It had been too long since my wife Maria and I visited some of the wineries near our home in Spring, Texas. I found myself with some extra time off from work during this holiday season and catching up with some of our local wineries seemed like an excellent use of this time.
For our first stop, we head just south of The Woodlands to Gadela Winery where we got to chat with co-owner and winemaker Franco Knoepffler while trying his latest wines. Franco is always enjoyable to talk to and loves to share the stories of his wines, and visits to Gadela feel like visiting old family friends.
Gadela now offers over a dozen wines all made by Franco with help from his family and friends. Gadela offers everything from dry whites to bigger reds to dessert wines. Tastings are done where visitors can select eight wines from their current offerings. If you have a chance to visit soon, be sure to try the Gewürztraminer, Nebbiolo, and Petit Verdot. Gadela Winery also features live music and special tasting events on a regular basis.
Just minutes away from Gadela Winery you can find Wild Stallion Vineyards. Wild Stallion has added quite a few new wines since our last visit. They offer four flight options: a sweet flight, a dry flight, an all red flight, and a pick-your-own custom flight. My wife and I shared the dry and all red flights, which gave us a chance to taste six of their wines. We felt like the wines were really well made across the board with their Texas White (Blanc du Bois), Red Silk (Sangiovese, Merlot, and Dolcetto), and Texas Two Step (Sangiovese and Montepulciano) being our personal favorites during this visit.
Wild Stallion has a vineyard of Blanc du Bois which produces the grapes used in several of their wines. They also work with their partners to source grapes from other Gulf Coast vineyards, the Hill Country, and the High Plains. Wild Stallion has developed quite the following for their concert series where guests can enjoy local bands, Texas wine, and food from their great kitchen.
Next, we head a little further out to the gently rolling hills of Plantersville where we find Bernhardt Winery. Bernhardt has a scenic spot where guests can enjoy their wine as well as one of their regular concerts or other events. They offer quite a few different tasting options, everything from more full-service tastings with tours to set tasting flights that guests can enjoy outdoors.
My wife and I picked two of their patio flights: a dry wine flight and a port flight. This gave us an opportunity to try a wide variety of their wines while relaxing under the large oak trees on their property. Along with Texas and American wines, Bernhardt also offers several Bulgarian and Greek wines as part of their Antiquity series. Going from a Texas Bordeaux-style blend to a Bulgarian Mavrud, followed by a Madeira-style wine does make for a fun and interesting tasting experience.
These visits reminded us just how enjoyable the wineries in our area can be, and we don’t need to plan a big trip to the Hill Country to enjoy some great Texas wineries. With the ever-growing number of wineries throughout Texas, it’s a good time to visit the ones that are close to home as you might find a new favorite hidden gem.