Founded in 1837, Montgomery is one of the oldest towns in Texas, and is located just about an hour north of Houston. Montgomery’s Historic District offers quite a few shops and restaurants, making for a nice day trip to escape the hustle of Houston. My wife Maria and I were ready for one of those breaks recently, so we headed a little north to slow things down a bit and enjoy some Texas wines along the way.
Our first stop as we drove to Montgomery was for lunch. It’s always a good idea to have a fun and filling meal before going on wine tastings, and Tony’s Italian Delicatessen definitely hit the spot. Tony’s is located just south of Lake Conroe on Highway 105. Tony’s offers a wide variety of Italian sandwiches made by a super friendly staff. I enjoyed the chicken parmesan sandwich while Maria had the “Rocky Marciano” which features a variety of Italian meats, provolone cheese, roasted red peppers, and an olive spread. A knock-out! The sandwiches were excellent and when you visit, be prepared to have leftovers.
Our first stop in Montgomery’s Historic District was The Rancher’s Daughter. The Rancher’s Daughter is part clothing and Texas-themed housewares boutique, and part wine shop and wine bar. They feature an all Texas wine list and offer quite a few Texas wines that are not in wide distribution. I even found some hard to find bottles that aren’t likely available elsewhere in the greater Houston area.
The Rancher’s Daughter has a rotating selection of Texas wines that are available for tastings as well as by the glass. Tastings are done individually, so customers can build their own tasting flight based upon the current offerings at the tasting bar. I enjoyed a glass of Mont Sec Rosé while browsing their wine selection. This rosé wine is made by Llano Estacado Winery from grapes from Mont Sec Vineyard, which is located in the Dell Valley of far west Texas. Maria put together a tasting flight of wines from Sister Creek Vineyards, Llano Estacado, and Becker Vineyards.
On our visit to The Rancher’s Daughter we tasted:
- 2014 Mont Sec Rosé
- 2015 Llano Signature White
- 2016 Sister Creek Muscat Canelli
- 2014 Becker Vineyards Fascination
Our next stop was Whitley Vineyards, located just one block over from The Rancher’s Daughter on College Street. Whitley Vineyards opened for business a little over a year ago and has had a great first year. Whitley Vineyards has become a very popular spot with a packed calendar of events. Whitley Vineyards also won several awards at the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and that newfound attention led them to start selling out of several of their Texas wines. They currently offer a Texas Blanc du Bois and Texas High Plains Muscat Canelli as well as an expansive California Road Trip line to round out their portfolio. The California Road Trip line gives the Whitley family a chance to share part of the inspiration that led them to start their winery, California wine road trips. We tasted our way across their offerings, and found them all to be well made, enjoyable wines. Whitley offers several tasting flight options as well as a few build your own flight options.
On our visit to Whitley Vineyards we tasted:
- 2017 Blanc du Bois – Texas
- 2016 Muscat Canelli – Texas High Plains
- 2016 Gewürztraminer – Los Carneros / Napa Valley
- 2016 Symphony – Lodi
- 2014 Pinot Noir – Los Carneros / Napa Valley
- 2015 Merlot – Lodi
- California Road Trip Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah blend) – California
- 2016 – Old Vine Zinfandel – Lodi
The folks at Whitley Vineyards are hard at work bringing back some of their sold out Texas wines. They plan on bottling their new release of the Texas High Plains Cabernet Sauvignon in August. They also have a Texas Sangiovese Rosé in the works.
Whitley Vineyards recently began planting a vineyard of Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish vines on their property that’s located a short drive north of their wine bar. They also have plans to add a production facility at their new vineyard in the not too distant future.