Bryan, 979-778-9463, www.messinahof.com
PEACH CREEK VINEYARDS
Located between College Station and Navasota, just off State Highway 6, Peach Creek features an abundance of wildlife to watch while enjoying handcrafted wines on the sunset deck of the event pavilion. Expect Texas malbac, merlot and tempranillo in addition to several white wines made with grapes from the estate.
2029 Peach Creek, College Station, 936-825-3669, www.peachcreekvineyards.com
This College Station spot shares a location with New Republic Brewing Co. and Rio Brazos Distillery. The family-owned micro-winery specializes in American grown varietals, world grown blends, fruit-infused and dessert wines, all made on site. Stop by the tasting room and choose from nearly 60 wines by the glass and bottle and live music Thursday through Saturday evenings.
11405 North Dowling, College Station, 979-703-1843, www.perrinewinery.com
PLEASANT HILL WINERY
Situated in the rolling hills of Brenham, visitors can taste the wine traditions of the Zaffiro and Macedonio families on weekends while touring this countryside vineyard and winery. Sangiovese, rosé and sauvignon blanc are a few of the Texas varietals produced.
1441 Salem, Brenham, 979-830-8463, www.pleasanthillwinery.com
Located on a 360-acre ranch in Burton, halfway between Houston and Austin, one mile off Highway 290, the rolling hills around the winery offer scenic views of the vineyard and ranch. It’s a peaceful setting for visitors to unwind while uncorking blanc du bois, black Spanish (cabernet Franc), riesling and other wines.
958 FM 1948 North, Burton, 979-289-3858, www.saddlehornwinery.com
TEXAS STAR WINERY
Tucked back in the trees of historic Chappell Hill, visitors can expect plenty of Texas hospitality from the comfort of the winery’s tasting room and deck, or opt to bring a picnic and sip roussane, sangiovese, chardonnay and more under the canopy of several huge oak and pecan trees.
10587 Old Chappell Hill, Chappell Hill, 979-251-7282, www.texasstarwinery.com