Granny Muffin Wines is located in Palestine and is owned by Mike and April Johnston. I had not heard of Granny Muffin Wines until I saw they won two awards at the Lone Star International Wine Competition with their Red and White Zinfandel. On my way to Dallas for the TEXSOM conference, I had to make a slight detour to Palestine to visit Granny Muffin Wines.
Granny Muffin Wines is located on the top floor of the Texas Art Depot building which is an art gallery and frame shop. The original business was started by Mike’s mother Beth Johnston in 1976. Mike and April bought the business in 1999 and renamed it to Texas Art Depot in 2002.
The winery opened on December 10, 2009 and was named Granny Muffin Wines. There is a cute story on their website on how April Johnston became Granny Muffin and instead of retelling the tale, I would suggest clicking on this link to read the story.
When I entered the store I was greeted by a lady behind the counter asking if she could help me. I thought I recognized her from their website so I replied I was there to see Granny Muffin. She said, “I am Granny Muffin,” and then introduced herself as April Johnston. April led me to the top floor where the winery is located and apologized she would not be able to stay long because she had another appointment. She left me in the very capable hands of Cindy who first answered that the making and bottling of the wine took place downstairs at the Texas Art Depot.
Cindy then led me through a tasting of some Granny Muffin Wines. There is a complimentary tasting of two wines and a dollar per wine after that. You can sit at the bar or a table to do a tasting. The tastings are poured from the bottles which use corks. Crackers are available to cleanse your palate and food can be purchased from their gift shop such as sausage, cheeses, southern fried peanuts, and other goodies.
Cindy explained how Granny Muffin Wines use the finest juices from around the country and the world including California, Australia, Argentina, and France. One thing which is unique is they do not stick to just the well-known varieties of wine such as Chardonnay, Merlot, etc. but also make wine from other varieties which are unique such as Gamay, Piesporter, and zarte Blume which is a Liebfraumilch style wine. Granny Muffin Wines also makes Lite wines which are about 6% alcohol. There is the possibility of using Texas Tempranillo grapes for their first Texas wine. They produce approximately 45-50 cases a month.
I was having a fun time during the tasting and I could tell that the people at Granny Muffin Wines love to have fun. This is even indicative with the wine bottles which have very unique labels. April had said earlier that she dresses up as Granny Muffin for special events and private parties. On each label of a Granny Muffins Wines wine bottle, Granny Muffin is shown on the front label like she is getting ready to enjoy that wine. On the back label Granny Muffin is shown in the same costume looking a little inebriated after having enjoyed the wine too much. I loved one photo of her trying to drink from the tap of a stainless steel tank.
During evenings the bottom store is closed and the back staircase is available for patrons to go to the winery. There are not too many bars in Palestine so visiting Granny Muffin Wines at night is a perfect place for people to go to enjoy wine. Special events are hosted at the winery and it is available for private parties. Catering of food is allowed for private parties. A gift shop is available with wine accessories, metal wine caddies, metal art, and wind chimes besides the aforementioned food. There is a wine club at Granny Muffin Wines.
I had a great time tasting Granny Muffin Wines with Cindy as she is very knowledgeable and informative about wines and loves giving pairing advice. If you are ever near Palestine, stop in to Granny Muffin Wines to visit Granny Muffin and try some of their various wines that you do not normally get to try elsewhere.