Frascone Winery is located in Anahuac on the other side of the bay from Baytown and is owned by Jim Frascone who is also the winemaker. The winery first opened in 2004 and at the time was the number 88th bonded winery in Texas. Unfortunately, when Hurricane Ike hit in 2008, the winery was destroyed. Jim decided to rebuild the winery on the opposite side of the street and the winery reopened on August 31, 2014.
We made the visit to Frascone Winery after driving down roads overlooking the bay. The winery is located in the bottom of a two story house. Outside the winery is a vineyard of .25 acres of Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish grapes. When we entered the winery, we were greeted by Kathy Tran who we later learned is Jim Frascone’s life companion. We liked that term.
Tastings are done while standing at the tasting bar. The tastings are complimentary right now and you have a choice of what wines you would like to taste. The wines are poured from the uncorked bottles and oyster crackers are available to cleanse your palate.
When we were getting ready to taste, Jim Frascone came in with a bag of groceries. The reason being is the winery is also a bistro. That night they were getting prepared for a dinner which was going to take place. The restaurant is reservation only and should be made at least a day in advance, preferably two days. The bistro can host about 20 people. Between Jim and Kathy’s backgrounds, the bistro serves a diverse Italian and Vietnamese food menu. They said that when they hold a dinner, some people order Italian food while others enjoy the Vietnamese food.
Back to the wine tasting, Frascone Winery uses about 70% Texas grapes in their wines. Local vineyards are used in addition to grapes from the High Plains like Newsom Vineyards. In addition to grape wines, the winery also makes fruit wines and mead. Jim said that he only gets his fruit from a Forestville, NY company that supplies 100% pure squeezed juice instead of using concentrate. The company sounded interesting because in the retail area, they have spouts coming out of the wall where you can fill your own pails with the squeezed juice. Jim cold stabilizes the fruit wines he makes. The winery makes about 500 cases of wine a year and this year’s goal is to make 1,000 cases.
These are some of the wines available to taste when we visited:
- Oak Island Red (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot)
- Coco Rose (chocolate wine dessert)
- Oak Island White (Sauvignon Blanc – Newsom Vineyards)
- Orange Muscat
- Blackberry fruit wine (top seller)
- Cranberry fruit wine
- Strawberry fruit wine
- Peach fruit wine
- Pear fruit wine
- Pineapple fruit wine
- Carbonated Moscato (sparkling wine made from Muscat Canelli)
- Double Bayou Raspberry Bubbly (sparkling wine with raspberry flavors)
Frascone Winery’s wines are also available at La Porte’s Farmer’s Market. On October 29, the winery will be holding a mead festival and grape stomp which is a popular event. There is a gift shop available with items such as wine accessories, clothing, and honey. The winery can also do custom labels for any wines you would like.
Jim Frascone has been making wines since he was very young and learned from his grandfather. His winemaking talents are often requested so he teaches winemaking at the winery too. In fact, he was an instrumental part in nearby Yepez Vineyard deciding to open a winery, and he still works with them when needed.
Next time you are hungry for a meal or needing to quench your thirst, make a trip to Anahuac and visit Frascone Winery.
Hope to see you at Mead Fest in Oct.
Jeff Cope says