Beginning “softly” in late July 2019, as owner Jeanette Fitzgerald refers to it, on September 21, the Fitzel Winery enjoyed a festive grand opening in Gordonville, not even five minutes from Lake Texoma and about an hour and twenty minutes north of Dallas in the Texoma A.V.A. where there seems to be a lot of new winery activity fermenting. With a beautiful tasting room perched in a great spot for enjoying Texoma sunsets, permanent (gourmet) food truck, cozy cabins, honeybees, local artwork display, and yes, a vineyard, the Fitzel Winery brings to life a family friendly, family operated, easy going winery experience for all to enjoy.
Truth be told, I live 10 minutes from the Fitzel Winery, and have been watching this Texoma wine destination come to life since meeting Jeanette in June of 2017. She is a recent graduate of the Grayson College Viticulture and Enology program. As she refers to it, “this fun endeavor started like many abrupt changes in life, one door closes and so you look for another to open.” She has another farm property in the area where she resides with her fainting goats, multiple dogs, and chickens. She quickly found her property for the vineyard and winery development and has wasted no time building the spacious tasting room, winery production facility, maintenance barn, two small vineyards – one with vinifera and one with Munson varietals, and three neat cozy cabins for rent.
When you visit, you’ll enjoy a picturesque winding drive from the main highway directly to the winery parking. And a short jaunt up the sidewalk later, you’re inside the high ceilings tasting room complete with local artists gallery wall. You’ll likely be greeted by Jeanette or her mom, perhaps her son (and Chef) Mack, unless he’s in the Food Truck preparing something fabulous.
At Fitzel Winery you can stand or sit at the tasting bar to enjoy tastings, flights, or simply hang out and chat. You can enjoy a variety of seating options depending upon how many are in your party, including a great outdoor space overlooking a small lake on the property. For the local families who visit, this is popular because there are lawn games like corn hole, horseshoes, and giant Jenga.
Currently there are eight wines on the menu.
- The Wildflower – sweeter blend
- Star White – semi-dry
- Sam’s White – white blend
- Birds and the Bees – dry white
- Preston Bend Bandit – dolce red blend
- Texas Tiki Torch – dry red blend
- Gramp’s Red – dry red
- Mike’s Red – dry red
At the moment, my two favorites are Sam’s White – a blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier, and Mike’s Red – a beautiful Montepulciano. Mike’s Red also honors Jeanette’s late husband, which is such a special tribute as depicted by the labeling.
On property are twelve honeybee colonies. So yes, fresh, raw, local, recently harvested honey from just west of the far edge of the vineyard is available for purchase too. Fun swag for you to consider includes some cool Fitzel branded stemless glasses, hats, shirts, and koozies. As well there is fun wine themed imprinted t-shirts to select from.
Not to be missed, the local artists collection on the wall adjacent to the tasting bar. An on-going rotation of local artist’s originals will hang here provided by Sparrows Gallery in Denison, Texas. These works are for sale at the winery as a satellite of the gallery.
As I mentioned, there are three cabins located at the far north end of the property. Each one is outfitted with kitchenette, full bath, queen sized bed, and loft for either kids or extra party crashers. These are ideal for an easy overnight in Texoma after a day of winery stops. And because of their position on the property, a clear starry night ski is an added bonus here in North Texas.
And – yes, there’s a gourmet food truck operated by Jeanette’s son/Chef Mack. He’s a Cordon Bleu trained chef imported from Austin. While you taste, I highly recommend the meat and cheese board, but wait, the olive tapenade with baguette is amazing too. Plus, if you go for lunch, there’s a yummy grilled cheese, when combined with the truffle fries pairs superbly with Sam’s White. But if you’d rather have the bacon burger sliders, go for it, because they pair beautifully, in my opinion with either Gramp’s Red or Mike’s Red. Chef Mack continues to introduce fun seasonal items to his menu. Just recently he introduced Zesty Shrimp Pasta. It’s made fresh daily, so when it’s all gone, it’s all gone. Watch their Facebook page for future menu and special food and wine announcements.
My compliments to Jeanette for bringing her vision to life in Gordonville. The wines, the food, the winery atmosphere, and entire property create a beautiful destination here in the Texoma A.V.A. At the time of writing this, I’m pleased to share there may already be discussion of vineyard expansion at the Fitzel Winery. Please go see for yourselves. You’ll soon learn “when Jeanette puts her mind to it…” it’s happening.