Fairhaven Vineyards

http://www.fairhavenvineyards.com

Fairhaven Vineyards is located in Hawkins and is owned by Ron Winters. The vineyard was started in 2004 and there are now 11 acres. The winery itself opened in 2009 and is very easy to find in the back roads of East Texas.

Fairhaven - OutsideWhen we arrived at the winery, there was a pourer helping a few people. Since the tasting bar is small, we looked around the room and the adjacent winery production area while waiting for our turn. There are tables in the tasting room where you can enjoy a glass of wine and the production area makes for nice viewing while there.

Fairhaven - TastingIt was time for our tasting and the pourer started us out. The tasting is done standing at the tasting bar and the wines are poured from the uncorked bottles. There is a tasting fee per wine and it depends on the particular wine as to what the cost is. They do give a generous amount of wine for tasting.

Ron Winters, the owner and winemaker, came in soon and told the other person how he saw a few cars at the winery, so he came down to help out. He then took over pouring duties for us. Since we had the owner helping us, we were able to ask some questions and we knew we could get the correct answers.

As we mentioned previously about the vineyard, Fairhaven Vineyards grow their own grapes in addition to using Hill Country grapes and about 15% Napa grapes. Ron stated there was almost no chance of using 100% Texas grapes in their wines.

One thing about the winery which we have not experienced before was the winemaker making negative comments about other wineries. Usually all Texas wineries are very complimentary of other Texas wineries and go out of their way to help promote them. For example, when Ron was talking about his winemaking process, I mentioned how one winemaker in the area had told us one part of how he does his process, primarily because it is a smaller winery. He had to guess the name of a winery which was wrong, but we thought it was in bad taste to put down another winery, especially one on the same wine trail. Later he said how one customer went to a big winery on the wine trail and said the wine tasted like kerosene. He commented how some wineries make bad wine and just keep making it year after year instead of learning it is bad and changing the process. We asked for the name of that winery, but at least this time he would not say.

You can buy food to eat during your visit to the winery. Music events are also held at the winery, including being able to rent out the winery and vineyard for private events, weddings, parties, business meetings, or social events. A small gift shop is present at the winery and there is a wine club available. Fairhaven Vineyards even offer a service where they will install a vineyard at your location.

Fairhaven - Production Area

Ron did say if we were still learning about wine that we should check out his website since he has research information on there. He does have some informative knowledge there. On our way out, Ron asked if we were going to be in the area again soon and gave us two tokens for free tastings. We thanked him and left the winery. When we looked at the tokens later, we were not sure if they are good for a complete tasting or just one wine. Perhaps one day we will find out.

Fairhaven Vineyards is on the Piney Woods Wine Trail.


Comments

  1. Don G. Viera says:

    My wife and I did about half of the (very long) Piney Woods Wine Trail during the week of June 13.
    Of all of the wineries we visited we found both the wine quality and service to be light years ahead of any of the others at Fairhaven.
    My wife especially loved the ice cold Kir Royals there!
    As far as to whether or not there are some rather poor wines out there on the trail Mr. Winters is quite correct, there are.
    Those few wines do more to limit the reach of Texas Wines than you could imagine. Ever wonder why some stores and restaurants refuse to carry Texas Wines?
    I am an a home wine maker of some 15 years and spoke with Mr. Winters about his wine making styles and methods for over an hour. All of the wines produced at Fairhaven are 100% Texas except one specific blend.
    Most of the award winning wines there are French American Hybrid Wines and Napa produces no such grapes.
    This little winery continues to pile up the gold medals in competion and it’s little wonder why.
    The wines speak for themselves!

  2. This was a great post. I to find it strange that a winery on the same trail would be so negative about another. Texas wine is a growing state of wine and wine makers and your right should support and help out fellow wine makers on the trail. I have never had one on the Hill Country trail that once talked bad about another. Its true not all wines are great. My feeling is like marriage there is a wine/someone for everyone. Not everyone has the same taste and not every one likes the same wine. Example my wife and I. She is on the dry side of wine. As for me I am on the sweet to simi dry wine side. After today’s tasting I teased her as I liked some that she had tasted of which were on the dry side. Telling her she was corrupting my plate. But back on topic I find that out of place that one would bash or not support another on the same trail. Texas is a whole and should be supported as such. That is only my opinion for what its worth. Love the blog and keep up the great work!

  3. James Freeman says:

    Don, Ive spent quite a bit of time in the East Texas area and have visited many of the wineries out that way. I am like Jeff merely a person that has a passion for wine. I have been to Fairhaven twice and I have sampled and purchased some of their wines.
    One thing I will say about all the folks who own/run these wineries (especially in East Texas) they all “play nice.” Like the country music scene, they are are willing to help each other out anyway they can. And I have seen it and have been told many stories about how they have. Even a classy production like Kiepersol has supported and helped small fruit wineries like Maydelle and Dixie.

    I personally did not like any of Fairhaven’s wines last time I was there tasting. Their wines were very young and needed considerable bottle aging. Also too on a personal note, I was somewhat shocked that Fairhavens Chamborcin has won a Gold 2 times in a row. But thats just me. Ive had Chamborcin from Missouri that was completely different and amazing quality for 8.00 a bottle (not to mention in a screw cap) Ive also have had Chamborcin from here in Texas that was darker and more fuller bodied that the production that Fairhaven is currently making.

    I honestly find it very distasteful that an owner would think himself above others when to be honest every winery on the Piney woods wine trail makes a wine that might be considered by some “sub-par” even Fairhaven.
    I think Jeff is right to point this out and this should be made known to the rest of the wine trail so that they can correct this issue.
    Texas as a whole is in this thing together. With the cut of the funding to the wine industry now is not a time that a winery needs to be making enemies.

    On a side note, I have noticed that Ron Winters has written a large amount about the history of Black Spanish and has done allot of research. But the question I ask is when will there be genetic analysis done on the grape?” I think in Texas if we find out who its brother/sisters are only then will they be able to learn how to treat the grape properly.
    But Folks, thats just my 2 cents as an amateur wine lover.

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