Update: Rancho Ponte Vineyard has closed.
Rancho Ponte Vineyard was opened in January of 2009 by Rachel and Roberto Ponte and is located just outside of Fredericksburg. The Pontes had been growing grapes in California for two decades and decided to move to Central Texas. Roberto Ponte is part of a fourth generation of winegrowers.
We first visited Rancho Ponte over two years ago and it was the first winery in which we joined a wine club. You can easily find the winery as they are one of the first wineries to the east of Fredericksburg on Highway 290. We have visited a few times and the first couple times we timed it correctly where there were not many customers and we always got the same gentleman as a tasting guide. The last time was really busy but we found a spot along the large rectangular tasting bar.
There is a tasting fee for six wines which also includes a logo glass. The tasting fee is refunded with a three bottle purchase. Ranch Ponte uses both corks and screw caps. Wines are poured with a measured pourer. Wine crackers are available to cleanse your palate.
You can buy a gourmet tasting plate of food which includes Manchego, double crème Brie, and Irish cheddar cheese, locally made Spanish style chorizo, and dried apricots & Tuscan rosemary flatbread.
On our last visit, two different pourers helped us and none could tell us what the percentage of Texas grapes Rancho Ponte used. They did know that some grapes came from New Mexico.
Rancho Ponte does not distribute their wine on purpose so you must buy it at the winery or order it online. They believe they use the best grapes they can purchase and handle the product minimally. They do not use unnecessary additives, flavorings, or preservatives in their Texas wines. Rancho Ponte produces about 1,300 cases of wine a year.
There is a nice gift shop with wine accessories, clothing, and other items. No tours are given at the winery. There is a wine club which gives wines, discounts, and free tastings. Live music is held on the weekends.
Rancho Ponte Vineyards is on the Texas Hill Country wine trail and the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 wine trail.