Messina Hof Winery and Resort located in Bryan and owned by Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo opened an extension to their fabulous winery in Fredericksburg on October 20, 2011. The new winery is called Messina Hof Hill Country.
In our last trip to Fredericksburg we made a point to visit the winery. It was very easy to find right on the stretch of highway 290 near Fredericksburg with the large castle tower in front of the winery.
Messina Hof Hill Country has ten acres which includes a Wine Garten, Manor Haus Bed and Breakfast, VIP Room, and Guest Center. The tastings are done in the large open Guest Center. You can also enjoy a glass of wine or flights of wine in the Wine Garten, an outside patio with seating. The Manor Haus at the rear of the winery and away from the highway has four individual retreats individually themed and decorated. Each Haus has its own private patio.
It was a Thursday night so fortunately there was a light turnout. We surveyed the large room we had entered. The large room, the Guest Center, is designed like a family room with a white grapevine carved Italian marble gazebo in the rear of the room. Tasting bars are on each side of the room with a nicely stocked gift shop at the front entrance. The VIP Room is to one side and can be reserved for a private occasion such as a dinner, private tasting, or a wedding.
Marisa greeted us to handle our tasting. She directed us to one of the tasting bars and for our tasting fee, handed us five wooden nickels. This was new to us so Marisa explained. She said since it can get busy, instead of trying to remember how many wines a person may have tasted, the taster gets five wooden nickels. One nickel can be used for one Messina Hof wine tasting or two nickels for one Paulo wine tasting. Since each wooden nickel has a $2 value, they can be used for flights of wine. The tasting fee also includes a Messina Hof etched wine glass.
As in Bryan at Messina Hof Winery and Resort, the tastings are poured from the bottle. Crackers are available to cleanse your palate between tastings.
It was nice to learn that Messina Hof Hill Country only serves 100% Texas wine. There are also some special wines made specifically for Messina Hof Hill Country which you cannot get in Bryan. The special wines have different labels from the normal Messina Hof labels and are special blends of some of their most popular wines. At the time of our visit, there were 45 wines available for buying or tasting.
Since the Houston Rodeo’s International Wine Competition had recently been held and Messina Hof’s 2004 Solera was declared the best Texas wine, that was one wine we immediately wanted to taste. It was a delicious wine and a bottle found its way to our car.
Free tours are available of the facilities including the four villas. Live music is available on Saturdays in the Wine Garten.
We were told that a vineyard would be planted in early 2012. Recently I made a one day road trip to Fredericksburg and stopped by the winery to pick up some more wine. Sure enough, a vineyard had been planted in front of the winery. It doesn’t look like much now since it is brand new, but when it grows more it will look fantastic in front of the winery. Marisa was working and even though it had been a couple months since our last visit, it was a pleasant surprise when she recognized me and wondered where Gloria was. The friendly and welcoming staff that is always present at the Bryan location of Messina Hof has definitely extended itself into Fredericksburg too.
There is no doubt Messina Hof has another winner at their Fredericksburg location and we highly recommend you stop by to visit when you are touring the Fredericksburg wineries.