We made a recent trip to East Texas for the Downtown Tyler Wine Swirl and it was also time to visit wineries we hadn’t been to recently. The last time we were at Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard & Winery was four years ago, so Enoch’s Stomp was a required visit on this trip. The wineries in East Texas are located further away from each other just like the ones in the northern Hill Country, and that means there is a lot of driving usually required which unfortunately means visiting less wineries in one day.
Remembering we missed the entrance to the winery last time, we had no problem finding it this time. As we made our way up the road to the winery, we noticed the vineyard was growing very nicely with the earlier rains we had this year. But when we got to the top of the hill, we were a little surprised because the place had changed a lot!
What was a small building with the winery before was now a large building and we couldn’t park in front of it like we did before. Parking lot signs directed us down the hill where we parked and then we made the trek up the hill to the winery. When we go to the top of the hill, we noticed the new patio and deck since we were there last. One employee was outside helping some customers, said hello, and asked if we were there for lunch. Lunch? No, we wanted to taste wine.
The tasting room was much larger with tables, and as we took some seats at the tasting bar, we then understood why we were asked if we were there for lunch. The winery was much more than just a winery now with a complete restaurant menu! We still opted to do a tasting of Enoch’s Stomp’s recent wines, but we kept gazing at that menu.
Tastings were now done in two flights, a dry or sweet flight with five wines each. Each tasting was done in a bottle with a small cork, similar to how some other wineries are doing their tastings now. We couldn’t decide on which flight to get so we got one of each to share.
The dry flight had:
- 2012 Blanc du Bois Off-Dry (estate)
- 2012 Blanc du Bois Dry (estate)
- 2012 Merlot
- 2010 Norton (estate)
- 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington state)
The sweet flight had:
- 2012 Blanc du Bois Off-Dry (a double-dose for us)
- 2012 Blanc du Bois Sweet
- 2012 Susan’s Secret (blush, estate)
- 2012 Sweet Lenoir (estate)
- 2012 Cweet Cynthiana (estate)
As I said, our eyes kept gazing at the restaurant menu and everything looked fabulous on there. We finally gave into temptation and ordered an appetizer of Crab Cakes with a trio of sauces. There were three large crab cakes and everything tasted great. We could understand immediately why people went to Enoch’s Stomp for lunch or dinner.
Next to the tasting room was now a 5,000 square foot event center with a smaller room inside with barrels surrounding the walls. While we were there, people were setting up for a wedding or reception in the smaller room.
Near the end of our tasting, Blake, one of the many tasting guides helping us, said he would be giving a tour to others and asked if we wanted to join along. There is a tour fee for tours and since so much had changed since last time, we promptly said yes.
The tour started at the vineyard where Blake explained the vineyard was first planted in 2005 by owners Altus Koegelenberg and Jon Kral. Jon is also the winemaker at Enoch’s Stomp. There are 12 acres of vineyard growing 6 types of grapes: Lenoir, Blanc du Bois, Cynthiana, Norton, Champanel, and Villard Blanc. One interesting tidbit about the vineyard is when they were planting it, they brought in soil to put down 4-5 feet below the surface where the vines were planted so they would acclimate better.
Also grown at Enoch’s Stomp is a vegetable garden to provide fresh vegetables for the restaurant. The beef used is from a nearby farm but they are raising sheep also for the restaurant. The lodge next door is now used as a restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays providing a more gourmet meal. One could rent the lodge years ago for the weekend, but they will be building cabins now for people who wish to stay overnight.
The tour headed into the production area where we were able to taste some wines from the tanks including a Villard Blanc which was then followed by a finished 2013 Villard Blanc. The winery is producing over 4,000 cases of wine a year.
There will be two grape stomp events coming up at the winery. The first is a white grape stomp taking place in July followed by a red grape stomp in September. Other events are held throughout the year such as a pig roast Memorial Day weekend. Check the Enoch’s Stomp website for all events.
It had been an impressive visit to Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard & Winery, and we will make sure it will not be another four years before we visit again.