The long-awaited opening of Burklee Hill’s new wine tasting room in downtown Lubbock is over. The room opened the first week of March and it is everything you could have hoped for!
Housed in a beautiful historic building in downtown Lubbock, you have a sense that all is right with the world as you simply walk in front of the Kress Building, with its Art-Deco look that is a call back to the 1930s, when the building was built. The Kress Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and as a side note, I am sure that I was in that building as a little girl when it was a “Five and Dime Store.”
Chace and Elizabeth Hill have left all the historic charm while bringing in the best and the brightest to make sure an evening spent there will not disappoint.
The Hills have had the dream of opening a winery in Lubbock for some time. Their Burklee Hill tasting room in nearby Levelland has been going great, but the Hills felt it was time to branch out a bit. Their chef is Aniesto Garcia and Ben Hernandez is the manager of the wine tasting room and bistro. Ben has his WSET 3 and is currently working on Level 4.
The room will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and open until 11 p.m. on weekends.
Two years ago, the opportunity came up to lease the Kress Building and the Hills jumped on it. It took quite a while to get all the renovations done. The building had been empty for some time and there was definitely some work needed. But when you first open those wonderful old glass doors that still have KRESS emblazoned on the handles and see those great high ceilings and the aged original wooden floors, you know all the work was done with love.
The Hills pride themselves on putting everything they have into whatever they are doing, whether it is grape growing, winemaking, floor finishing, or preparing a wonderful menu. The menu is mostly the work of Chace who is a fantastic cook. The menu at Burklee Hill was amazing. From appetizers to desserts, nothing was a disappointment at all!
I had the Artichoke Schmear for an appetizer and it was unbelievable and was also one of Chace’s recipes. I went with the Rita Pizza for the main course but could have also opted for a Panini. The menu is not heavy and there is plenty to choose from. The pizza was as good as the opening course. Kaley, my lovely waitress brought me a Pot de Creme for a dessert and I thought I had died and gone to chocolate heaven. Again, wonderful.
The wine list was great, and obviously, all locally grown Burklee Hill wines. I tasted a Dessert Riesling that was great and enjoyed the Rosé with my meal. They have a wonderful red in FM 303 which appeals to me, first because I actually live on FM 303, but second because it does have such a full flavor. And reds are generally not really my thing!
Many of the Burklee Hill wines are named after family. In fact, Burklee is the combination of the names of Chace’s grandparents. The lovely white wines named Bana Sue and Olivia are for Elizabeth’s grandmothers. Burnett, a dark wine, is named for Chace’s great grandfather who was the original entrepreneur in the family.
The new tasting room, located at 1109 East Broadway in downtown Lubbock, also features a small event room and will be available to rent for weddings, receptions, and other smaller affairs where you just don’t need a cavernous space, but you do want the elegance.
And elegance is the word that just kept coming to mind as I sat enjoying my meal and listening to the music of local musician Mike Pritchard.
The place has such an elegance about it, but not so much that you feel you must be dressed in formal attire. Boots and jeans will do just fine, as will a suit and tie and after five wear. Either way, you will be glad you made the trip to Burklee Hill Vineyards in Downtown Lubbock.