Waxahachie Journal Food and Wines
Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock has been producing excellent wines since 1976 and is the largest premium winery in Texas. I enjoyed visiting Llano Estacado in May and since that visit, they will be building a new public tasting room and visitor’s center this year.
One of their recent releases is the 2010 vintage “1836” Texas Red Table Wine which is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Syrah. There was a 2008 vintage of the “1836” with a different blend, but not a 2009 because Llano Estacado could not get the fruit they wanted.
The 2010 vintage has done very well in wine competitions. For example the “1836” won a Double Gold at the 2013 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
As mentioned, the 2010 vintage is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 49% Syrah from grapes in the High Plains and Far West Texas. It was aged for 28 months in 59-gallon French and American oak barrels and was bottled in March 2013. The wine has a deep red color with flavor tones of red and black fruits and black pepper. Tannins are medium with a medium plus finish.
Lone Hen Winery is located in College Station and is owned by Steve and Vicki Kirkpatrick. Their first vines of Blanc du Bois and Champanel were planted in 2004 on their ten acre lot where they live. They continued by planting Cabernet Sauvignon in 2006 and will be replanting with Lenoir soon. They currently have 1.5 acres of vines and will have four acres of vineyard when completed. In 2009, Lone Hen Winery officially became a winery.
We first saw Lone Hen Winery at the Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival where the wines being tasted were sparkling wines. At the time, they said they did not have a tasting room yet so I decided to wait a while until we would be in the area again to visit. We called in advance recently to see if we could make an appointment to visit the winery.
Epic Helicopters has launched its VIP Wine Tours, which will whisk guests from across North Texas for a wine tasting and tour like no other. The exciting new VIP wine tours features six Texas wineries and will accommodate as many as 4 wine enthusiasts per flight. Helicopter pickup locations are customizable as are the number of vineyards visited on this high-flying winery adventure.
Angelita Vineyard and Winery is located in Angus just outside of Corsicana and is Navarro County’s first vineyard and winery. The winery is owned by Beverly and Rodney Spahn. The winery is managed by Beverly while Rodney is the winemaker and vineyard manager. Rodney W. Spahn is Rodney’s father and the resident vineyard keeper at the age of 77 working the vineyard. The name of the winery Angelita came from the name of Rodney Spahn’s late mother. Angelita Vineyard and Winery - outside.
Angelita Vineyard and Winery started the vineyard in April, 2010 with 200 vines of Blanc du Bois. They later added another 1,000 Blanc du Bois and 200 Ruby Cabernet vines. There is now a total of three acres of vineyard. During the first two years of the vineyard, they kept it organic and are still trying to keep it organic as much as possible with limited spraying of chemicals to fight ladybugs, nematodes, and grasshoppers. Grasshoppers are an issue and they are using a product called “Nolo Bait” which is a biological insecticide to combat them which they learned from a customer who gardens completely organic and has had success using it.
Sample more than 160 Texas varietals from 44 Texas wineries at the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the United States, during the 28th Annual GrapeFest - A Wine Experience in Historic Downtown Grapevine September 11-14. Tickets for the popular GrapeFest event are limited; therefore, advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
In December of 2013, Bingham Family Vineyards completed their purchase of Pheasant Ridge Winery. They announced the original Pheasant Ridge founder and winegrower, Bobby Cox, would be involved heavily in the winery. By the title of winegrower, he would be responsible for making wine but also for the growth of the Pheasant Ridge vineyard.
I asked Bobby Cox on the status of the progress of the winery. Bobby said they are still getting the winery in shape for how the Binghams want it to be presented to visitors. They will definitely be making wine there this year and are planning on making some fabulous wine then and in the future. A decision still needs to be made on the current wine inventory and what to do in the interim before the wine they are making this year is ready for sale.
Around 3 years ago we tried to expand our business in Dallas only to get our permits refused by City of Dallas (I won't get into the details). Following that episode (and a little soul searching), I decided I wanted to relocate our winery to the Texas Hill Country . Our new winery isn't quite ready but it is time for us to close our Dallas winery at the end of this month, namely this June 28th.
I am extremely thankful for the support the past 7 years , we sold all of the wines that we made year after year. I met lots of wonderful people, many that have become good friends of mine and really had a great time running this winery (by myself) for 7 years.