We’re still trying to determine exactly what we want to describe about each winery so if there’s something you want us to ask or something to know about each winery, please let us know by leaving a comment.
The first winery we’ll discuss is Bernhardt Winery. We learned one thing last year about Texas wineries. We assumed one winery is a competitor to another and learned otherwise. We were talking to the owner of one winery and he mentioned how one time one of their machines in making their wines had broken. They called Bernhardt Winery and they brought one of their machines to the other winery to help out. That certainly is not the actions of a competitor.
We were first introduced to Bernhardt Winery in Plantersville by attending one of their Sunday On the Porch Concert Series with a group of friends. These are concerts held Sunday afternoons with either bands or single musicians. You bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the concerts on the lawn while drinking their delicious wine. At sunset, they stop the music and hold a toast to life. Since the winery is out in the country, it is very quiet and the whole experience is very relaxing and peaceful.
Since our first visit to Bernhardt, they have expanded the winery and also built a bed and breakfast above the winery. We hope to take advantage of the lovely loft some day. Weddings are also held at Bernhardt Winery. As is common with most wineries, Bernhardt has a wine club where you can have wine shipped during the year to you.
We have met Barre Bernhardt, the owner’s brother, at various places such as wine festivals and even among a group of friends listening to a band at a local restaurant. One of the most shocking times we saw Barre was when we were in Fredericksburg and had just pulled up to one of our favorite wineries, Sister Creek Vineyards. We asked why he was there and he said because they know how to make great Muscat Canelli. We couldn’t agree more since we enjoy Italian Moscato d’Asti and have found only a couple Texas wineries which make it somewhat close to Italian style. We’ll talk about Sister Creek Vineyards in a later blog.
Bernhardt Winery’s tasting room has a nice gift shop with some comfortable couches if you want to buy a glass or bottle of wine to enjoy. There is also seating outside the tasting room to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Free tastings of jams, jellies, and sauces are available in the gift shop too.
They have different types of tastings. A regular tasting takes place at the tasting bar where you stand, and for a fee you can enjoy all the wines available at the time of your visit. The wines are all corked. Private tastings can be reserved in advance and the tasting is done in a room in the back of the winery with the barrels. We enjoyed a tasting with a group of friends in this style one time. Other types of tastings are also available.
Bernhardt Winery is on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail.
Fawncrest Vineyard is located in the Hill Country in Canyon Lake. We were driving to visit some of the wineries on the Hill Country Wine Trail and were surprised when we drove by a sign pointing to a winery. With our knowledge of the wine trail, there was not supposed to be a winery located there. Later that night we checked the Go Texan Wine website and sure enough there was Fawncrest Vineyard. We called to ensure they would be open the next day and made plans to visit.
Following the GPS and directions to the winery brought us to a subdivision which was kind of surprising. We eventually were brought right to a house. It was nearing dark and we didn’t see any signs or activity so we weren’t sure if we were at the right place. As we walked up to the house, we were greeted by the same young lady we talked to on the phone the previous night. She brought us into the house and to the back of the house where the bar was. This was definitely the most unusual winery and tasting room we had visited to date since it was in the house.
We sampled Fawncrest’s wines which are all corked and had fun learning about the winery. We learned the house belonged to the owners, Wayne and Patty McNeil, and it had a beautiful view overlooking Canyon Lake. Since the house was at a higher level, we could see the winery and vineyards below.
We enjoyed a nice and unique visit to Fawncrest Vineyard.
Windy Winery is located outside of Brenham and is owned by August and Linda Meitzen with August handling the winemaking duties. Windy Winery opened in 2005. Our GPS found the winery location and it was fairly easy to find.
You enter the small gift shop when you walk into the winery. The first time we visited the winery, a wall divided the gift shop with the tasting bar in the back. The last time we visited, the wall had been removed giving a much more open feel to the tasting room.
August greeted us on our last visit and Linda was in the back room and said hello too. August explained various things to us during our tasting while we stood at the bar. The pouring during the tasting is done without measured pourers and all the wines are corked.
Windy Winery grows Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish grapes in their vineyard which they use to make some of their wines. The other wines are made with grapes from California. You can walk outside to the back of the winery to view the vineyard and patio with seating.
Live music events are held every Saturday. The first time we visited the winery, a musician was playing and food could be purchased along with, of course, wine.
Windy Winery is on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail.