Sugar Ridge Winery has its origins in Bristol where we first met owners Don and Michele Andrews. The winery is still in Bristol, but a new tasting room opened in Sanger in September, 2015. The winery will be celebrating their sixth anniversary on April 1st, 2016.
We visited Sugar Ridge Winery – Sanger which is located in the historic downtown square among other shops. Fortunately, both Don and Michele Andrews were available at the tasting room that day. They said the winery in Bristol is still open, and has even expanded since our last visit, but they can leave the winery in competent hands while they visit and attend to the Sanger location.
Don welcomed us and started a tasting for us. It had been over four years since my visit to the winery, but Michele from the other side of the tasting bar recognized me and came over to say hello. Tastings at the Sanger location are done while sitting at the bar. There is a tasting fee for whatever wines they may have available. The tastings are poured from uncorked bottles and oyster crackers are available to cleanse your palate.
Before we started our tasting, Don made sure we realized they are called Sugar Ridge Winery for a reason because they only have sweet wines. Fortunately, we enjoy any style of wine from sweet to dry, and white to red, so bring them on!
This is the list of wines that were available when we were there:
- Gertz (Gewürztraminer)
- Niagara (Niagara grapes)
- Sunshine Lemon (Sauvignon Blanc with lemon)
- Little Green Apple (Gewürztraminer with green apples)
- Papa’s Peach (peach wine)
- Legends (Tempranillo)
- Marriages (Malbec)
- Heritage (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend)
- Mora Negro (Merlot with blackberry)
- Cowboy Cranberry (Chianti with cranberry)
- Ordnung (Concord grapes)
The Tempranillo is made using Texas grapes and Papa’s Peach is made using Texas fruit, but the rest of the wine comes from out of state juice. The Tempranillo wine was an interesting one since it was sweet and tasted like a port. The tasting is also free with a wine club membership. Sugar Ridge Winery makes 3,000 cases of wine a year. One wall of the tasting room was adorned with posters of their wine labels which was fun to see since some of the labels were family members.
Along with the wine, the winery sells prepackaged cheese and crackers and welcomes food to be brought in from local businesses. There is a gift shop with wine accessories, clothing, pastas, olive oils, candles, pecans, and pecan oil.
Events are held at the winery such as dinners and an event called a poker run that works along with the local stores. The best news though is the upstairs bed and breakfast, but plan in advance because they are already booked through May.
If you have driven between Houston and Dallas, perhaps you have seen Sugar Ridge Winery’s billboards off I-45. The first billboard has done so well that the winery now has 12 billboards around the state for both locations. As you can see, the winery is doing well and always expanding, so be sure to stop by one of the locations soon.