Known for the wines its grapes produce for wineries throughout Texas, Bingham Family Vineyards has now opened a tasting room in Fredericksburg, as part of the Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters new building on the south side of Highway 290 east of downtown.
“We made the decision to open a tasting room in Fredericksburg because that is where so many people come to taste Texas wines,” co-owner and grower Cliff Bingham said.
“Our location on Highway 290 in the Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters new building will hopefully attract customers, and our 100% Texas-grown and Texas-produced wines will bring those customers back time and again,” added wife Betty Bingham, who is the marketing manager for the family business.
A “soft opening” was hosted by Cliff, Betty, and Tasting Room Manager Steven Krueger over Labor Day weekend. The new tasting room is still awaiting placement of a bright, Highway 290-facing sign reminiscent of the already erected Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters sign. Also to come is installation of a 10-tasting station oval bar beneath a branding iron chandelier in the center of the spacious barn-style tasting room. The chandelier was a gift from the Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters owners.
“From talking with other area wineries to whom we sell grapes, and from what we have learned over the last few years at our Grapevine tasting room in north Texas, we designed our Fredericksburg space so that Wine Club members and other guests will be comfortable as they explore 100% Texas-grown grapes bottled for a range of tastes,” Betty said.
Those 100% Texas-grown grapes include 10 white varietals and 10 red varietals that produce between 1,000 and 1,500 cases of Bingham Family Vineyards wines.
“The wines we bottle and serve make up only approximately 10% of our total grape production,” Cliff said. “About 75% of our grapes go to other wineries directly, and about 15% of our production is sold off as bulk wine.”
The Fredericksburg tasting room offers three “for-fee” tasting options – Sweet, Dry, and Red – with five wines poured in each option. As we visited with Betty and Cliff, my wife Phyllis and I shared tastings of both the Dry and Red options that were served by measured pourers by Steven Krueger from bottles that had been sealed with corks.
The Dry Tasting menu included the 2014 Cloudburst white blend that has won numerous awards. Also on that menu were the Wine Club-exclusive 2016 Roussanne, the 2014 High Plains Sunset, the 2014 Turnrow, and the gold medal-winning 2015 Dirt Farmer.
“Since we operate one of the largest organic farms, it was natural that we used farming terms in naming our blends,” explained Cliff.
The 2014 Turnrow, a 50/50 blend of Mourvèdre and Tempranillo, was also on the Red Tasting list. Other wines on the Red menu include the 2015 Dirt Farmer, and three Wine Club-exclusives – the 2015 Mourvèdre, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2009 Reserve Merlot.
The Sweet Tasting wines available included the 2017 Fine ‘N Dandy lightly-sweet red blend which honors Cliff’s father and has been chosen as one of 12 Texas wines to be featured as GO TEXAN Blue Ribbon Wine Selections at the State Fair in October. Other sweet options were the medal-winning 2017 Malvasia Bianca, and the non-vintage Short Rows, as well as the 2017 Gewürztraminer and the 2016 Reserve Moscato Giallo.
Access to both the Bingham Family tasting room at the Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters retail store will be from Highway 290, with parking on the west and south sides of the building. Wine Club members will be able to pick up wines at either the Bingham Family Winery in Meadow, southwest of Lubbock, or at the tasting rooms in Grapevine and Fredericksburg.
The new Fredericksburg tasting room will feature Bingham Family Vineyards logo items for sale. Customers will also be able to access the connecting Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters store through either the enclosed hallway or via the outdoor patio that is to be developed.