Texas and Drink Local Wine’s sixth annual Regional Wine Week started October 6, and what better way to celebrate Texas’ Drink Local Wine Week than a trip out to Mount Pleasant for the Everything Texas Uncorked Wine Festival and Ranch Run?
Cool temperatures and misty skies couldn’t dampen our spirits as my better half and I set out for Titus County’s first-ever wine festival. An added bonus of my interest in Texas wines is the opportunity to discover more communities and meet more friendly folks, so I’d been looking forward to the festival all week.
Mount Pleasant is just about two hours’ drive from downtown Dallas, a nice day trip that gives you time to unwind after a long week in the bustling city. For a town of roughly 16,000 people, it has a lot going for it—we noticed plenty of restaurants and shops, as well as a thriving vintage downtown, a welcome sight when so many Texas towns have been unable to maintain their centers, and sadly, they have lost part of their history and charm.
In the interest of honest disclosure, I’m aware there was a Ranch Run with 1, 5, and 15K courses, but there my knowledge ends. I suppose I had an agenda in mind, so the race was long run by the time we rolled into town around 1:30 p.m. and headed straight for Priefert Ranch where the wine festival was being held.
We found Faustine Curry, Executive Director for the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce, and she briefed us on the details.
Next, we began to make the rounds. First stop, Los Pinos Ranch, where we found our friend and winery owner Gerald Jones and winemaker Arnulfo Perez pouring Blanc du Bois, Texican, and other vintages. We asked Gerald to give us a plug for East Texas wines, and here is what he had to say.
We also got to meet Jimmy Arranda of Dionisio Winery, and he told us a little bit about his urban winery in Houston, which will be relocating to an expanded facility in Pearland, Texas this next year.
St. Rose Vineyard & Winery had a presence at the festival, and we met wine maker/owner Ann Arra, and she briefed us on the history of the winery and told us about their silver medal win at the People’s Choice Tasting Competition at GrapeFest 2014 this last month.
We continued to make the rounds, trying wines from Red Road Vineyard and Winery, Red 55 Winery, Landon Winery, Bella Stella Winery, and Paris Vineyards. It’s a shame that the weather did put a bit of a damper on the attendance because, in addition to the Texas wines, the festival featured great food and music. Hopefully, the event was successful enough that Mount Pleasant will continue to host the event, and next year we can look forward to more wine in the rolling hills and piney woods of East Texas.