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If you don’t think of wine when you think of Texas, you’re probably missing out. The Lone Star State may play second fiddle to some of the more well-known U.S. producers of Napa or Oregon’s Willamette Valley, but the offerings of Texas wineries are no less sophisticated or well-balanced. Along the historic main street of Grapevine, a charming town just outside of Dallas, you’ll find a great selection of some of the best Texas has to offer.
Texas, my original home state, is the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the U.S., just ahead of our current home state of Pennsylvania. A couple of years ago, we got to visit some wineries in the Texas Hill Country where we tried a great sampling of the varietals grown in Texas. So, when the opportunity arose to visit Grapevine wineries, we jumped at the chance to try more. Here’s a look at some of the stand-out wineries we loved most along the Grapevine wine trail.
In a 110-year-old Victorian home just off main street is one of the oldest Grapevine wineries, Homestead Winery. For nearly 20 years, this tasting room has been a mainstay of the Grapevine community, offering a wide variety of white, red, and specialty sweet wines. The porch and outdoor seating invite visitors to stay for a while.
Homestead Winery’s products are made from grapes grown on their property in East Texas as well as grapes from the Texas High Plains. There are so many choices, visitors are sure to find several to enjoy from the generous tasting portions provided.
Top Picks: White Rose, an approachable, dry white with a hint of fruit; Zinfandel Proprietor’s Reserve, a great red that’s been barrel-aged for 30 months; Chocolate Rose, a Cabernet infused with dark chocolate
Sloan & Williams Winery
From the moment we stepped into Sloan & Williams Winery, it was impossible not to be impressed. The massive, polished bar stretched ahead of us, welcoming us for a tasting, while a group of bottles hung heavy with their respective medals and honors along the wall. A relatively recent addition to the Grapevine wine trail, Sloan & Williams opened in July 2014 and has quickly made a name for itself.
During our tasting, there were more than 10 sweet, red, and white wines to choose from, made with a variety of grapes from around Texas and California. Sloan & Williams also hosts frequent live music events and serves tapas and a locally famous wine ice cream.
Top Picks: Spectrum, a blend of Chenin Blanc, Muscat, and Mourvedre, which got its name because it “goes with everything”; Sangiovese, a bold, peppery red
Messina Hof Winery
One of the pioneers in Texas wine, Messina Hof is also a relatively new addition to the Grapevine wine trail, moving into the area in late 2014. Located in the replica of the red-brick Wallis Hotel, Messina Hof offers a huge selection of modern wines in a unique, 19th-century environment. In the multi-story space, we saw memorabilia from the original Wallis Hotel, a sleek tasting bar, and even a balcony that provides a great view over Grapevine’s historic downtown.
With other locations in Bryan and Fredericksburg, Texas, the Grapevine tasting room is Messina Hof’s first urban winery. This location features more choices – red, white, dessert, and sparkling – than we can name and has options in the bottle and on tap (genius!).
Top Picks: Private Reserve Gerwurtztraminer, a semi-sweet, aromatic white; Private Reserve Sangiovese, a full-bodied red with hints of fruit
In the historic Dorris/Brock home, one of the oldest buildings in Grapevine, Cross Timbers Winery features more than 10 varietals for thirsty visitors. Like several other Grapevine wineries, Cross Timbers Winery sources its grapes – which tend to be Spanish, French, and Italian in origin – from the Texas High Plains. These sophisticated grapes result in fully-developed, complex wines that will please just about every palate. Enjoy a glass like we did, outdoors, surrounded by the century-old oak and pecan trees.
Top Picks: Grapevine White, a citrusy, crisp blend of four grapes; Stella Mi Amor Tempranillo, a bold, tannic red
We were the guests of the wineries mentioned thanks to the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau. All opinions of the full-bodied and fruity are our own.