Ever visit a winery where you really enjoyed the wines and that had a beautiful facility, but you just stopped going back to it for some reason? That would be us with Christoval Vineyards in Christoval, TX, an almost two-hour drive southwest from where we live. We used to make semi-regular trips there because we really liked their wines, but we just stopped going a couple of years ago and really cannot think of why. A few months ago, we were trying to decide where to go for a day trip and decided it was finally time to head southwest again and revisit Christoval Vineyards. I will say it was a great decision!
In our previous visits, we really did not learn anything about the winery, so I decided to do some online research to see what I could learn ahead of our trip. As expected, I found an article on the Texas Wine Lover website from 2014. From what I could remember, it did not appear that much had changed from the 2014 article, aside from some of the wine selections. As you enter the property, the chapel/event center is to the left. The well-manicured grounds consist of acres of vineyard and beautiful trees that provide vast amounts of shade during the sunny days. A short walk or drive down the entryway takes you to the tasting room where there is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. The air-conditioned tasting room has a tasting bar, several barrel tables with glass tops and bar height chairs, and there is even a quaint seating area. Outside there are several tables under a covered patio and several tables with umbrellas beyond the cover patio. All seating, both inside and outside, have beautiful views of the vineyard so there is not a bad seat to be found.
As I continued researching, I came across a recent article announcing new owners as of April 2019, Bart and Wendi Neff. This got me to wondering what changes, if any, the new owners would make to the winery itself and how the wines might change. As luck would have it, Bart and Wendi were there the day we went back to Christoval Vineyards and graciously visited with us for quite a while. This was a real treat because not only were we able to find out how they came to purchase the winery, but we also got some insight into their visions for the future. When asked my standard question of what got them interested in the winery business, their response was the familiar “we were looking for something to do together,” which I love for couples and/or families.
It was interesting to learn that it was Bryan Vincent, son of the current owner Drex Vincent, that brought Drex together with Bart and Wendi to discuss their taking over the winery. While neither Bart nor Wendi have any background in the wine industry, their commitment to learning the business from the literal ground up speaks to their dedication to their new venture. With Bart’s background in chemistry and being mentored by Drex, Wendi’s background in marketing and sales, and the support of the current staff, one can definitely foresee great things for the future of Christoval Vineyards.
While discussing their visions for the future, we were given a tour of the grounds where we saw the crystal, clear irrigation canal that runs thru the vineyard and the Concho River which is at the back of the property. As you can imagine, there are endless possibilities for use of these beautiful areas! We made a stop at the barrel room where we got to sample a few wines that are in the works, which will be excellent additions to their current lineup. They currently have between six and seven acres of vineyard planted consisting of Vermentino, Tempranillo, and Petite Sirah with two acres open for future planting. Unfortunately, the Mourvèdre and Old Vine Riesling vines were lost to disease a few years ago.
Tastings at Christoval Vineyards consist of five wines for a fee. The current wines available are:
- Angelo White (Vermentino, Viognier, Muscat, Riesling, Roussanne)
- Old Vine Riesling – Estate
- Angelo Blush (Muscat, Roussanne, Vermentino)
- Angel’s Kiss (Roussanne, Muscat Canelli)
- Sparkling Almond
- Angelo Red
- Rendezvous (Syrah, Montepulciano, Viognier)
- Petite Sirah
Food available for purchase includes cream cheese with jalapeño spread and crackers, a meat and cheese platter, meatballs al forno, 12” Neapolitan-style pizzas, and a cheesecake sampler.
Since finally going back a few months ago, we have made a few more trips back to Christoval Vineyards enjoying each visit just as much as the last. As a matter of fact, I am currently writing this while enjoying a glass of Petite Sirah and an order of meatballs while overlooking the vineyard.
We definitely will not let history repeat itself and will continue to head southwest regularly. We are excited about the future of the winery and are looking forward to watching Bart and Wendi make their mark on the Texas wine industry.
If you are ever in the area, please take the time to stop by and enjoy what Christoval Vineyards has to offer. You will not be disappointed!