Bent Oak Winery will be opening their doors for the first time on Saturday October 10, 2015! Bent Oak Winery is the newest addition to the growing Texas wine industry. Located in Cedar Park, a suburb of Austin, the winery is a welcomed addition to the area and will surely be a front runner for Texas wine enthusiasts.
John Catalano is Bent Oak’s passionate winemaker who has perfected his craft over the last 15 years though education, beer, and wine making, traveling to different wine regions and simply getting his hands dirty. John’s amazing depth of knowledge about wine making is truly inspirational. He and the entire team embody the true Texas spirit of following your passions and blazing new trails.
The Bent Oak philosophy is that good wine starts from good grapes. It is their goal to bring the best of different wine regions, while maintaining quality control from the dirt, to the care of the vines, to harvest, and to bottling. As John says, “There are 1,000 intelligent decisions that go into making good wine.” But as much as it is a science, it’s also an art form that maybe only after years of perfecting your craft can one sense a good decision. The wine at Bent Oak Winery showcases a distinct character that is truly the sign of a knowledgeable wine maker.
Whether using Texas grapes or California grapes, the end products are a stunning collection of wine worthy of the drive to Cedar Park. Bent Oak sources the regions which have strong reputations for producing excellent wines. Their current portfolio includes:
- Blanc Du Bois – East Texas Range
- Cabernet Sauvignon – California Sonoma Mountain
- Chardonnay – California Russian River Valley
- Merlot – East Texas Range
- Pinot Noir – California Russian River Valley
- Sangiovese – Texas High Plains
- Tempranillo – Texas High Plains
- Viognier – California Russian River Valley
- Zinfandel – California Dry Creek Valley
Bent Oak prides itself in small batch, high quality wines. I had the pleasure of tasting their Chardonnay and their Blanc du Bois. Both were excellent, but my personal favorite was the Texas Blanc du Bois. In comparison to others I have tried from Texas, this was a standout! I also did a barrel tasting of their 2014 Texas Merlot which was already fantastic! I am looking forward to this one when it is bottled next year.
The winery location is not what you would normally envision when you think winery. It’s located in a nice commercial park on the outskirts of Cedar Park, just off Anderson Mill Road and FM 620, bordering Austin city limits. But don’t let the unique location deter you from giving this winery serious consideration!
Once you step inside and the door closes behind you, you are instantly transported to another place. John’s wife, Audrey, who is equally talented and full of energy, transformed what was once an empty white box into a warm and cozy space to relax and experience the spectacular wines made there.
When you visit the winery, the first thing you will notice is the beautiful décor and the inviting atmosphere. What you will also be impressed by is their hospitality and genuine desire to make it a welcoming and educational wine tasting experience.
Behind the scenes, Marilee Catalano and Debbie Bruce have also done a fantastic job with the nuts and bolts of running a small business. From web design to merchandising, you get a sense of the creativity and fun that went into bringing Bent Oak Winery to fruition.
Bent Oak Winery is a member of both Texas Hill Country Wineries and the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association. Their commitment to quality wine and enhancing the Texas wine industry is evident in everything they do. Lucky for us in the NW Austin area, now we don’t have to drive to Fredericksburg or even Johnson City or Burnet every weekend to enjoy great wine.
For those Texas wine enthusiasts who don’t live in Austin, there is plenty to do near Bent Oak Winery if you want to make it a day trip. Located just minutes from Lake Travis and the famed Oasis Restaurant, you can take a Scenic Drive on FM 2769 and Lime Creek Road and take in the spectacular views at the Oasis while having lunch or dinner to catch a sunset. There are also more great local restaurants nearby like Jenna’s Asian Kitchen and Noble Pig Sandwich Company, as featured on Food Network.
John, Audrey, Marilee, and Debbie have done a fabulous job creating a wine destination somewhere totally unexpected. Once you taste the wines, we guarantee you will be making Bent Oak Winery a regular stop on your winery visits. Come out to the Grand Opening on Saturday or make an appointment for a private tasting. You will be happy you did!