We met up with some wine friends to visit a few Bluebonnet Wine Trail wineries during a day trip. It all started with Gloria and me deciding to go to Messina Hof for New Year’s Eve. Laurie and Shelly Ware from Cleburne decided to do the same. Dave and Kelli Potter from Frisco were going to be visiting family in the general area so we all decided to join up and visit a few wineries.
We met at the Southern Flyer Brenham Airport Diner which is a very popular restaurant designed with a 50’s décor. We tried eating there one time but the restaurant had a long waiting time so we never got a chance. This time the plan was to all meet when they opened so the line was not a problem. After a good lunch, we headed to our first winery of the day: Windy Winery.
Owners August and Linda Meitzen were just opening the winery and welcomed us to sit at a table to do the tasting. They were both very friendly and informative about their wines. We learned that Champanel, one of the grapes they plant, is a great plant for an arbor. They also grow Blanc du Bois and Lenoir grapes. We learned that they are one of a couple Texas wineries who produce their own sparkling wine from Texas grapes in Texas. Special equipment is needed to produce a sparkling wine and other wineries that sell sparkling wines have them bottled out of state. Brushy Creek Vineyards and Winery is the only other winery we are aware of who does the same.
It was now time for Pleasant Hill Winery, our second winery of the day. Co-owner Jeanne Cottle was present to help the six of us through a tasting of their wines. While waiting for the tasting, we all enjoyed looking through the expansive gift shop items. Shelly and I also enjoyed looking at their corkscrew collection while there. Overall it was a pleasant time at Pleasant Hill Winery, no pun intended.
The last stop was Saddlehorn Winery. Gloria and I have stopped at Saddlehorn Winery before and have met owner Steve Morgan at wine festivals with me even helping their table at a wine festival this past fall. Steve has promised a tour of the winery but we were never able to get the timing correct so he was present whenever we stopped by. Before our day trip I contacted Steve to see if the winery was going to be open and if he was going to be around. It was a yes on both questions.
We arrived at Saddlehorn and the tasting bar was already almost filled to capacity. Steve was the only one working and we had no problem waiting while the earlier customers were taken care of. He did start a tasting for us while the other customers finished up and we were eventually left alone in the winery. Steve then took us to the production room and showed us around.
The event center room is almost finished and it looks great, especially the Saddlehorn logo on the floor. Another extension to the back of the winery has been built and the stainless steel tanks will be moved into that room along with storage for cases of wine. Saddlehorn Winery has grown nicely in the couple years since it has been open.
It was the end of our short day trip and we all said goodbye until the next time we get together to visit wineries and enjoy great Texas wine.
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