This post has been sponsored by The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian
Update: Three years later we looked at the new 5 Houston wineries you must visit.
By Donna Fitzgerald
For decades, California was the place to visit if you wanted to visit “wine country” and take tours of vineyards. While every wine lover should visit the California wine regions if given a chance, Texas is becoming more well-known for their wineries and vineyards.
Whether you’re a resident of Houston and have been meaning to visit some wineries, or you’re planning a vacation to the Houston area, here are some of the wineries you should check out.
Sable Gate Winery
Whether you want to share a bottle of wine with your friends or try a customized wine flight, Sable Gate Winery offers a variety of options for wine aficionados. If you’re visiting during the week, you can check out Sable Gate’s Happy Winesday Happy Hour on a Wednesday.
Some of the busiest times to visit Sable Gate are around 8 to 9 p.m., but even when you visit the winery at peak times, there is typically more than enough indoor or outdoor seating. Reservations are available, but not necessary.
If you don’t know much about wine (other than you love to drink it), the owner and staff are extremely knowledgeable and will help you find the perfect wine for you. Regulars of Sable Gate love the wine, food, atmosphere, and staff.
Solaro Urban Winery – Houston
If you like the opportunity to book a private tour of the winery or reserve a tasting, Solaro Urban Winery – Houston is worth visiting. The winery has limited hours that are open to the public, and Sunday through Thursday is by appointment only. If you plan on visiting Solaro, it’s best to call ahead to see if you can make a reservation.
Like many wineries, Solaro Urban Winery offers a guided wine tasting, but there are tasting fees, so make sure you understand the pricing before you sign up. Solaro is an urban and industrial space, and many regulars of Solaro Urban Winery love the wine, the staff, and the atmosphere.
If you’re willing to travel outside of Houston, Bernhardt Winery is about an hour Northwest of Houston. Whether you want to stay the day sipping wine or make it an overnight stay at the bed and breakfast, the winery is a favorite for residents and visitors to the Houston area.
Regulars to Bernhardt Winery like the music events, food trucks, wine tastings, and knowledgeable staff. Where other Houston area wineries are limited to an urban building, this winery is 12-acres, which means that guests have more room to roam and enjoy the weather.
If you’re in the Houston area for at least a couple of days, contact the Nice Winery to see if they have any pairing events coming up. While Nice Winery offers many of the same accommodations as other wineries in the area, they plan a lot of events to help wine lovers understand wine a little better.
You don’t have to attend an event to enjoy the winery, but keep in mind that you may end up visiting the winery when an event is going on (which might make it more difficult to find a spot).
Haak Vineyards & Winery
Located less than an hour Southeast of Houston, Haak Vineyards & Winery started with just two grapevines in 1969. Today, the vineyard is three acres, has 1,800 vines, and is one of the first wineries to cultivate Blanc du Bois.
Haak Vineyards & Winery is a hotspot for Santa Fe, Texas locals and tourists to the area. While other Houston wineries typically stay open later, Haak has limited hours and stay open until 5 p.m. (the upside is that they are open all week long). It’s best to call ahead about any specific questions concerning your trip to the winery.
There are plenty of opportunities to participate in a tasting, go on a tour, or attend one of their many events. Regulars of Haak love the variety of events, such as concerts, the relaxed atmosphere, the knowledgeable staff, and the expansive wine and food menu.
A Few Things to Consider When Visiting Houston Area Wineries
While we only shared a few of our top choices for wineries in the Houston area, there are many more worth checking out if you have the time. Whether you’re planning to visit one winery or a more, it’s important to consider how you’ll get to and from each one.
Many winery patrons spend an average of about three hours at each winery, but even if you share a flight of wine and a cheese plate with friends, you may still become too intoxicated to drive (remember, you can get a DUI for being “buzzed”).
To avoid a driving offense or causing an alcohol-related accident, designate a sober driver or consider other alternatives such as a rideshare.
If you are within walking distance of wineries, or even your hotel, it is important to keep in mind that many areas throughout Houston have heavy traffic and can be unsafe for pedestrians. As a pedestrian, always cross a street using designated crosswalks and even if you have the right of way, never assume that motorists see you or will stop for you.