Castle Oaks Vineyard and Winery is located in Athens and is owned by Roger and Benita Littleton. They started building the winery June, 2011, and it officially opened in June 2013.
We found the winery on the back roads of East Texas. Next to the winery is a vineyard which we learned was one acre of Black Spanish (Lenoir) planted in 2006. They had their first harvest in July 2012.
We were greeted outside by Benita Littleton who welcomed us to come inside the tasting room. As the name suggests, the décor inside is a little like a castle and I like castles!
You can do a tasting while sitting at the tasting bar, table, or on a couch. There is a tasting fee for the wines which are available and at the time of our visit, there was a total of nine wines. The wines are poured from the uncorked bottles. Food can be purchased like bruschetta along with bread and cheese platters.
We learned all the wines are 100% Texas and are made by Homestead Winery. The wines on the tasting menu were:
- Texas Summer Night (Off-Dry White) – Chenin Blanc
- Sweet Duchess (Sweet White) – Riesling
- Moscato (Sweet White)
- Chocolate Bliss (Sweet Red) – Ruby Cabernet infused with Chocolate
- Round Table Red (Sweet Red) – Ruby Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel
- Royal Red (Dry Red) – Ruby Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Zinfandel
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- II Knights (Dry Red) – Ruby Cabernet, Malbec
We also got the chance to try soon-to-be-released wines Tempranillo and Malbec.
In addition to the vineyard currently planted, they will also be planting Tempranillo. Besides the tasting room, you can also enjoy a glass of wine while sitting on the patio. Castle Oaks will be having live music events coming up May 17 and June 7.
Check out Castle Oaks Vineyard and Winery the next time you are in East Texas.