Wine, music…live turkeys?
If that seems an odd combination, then you haven’t visited Whiskey Road Winery in Grandview where each element comes together perfectly to make your visit fun.
Whiskey Road Winery is a true family affair, owned and operated by two generations of the Rowe family: Bob and Kristi, and their sons and daughters-in-law Ben and Jessica, and Adam and Sabrina. Located midway between Grandview and Cleburne on County Road 308 just off FM 4 South, the winery is situated on a working farm and home not only to the Rowe family but also two pigs, several chickens, two vineyard dogs, and the actual owners of the farm, turkeys Harry and Sally.
The farm occupies a total of seventy-four acres with only three acres currently under vine. The Rowe family planted their first Tempranillo vines in 2016 and slowly added other varieties as time allowed. The property is located in ranch country at an elevation of 800 feet with sandy loam soil. Today the vineyard has Tempranillo, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Viognier planted. As one family member quipped, “This is what happens when a hobby gets out-of-hand.”
The winery and tasting room were built in early 2020 but were soon forced to limit activities due to pandemic restrictions. Most of the family have day jobs and kids to raise so the tasting room was soft-open on a very limited basis for the first couple of years as circumstances and family obligations allowed. As of March 2023, Whiskey Road is now open every Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
We visited the winery on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Driving along CR-308, the first thing you will see is a Whiskey Road Winery sign marking the gravel drive onto the property, beyond which you’ll see the vineyard. Parking behind a barn, we were greeted by a friendly vineyard dog who guided us to the winery area. A small lawn with covered seating, a stage, and a corn hole game are available for guests to enjoy a glass of wine and live entertainment al fresco.
As we entered the tasting room we were immediately greeted by Adam and Sabrina Rowe who introduced us to Ben, Jessica, and other members of the family and gave us a history of the vineyard and winery.
Noticing movement outside the door, I stepped into the yard and met Harry the Turkey who turned out to be quite personable and seemed to enjoy having his photo taken, although he is somewhat shy about getting too close to guests. He’s also an avid music lover and not afraid to take the stage when musicians are performing. We didn’t meet her, but Adam noted that Harry’s mate, Sally, is very friendly with the family and will even curl up in their lap for a cuddle if given the opportunity.
Kids are more than welcome at Whiskey Road, but pets are not allowed as they would likely not get on well with Harry, Sally, and other assorted farm animal friends.
Turning our attention to the wines, Adam and Sabrina guided us through a tasting of their current portfolio. Tastings include your choice of any four wines. All wines are available by the glass or bottle. Cider by the glass is also available.
Whiskey Road Winery currently offers the following wines:
- Rosé (Tempranillo)
- Black Spanish
- Ole Red (Tempranillo, Syrah, Black Spanish blend)
Both the Tempranillo and Syrah are grown on the estate. Other wines are sourced from local North Texas vineyards. All wines by Whiskey Road are made from 100% Texas grapes.
I found all of the wines to be very good. The Viognier was crisp and bright with a nice finish. The Tempranillo was luscious, with ripe red fruit and a hint of mocha. But the real surprise was the Syrah. After commenting how much I liked it, Adam confided that it was made from only second-leaf vines. It seems they were excited about the variety and couldn’t resist making a batch even though no one expected it to be good enough for release. Surprisingly, it was. I can’t wait to taste the results after a few more growing seasons.
After tasting the wines, it is no surprise that Whiskey Road Winery has already started collecting awards at competitions. Both their 2020 Tempranillo and 2020 Rosé won bronze at the 2023 Rodeo Uncorked International Wine Competition. The 2020 Rosé won silver and the 2021 Viognier won gold at the 2022 GrapeFest People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic. Whiskey Road is also a proud member of the Cross Timbers Wine Trail and frequent participant in area wine festivals. Be sure to follow them on social media for news, festival schedules, and live music events.
So, what about future plans? Whiskey Road does not yet have a wine club but the family hopes to make one available in the future. They also plan to add more acres under vine as time allows. In the meantime, their plans are to continue doing what they do best – make good wines and provide a venue for folks to enjoy them in a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere.