We were invited for a complimentary stay for the purposes of this review. However, all opinions, experiences, and photographs are entirely our own.
Texas Wine Lover recently had the great opportunity to spend a night at The Vineyard at Florence in a luxury room, to embrace the comforts of the Texas countryside and enjoy estate grown Texas wines. Founded by Kris Davis and Kambrah Garland, the vineyard was planted in 2006, now boasting 32 acres under vine, while the tasting room was finished in 2008. Blanc du Bois, Cabernet Sauvignon, Lenoir, and Norton make up the estate vineyard. The property is roughly 300 acres in total and it is so much more than just a winery and tasting room. It is well equipped for weddings and events as well. There are several different sized rooms you can rent all attached to the tasting room that can be used for events, and a cafe provides food options for guests. You can even build a house on the property if you like, and make yourself right at home! Now onto our experience.
The wife and I packed our overnight bags and hit Highway 281 northbound to make our way toward Florence, Texas. The drive is picturesque, as one would expect driving through the beautiful Texas hill country. As we approached the property, the road leading through Florence is currently under construction to expand the road to make traveling much easier and more comfortable. Although only a 20-25 minute commute to Georgetown, Florence is surprisingly isolated. This definitely helps attribute to the rural ambience you attain when visiting. As we neared the property, we saw the stone entrance pop up on the right side of the road with a wide- open metal gate welcoming us to The Vineyard at Florence!
The land is well manicured and the buildings all have a lovely Italian theme to them. We arrived just before 4 p.m. to check in at the tasting room to grab our room information. We meandered to our upper level Dolce luxury room to unpack our belongings and take in the views and the fresh hill country air. The suite is very well appointed with cozy yet modern furniture and a stunning view from the balcony, which directly overlooks not only the estate vineyard, but it also faces due west allowing you to adore the evening sunset. The suite was well furnished with a king sized bed, comfy sitting chairs, a flat screen TV loaded with premium satellite channels, free high-speed internet, a closet for hanging your clothing, a gorgeous bathroom with an enormous walk-in shower, a mini-fridge, and of course estate wine and wine glasses at your disposal if you choose to partake. The balcony is utterly relaxing! Two wooden rocking chairs await your backside to bask in the afternoon sunlight. We were lucky to have weather in the lower 70’s (in February) during our visit, so the afternoon sun was oh-so relaxing.
Once settled in, we walked over to the tasting room, which is only a hundred yards away or so, to enjoy a full flight of wines. The tastings are enjoyed while standing at the tasting bar and crackers are provided for palate cleansing should you deem necessary.
Alicia led the way through the program, providing information about the vineyard and the wines themselves. She also treated us to a chocolate covered blueberry morsel. Oh my!
Dan Gatlin of Inwood Estates Vineyards next door is the winemaker, so the quality of the wine is very high, as one might expect.
Below is a list of the wines we tasted.
- 2010 Aura – Blanc du Bois
- 2011 Aurelia – Blanc du Bois
- 2010 Roma – Norton
- 2012 Galileo – Norton and Lenoir, The Vineyard at Florence’s first estate grown blend
- 2013 Lira – Blanc du Bois
- 2014 Luce – Blanc du Bois
- Veritas – Cabernet Sauvignon
Estate fortified wines:
- 2011 Bella Donna – Blanc du Bois
- NV Socrates – Lenoir
All of the wines we tasted were very enjoyable and each had their own unique personality. Our personal favorites were the Aurelia and Roma. As you can see, nearly all the wines are non-vinifera except for the Cabernet. My only grumble is there are no real “budget” wines on the menu. Most of the wines including the white wines are $38.00 and up. I am by no means a cheapo when it comes to buying wine, but it would be nice to have a ~$20.00 bottle of wine to take to the room and enjoy on the patio. That did not stop us from indulging of course, as we chose a chilled bottle of Aurelia to bring back to the luxury room for the evening, which we very much enjoyed after dinner.
Speaking of dinner, the advantage of being in the country is the quiet and crisp air, and isolation from the daily grind. The downside is where do you eat at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night? We chose the ~30 minute drive to Round Rock for a Fat Tuesday dinner at Razzoo’s.
After enjoying the bottle of wine and sleeping like a rock on the super cozy bed, we awoke to a stunning view from our balcony overlooking the vineyard. We packed up our overnight gear and made our way to the tasting room to check out.
Our overnight experience at The Vineyard at Florence was indeed very relaxing and enjoyable. Although we were only just over an hour from home, we felt wonderfully isolated and relaxed. Everyone deserves a drop in blood pressure every now and then, right? I highly recommend The Vineyard at Florence for a tasting, and especially for an overnight getaway.
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