We recently made our second trip to Albany, Texas to spend a few relaxing hours at Blue Duck Winery located in the T.E. Jackson Warehouse. On this visit all four owners were working and their hospitality was bar none. The four owners are Austin Chamness, Stacey Wardrup, and Adrian and Sheila Allen.
As you walk towards the tasting room, to your right you will notice a small patio with outside seating and the red Agarita Garden building. The Agarita Garden building is part of the Blue Duck Winery property and will be used for various events. Behind the Agarita Garden building is a large stage with additional outdoor seating where the winery will host live music throughout the year.
Upon entering the tasting room, you cannot help but notice the beautiful hardwood floors, bead board walls and ceilings, and carved detail of the bar and matching mirror. The front tasting room has a few bar height tables and stools along with a couple of tables and chairs, while the second tasting room has a few tables and chairs.
Blue Duck Winery offers a selection of 12 wines and there is a tasting fee for five wines. Tastings are done while seated, and you are given a Texas shaped paper to write your five selections on. The tastings are served in logo glasses and are presented on a Texas shaped wooden platter that mirrors the paper used for listing your selections. We found this to be fitting since we are in Texas and are drinking Texas wine. Snacks available for purchase include a cheese platter, flat pretzels and hummus, chips and salsa, Italian bread and olive oil, brownie bites, and cheesecake bites.
With this being our second trip, we have tasted 11 of the 12 wines as they did not have the Peach Wine either time. A few of our favorites were:
- 2014 Golden Riesling (Texas High Plains) – Crisp with subtle floral notes and a smooth finish.
- 2015 Comanche Moon (Texas High Plains) – I was so shocked by the fact that I found two rosés in two days that I actually liked, both of which were made from Cinsaut grapes, that I forgot to make note of our thoughts. All I remember is that it was not dry and had a different flavor from other rosés.
- Malbec (Texas High Plains) – Not too dry and more medium bodied with notes of dark fruit and a tart, green bell pepper finish.
- Viognier – Slightly crisp with notes of stone fruit and a buttery finish.
- Sweet White – Not overly sweet, but we definitely got the honeysuckle notes from this one.
- Sweet Red – Again not overly sweet with dark fruit notes and a hint of spice in the finish.
After we finished our tastings, we ordered a bottle of Comanche Moon, headed outside to relax, and enjoy snacks provided by Mom. Austin Chamness ensured we were set for the afternoon by bringing out cushions for the chairs and humoring our request for Frank Sinatra radio.
Unfortunately, it started to drizzle so we headed inside and ordered a bottle of Golden Riesling. Like with our first visit, Adrian Allen stopped and visited with us for a bit. He might think twice before doing that again, since we had just as many questions this time as we did on our first visit. We always appreciate it when the winery owners and/or winemakers are able to take the time to visit and graciously answer our million questions. We are not in the business nor are we wine connoisseurs; we are just regular people who love our Texas wine and are trying to learn.
Knowing the next wave of storms was heading in, we said our goodbyes and hit the road for home. Of course, we are already looking forward to our next road trip to Albany.