Update: The winery has closed.
Grand Oaks Vineyards and Winery is located in Mineola and is owned by Carroll and Martha McHenry. Carroll is also the winemaker. The winery had their grand opening in May 2014.
In 2007, a vineyard was planted to see how they could do with growing grapes. Today they grow 2.5 acres of Black Spanish, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Blanc du Bois, and Chenin Blanc.
Before our visit, I confirmed the location of the winery for the winery map on this site. When using their address on most online maps, the location shown is actually further down the road than where the winery is located.
We were greeted upon entering the winery by tasting room manager Alicia Cummings. Also present was owner Martha McHenry who we soon met. During our tasting, Carroll McHenry also came in briefly as he had been working in the vineyard.
Tastings are done while sitting at the tasting bar. There are two tasting fees. One is $5 for three wines and the other is $10 for five wines and you get to keep the glass. The tastings are poured from the uncorked bottles.
Since we were going to the Tyler Wine Swirl that evening and would be drinking more wine, we decided to share a tasting and selected the higher tasting fee so we could taste more of Grand Oaks wines. Before we started our tasting, we said we did not need the wine glass as we have many at home. After leaving though, we wish we had taken the glass with us and the reason was due to the pours. Even though we do not care for measured pourers on bottles, perhaps Grand Oaks should consider using them to give a proper pour. The pours were so tiny that after pouring one wine when Gloria was looking away and then looked back, she thought I had tasted most of it and not left any for her. However, I had not even tried it yet. We are not sure if they are just learning to pour because they are new or if perhaps they have a limited supply of wine initially. It probably is the latter because the tasting menu said there was a limit of six bottles of any one wine per customer. After we left, we realized because we did not take the wine glass, we ended up paying $2 for less than an ounce of wine per taste.
These are the wines which are available:
- Laurena Blanc (dry Chenin Blanc with sweet Blanc du Bois)
- G.O. TWEET (sweet Blanc du Bois)
- Texas Moscato
- Padres’ Mesa Red (Black Spanish, Tempranillo, Blanc du Bois)
- Tempranillo (2012 and 2013 Grand Oaks Tempranillo grapes blended with 2011 Red Caboose Winery Tempranillo)
- Padres’ Dulce Red (semi-sweet with 2012 Tempranillo, Black Spanish, Blanc du Bois)
- C y M Sweet Temper (Sweet red wine with Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, Black Spanish, Blanc du Bois)
Surprisingly, the most popular wines at the winery so far are not the sweet wines which most people seem to like these days, but the dry wines like the Tempranillo.
Carroll McHenry is primarily the winemaker but Martha did make a Blanc du Bois wine which will be coming out soon. The first year’s wines were made by Rick Magers of Grayson Hills Winery but the grapes were all from Grand Oaks vineyard.
There are a few wine accessories and shirts for sale in the tasting room.
All new wineries learn a lot during their first year and it is nice seeing that Grand Oaks Vineyards and Winery is offering a good selection of wines currently. We are sure they will have success in the future.