Day two of our Way Out Wineries road trip came and we were excited to start the day. We would be meeting Facebook friends Laurie Ware and her husband Shelly, along with Dave and Kelli Potter and their beautiful daughter Annali. I had met Dave in person before but it would be the first time meeting the others in person. We headed to the first winery of the day, Bluff Dale Vineyards, where we would first meet Laurie and Shelly.
We arrived at Bluff Dale Vineyards and very shortly Laurie and Shelly arrived. Chris Hayes, son of owners David and Theresa Hayes, was handling the tasting room and started us on our tasting. Chris was very knowledgeable and fun to talk to. We had the chance to meet Theresa Hayes and then David Hayes, and both welcomed us to their winery.
While doing our tasting, we learned about Bluff Dale from Chris. Afterwards he took us on a tour of the production facility. All the winemaking is done by hand from making the wine all the way up to bottling with friends. Chris did a wonderful job on the tour and tasting and makes a wonderful representative for Bluff Dale Vineyards.
We then discussed with the Wares how to get to the next winery, and we decided to follow them since they had previously been to the wineries we were visiting for the day. After a fairly short trip, we arrived at Barking Rocks Winery. Upon walking up to the winery a “major” disaster happened as I dropped my new iPad. I have dropped my iPhone a couple times over the years with no problems as I have always used a case. Even with a case surrounding the iPad, it must have hit the ground the wrong way and the glass screen shattered. Thankfully it didn’t break completely and the iPad still worked, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post at this very moment. Fortunately I had purchased the AppleCare Plus plan and will be using my first of two replacements.
We walked into the winery and owner Tiberia was behind the tasting bar talking to another gentleman. We met Tiberia and he introduced us to his neighbor, followed by setting us up for a tasting. While tasting, another couple came in to taste and we made room for them at the tasting bar. Tiberia was fun to talk to and we enjoyed tasting his wines. He gave us a tour of the barrel and tank room, including a fermentation tank which required stirring. The story of the Barking Rocks logo was discussed but we will save that for our post about Barking Rocks Winery.
We thanked Tiberia for his hospitality and headed to our next winery where we would be meeting the Potters. We pulled into Lost Oak Winery, formerly Lone Oak Winery, where they were setting up for a wedding. Since Laurie and Shelly are wine club members and live nearby so they can visit often, they had previously learned it was going to be a 6:00pm wedding.
Laurie and Shelly were greeted at the door while we took our photos of the outside of the winery. When we walked in we discovered Dave, Kelli, and Annali had already arrived and greetings took place. Virginia from Lost Oak checked to see how we wanted to hold our tastings and we decided on a nearby table in the tasting room. Lost Oak Winery has a large selection of wines to select from and we each tried to decide upon five wines. Gloria and I coordinated our efforts so we could share each other’s selections to taste ten wines.
While we tasted, owner Gene Estes arrived to say hello. Laurie had also arranged for all of us to be able to meet Gene. We had a nice conversation with Gene and he was polite to answer any questions asked. Gloria and I mentioned we were fortunate to have visited 4.0 Cellars already and having met Kim McPherson there, we have now had the pleasure of meeting all the owners of 4.0 Cellars. Gene had to pick up his wife at the airport and we thanked him for taking time to talk to us.
After our tasting, we did the self-guided tour of Lost Oak Winery and met Jim Evans, winemaker, at the production room. He was waiting for us (thank you again Laurie) and he gave a tour of the production room. Jim said he had some wine he wanted us to taste and we were able to taste a Gewürztraminer which was still in the tank and is going to be a winner. He then gave us all a mystery wine which he wanted us to guess. Nobody could and it was revealed to be a 50/50 blend of Viognier and Roussanne. We thanked Jim for his time and finished our self-guided tour back to the tasting room where we checked out.
The last winery of the day was nearby Sunset Winery. We arrived and after meeting owner Bruce Anderson, we thought we would be tasting outside on the wood deck since the tasting room was full. They had offered a Groupon purchase and some people were there taking advantage of the great offer which included a tour and tasting. I went to the tasting room to take a photo and met Birgit Anderson, Bruce’s admitted “boss”, who said the people in the tasting room would be leaving soon and we could taste in there.
We went to the tasting room and Dagmar pleasantly handled our tastings even though it was complicated with six people selecting different wines to taste. While we were tasting and even though they were very busy, Bruce gave us all a history of Sunset Winery. The Wares and Potters had previously visited and toured Sunset Winery, so after our tasting Bruce gave Gloria and me a very quick tour of the winery. This was just enough time as the Groupon tour arrived and he then had to help them.
Our winery visits were over, but the day was not as Laurie and Shelly directed us all to a BYOB Italian restaurant. During dinner we all finally had a chance to talk amongst each other and had a great dinner and evening. It was time to say goodbye to each other and we said we would all get together again sometime in the future.
Even with our semi-hectic schedule of two days, we did not get a chance to visit Rising Star Vineyards and re-visit Fiesta Winery. We will need to make those part of an upcoming road trip.
Enjoyed reading about your travels. What wines did you try at each winery and what did you and Gloria like?
Jeff Cope says
Carol, that would be too long a list as far as what we tried and what we liked. I can say we now have an extra case and a half at home we have to find room for!
Dave Potter says
It was a year ago when Kelli and I visited now called Lost Oak. We had such a great experience and really did not taste a wine we did not like. This second time was special just for the fact we got to revisit and sample some new wines but got to meet up with y’all and Laurie. The “Nickel” tour was a nice added treat. This place screams awesomeness and their wines keep out pacing the winery’s name.
Getting to meet Gene Estes the owner and wine maker Jim Evans really made the time spent there truly great. My favorite wine was the Gewürztraminer with out all the sugar. I think that has a promise and possibly a market for the dry white drinkers of Texas!