Lost Oak Winery, formerly called Lone Oak Winery, is located in Burleson. Due to trademark issues for the past two years, the winery was renamed to Lost Oak Winery in March 2012. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved their application and they have about four more months to get the new name of “Lost Oak” on one of their wine labels. The winery is owned by Gene and Judy Estes and was opened at the end of 2006.
We arrived at Lost Oak Winery and met Facebook friends Laurie and Shelly Ware and also Dave and Kelli Potter with their daughter Annali. Laurie and Shelly live near Burleson and are wine club members at Lost Oak Winery, so they get a chance to visit often.
When we arrived we could see a vineyard next to the winery and a wedding was being set up near the covered patio. We learned later that Lost Oak Winery is a very popular wedding location and this year they already have 32 weddings scheduled. In fact for 2010 and 2011, they have been the “Best Pick” by The Knot.
We all decided to do our tasting at a table in the tasting room. There is also the option to stand at the tasting bar. Virginia was our pourer and gave us our tasting sheets. For a tasting fee you select five wines from the double sided list of wines but the fee is waived with a purchase. Also included in the list of wines was a selection of wines from Haak Vineyards and Winery.
Lost Oak Winery’s wines use corks and the tastings are poured from the bottle. Crackers are provided to cleanse your palate. Based on experience, Laurie and Shelly ordered a fruit and cheese tray for all of us. You can also buy food such as crackers and dips from the gift shop which also has items such as clothing and wine accessories.
After a tough time trying to decide upon the wines to try since we wanted to try the most we could, Virginia began pouring our wines. One of the first to try was Lost Oak’s Viognier which had recently won a double gold from the San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition earlier this year.
Laurie had also arranged for Gene Estes to meet us and he soon arrived during his busy schedule to talk to us. He said Lost Oak Winery uses 100% Texas grapes in most of their Texas wines except three wines which use grapes from the Pasa Robles region of California. Each wine bottle label clearly identifies where the grapes came from. Lost Oak Winery uses various Texas vineyards to make their wines. Their Sweet Moscato is made with grapes from Krick Hill Vineyards out of Levelland, Rosa Blanca is a blend of Merlot from Robert and Jamey Wolf’s vineyard in Valley View (former owners of Lone Oak Winery) and Chenin Blanc also from Krick Hill Vineyards, and the 2009 Tempranillo is from Andy Timmons’s Lost Draw Vineyards.
Lost Oak Winery has four and a half acres of vineyards at the winery and Gene’s stepdaughter, Roxanne Myers who is also Lost Oak’s Director of Sales and Marketing, has a vineyard of one and a half acres. Lost Oak Winery produces 3,000 cases of Texas wine a year.
Thursdays at the winery is Sangria night which draws a lot of people. The Sangria is made from their Dolce Rouge wine.
I asked Gene what was his favorite Lost Oak wine. He said, “I love my 2010 and 2011 Viognier, and I think the 2011 may even be better than the 2010 even though we haven’t entered it in any competitions yet. I love Muscat, but I like it dry and love the flavor and the nose. Of my reds, I would have to say I am very fond of my Tempranillo. My very favorite is my estate block A Shiraz or Syrah and it’s coming out. We’ve bottled it already and we’re waiting on the labels with Lost Oak instead of Lone, but to me it’s heavenly.” They’re going to be coming out with the 2010 in a few weeks and the 2011 later this summer so there are at least two new wines to look forward to.
Lost Oak Winery uses French barrels but because of the cost, they are experimenting with oak alternatives which include putting oak staves through the bung hole of a neutral barrel. They used their 2010 block A Shiraz in that type of barrel.
Guided and self-guided tours are available at the winery. Guided tours are $10 but include a complimentary tasting. If you happen to take a tour on a Saturday, Gene Estes himself may be giving the tour. Gene had to pick up his wife at the airport so he said goodbye to all of us and we thanked him for spending time with us. After Gene left, we decided to take the self-guided tour since we heard winemaker Jim Evans was waiting for us at the building which houses the production equipment.
While taking the winding walking path to the production building, we could see how the winery and vineyards are located on the banks of Village Creek with oak trees providing shade for outside tables. The tables are used when the winery holds live music concerts or when people just prefer to enjoy a glass of wine in the beautiful outdoor setting among the 52 acres where the winery is located.
We arrived at the production building and Jim Evans greeted each one of us. He showed us the different winemaking equipment such as the crusher, bladder press, and stainless steel tanks. Sitting on the table were wine glasses as Jim wanted us to try some wine from the tanks. He mentioned they were making a Gewürztraminer and asked if we wanted to taste it, but he really didn’t have to wait for an answer. Jim said the Gewürztraminer was bone dry and he was going to add a little sugar to it. Some who were there and don’t care for sweet wines said it was perfect the way it was and to bottle it up now. The Gewürztraminer is from the Diamonte Doble Vineyard of Tokio, Texas owned by Jet Wilmeth. It will be interesting to try the resulting wine when it is bottled which should be at the beginning of June.
Jim then had a mystery wine which he wanted us to try and guess what it was made from. Nobody could and he revealed it to be a 50/50 blend of Viognier and Roussanne. I looked at Gloria as she can usually detect Viognier in any percentage, and she admitted she could tell it had Viognier but didn’t want to say anything. Jim said their 2010 award-winning Viognier is 100% stainless, no malolactic fermentation, and is a complete true expression of the grape.
Jim was asked if he did the sole winemaking and he said that he and Gene work together. He said, “I like to say that he does the work and I take the credit, so it’s 50/50.” He said that Gene has a great nose and can detect things that are a little off, but it’s amazing because he and Gene are usually on the same page.
We thanked Jim for his time and finished our self-guided tour back to the tasting room where we checked out.