Red Wing Dove Vineyard and Winery is located in Hamilton and is owned by Ellis and Susan Vandiver. Ellis manages the vineyard while Susan handles the winemaking duties. They planted a vineyard in 2006 and the winery opened Labor Day weekend in 2013.
In July 2004, Ellis and Susan purchased approximately 80 acres of land in Hamilton County. Hamilton also happens to be the Dove Capital of Texas where a yearly Dove Festival is held. The Vandivers both love Shiraz so of course they started their vineyard by planting Shiraz. Today they have a seven acre vineyard growing Shiraz, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Tempranillo, and Viognier.
In trying to find the winery in advance of visiting, the address on some online map websites puts the winery closer to Hamilton than where it is really located further out in the country. Be sure to use the GPS coordinates to ensure finding the winery or use the map below.
Arriving at the winery I could see the outdoor patio would be a nice place to enjoy a glass of wine as it overlooks the vineyard and later I learned the view of Gholson Creek Valley.
Tastings are done while sitting at the tasting bar or table. There is a tasting fee for five wines and the tastings are poured from the uncorked bottles. A cracker and pretzel mix is served to cleanse your palate.
Wines available when I visited were:
- White Dove (55% Pinot Blanc and 45% Pinot Gris)
- Pinot Gris
- Knock-Out Rosé (from Shiraz grapes)
- Peach Sangria
Unfortunately the Tinto de Texas (Tempranillo) was sold out.
Red Wing Dove so far has used 100% estate fruit in their wines. From the 2012 harvest they produced approximately 1,000 gallons of wine. Unfortunately since the 2013 harvest was poor like most vineyards in Texas, they will most likely need to use grapes from California in order to have wine available for their customers.
Red Wing Dove has events like wine dinners and build your own wine gift basket which includes chocolate and cheeses mostly using Texas products. Starting January 31st on the last Friday of every month, they will have Tamale and Sangria Fridays. Later this year they plan on having a crawfish boil. A wine club is also available.
A gift shop is present including specialty cheeses, olive oils, pecans, maple syrup, lavender, clothing, and wine accessories. Olive oil tastings can also be done.
Red Wing Dove Vineyard and Winery has made an impressive debut into the Texas wine industry.