Thistleridge Ranch Vineyards & Winery is located in Weatherford and is owned by Linn and Wesley Ragle. The winery opened December 2015.
I arrived at the winery which is in a remodeled late 1800’s home. The small tasting room with bar and tables greets you as you enter the winery. To the right are a couple rooms with many gift items to purchase. The selection is large from antiques, jewelry, grape seed oil, candles, wine accessories, and all kinds of knickknacks. Upstairs is a lounge seating area with an adjacent balcony overlooking the backyard.
Tastings are done while standing at the bar or sitting at a table. I chose to stand at the bar and Linn Ragle handled my tasting. There is a tasting fee for a selection of five wines. The tasting fee is waived with a purchase of one bottle. The wines are poured from the bottles using a Coravin. If you are unaware of a Coravin, it allows you to pierce the cork with a fine needle and pour the wine from the Coravin without having to uncork the bottle. It retains the freshness of the wine and with a winery who may not pour many bottles of wine, it makes it ideal for pouring wine on a weekend and still being able to use the same bottles the next weekend without loss of quality.
These are the wines I could select from during my visit:
- Sweet Ranch White
- Sweet Ranch Red
- Chardonnay (mild oak)
- Chardonnay (more oak from Lodi)
- Zinfandel (Lodi)
The Shiraz had a smoky taste. Linn suggested tasting the wine, take an oyster cracker with BBQ sauce, and then tasting the wine again. The result is an enhancement of the smokiness. Four of the wines are currently made in Deming, New Mexico, and the other two wines are from Lodi. Currently the winery made 220 cases of wine. When Linn takes over the winemaking duties, the rear gift shop room will turn into the production area. The winery will be offering a watermelon and peach slushy soon, in addition to cheese boards for those who are hungry.
Near the end of my visit, Wesley Ragle arrived so I got the chance to meet him again. I had previously met both Linn and Wesley at this year’s TWGGA Conference. We took a walk to the backyard where they showed me the four acres of Syrah that has been planted. They are hoping the vines continue to thrive and the deer fence keeps the deer out too.
The couple also sells Maltese puppies, so the winery is definitely pet friendly.
I had a fun visit at Thistleridge Ranch Vineyards & Winery and would suggest visiting if you are in the Weatherford area.