When I learned of a new winery opening in my favorite area, Texoma, that just happens to be located along a wine road I travel frequently, I knew I had to go check it out. At this time Lonesome Vine is by reservation only, so as soon as we decided on the date of our trip, I booked our tasting.
Setting out bright and early one Friday morning, we set our GPS for 3142 Catholic Cemetery Rd, Montague, TX, and off we went for our 12:00 p.m. reservation. Of course, we used the Texas Wine Lover mobile app to plan the trip. A little over three hours later we found the sign for Lonesome Vine. A quick turn in and a short drive down the dirt road, we came upon a clearing where we could see the vineyard and tasting room to our left. We were immediately greeted by winery dogs, Deets and Gus, who escorted us to the tasting room where Kristi Abrahamson-Tullis, co-owner/winemaker, kept a watchful eye over the boys making sure they treated us right. As we made our way to the tasting room, Kristi gave us a quick rundown of the property. When Kristi and her husband Andrew Tullis, co-owner/vineyard manager, say they built everything from the ground up they are not kidding. Upon entering the clearing, we saw their beautiful two-story home, the production barn, and then the tasting room all of which they built.
Andrew has a deep family history of farming in Texas, which we find seems to go hand and hand with being a grape grower. He graduated with a degree in Agriculture Engineering from Texas A&M which makes him the perfect vineyard manager. Kristi worked in education and marketing before taking the leap to winemaker. In pursuit of her new career, she obtained a degree in Viticulture & Enology from Grayson College, did a harvest internship at a California winery in 2017, and then a tasting room internship at CALAIS Winery in 2018.
After walking up a short ramp to the tasting room, we came to a covered patio overlooking the six-acre vineyard. There are a few tables and chairs for those days when it is actually nice enough to sit outside which on the day of our visit it was, but we opted to sit inside. Upon entering the tasting room, you notice a subtle western theme including a beautiful, punched tin ceiling. There is a small tasting bar, two tables with chairs, and I cannot forget to mention air conditioning…this is Texas after all.
After three hours on the road, we were ready to taste some of the wine I had heard nothing but good things about. Lonesome Vine currently has a selection of 10 different wines that can be purchased by the glass or bottle. There is a fee for a tasting of four wines. I forgot to ask about food, but their website mentions charcuterie boards and pizza. Since there were two of us on this visit, we opted for two tastings so we could share and try 8 of the 10 wines. Their current wine selection consists of one rosé blend, one white blend, three dry red blends, three single varietal reds, one sweet white blend, and one sweet red blend.
My personal favorites were:
- 2018 Rosé (Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, Grenache, Petite Sirah)
- 2019 Tempranillo (Not typically a Tempranillo drinker, but something about the aging 23 months in 15% new French oak really made this one appeal to me)
- 2019 Feisty Gentleman (Zinfandel aged 10 months in French oak then 6 months in bourbon barrel)
- 2019 Smitten (Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre aged 10 months in 20% new French oak)
- 2019 Grenache (aged 10 months in 20% new French oak)
The goal of Lonesome Vine is to eventually make 100% estate wines, but until then they source all grapes from Texas. Their first vines of Tempranillo were planted in 2018 on land once used for hunting. I knew the 2019 Halloween freeze impacted growers in the High Plains, but I did not realize it also impacted the Texoma AVA causing the loss of their Tempranillo vines. Those have since been replanted and today they have six acres under vine consisting of some of my favorites: Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Picpoul Blanc. They had their first harvest in 2022 and currently have 21 barrels of estate wine aging. I cannot wait to try their first estate wines! Along with their goal of becoming 100% estate, they are already talking about expansions and future goals. Now that I’ve made my first trip to Lonesome Vine where my primary focus was the wine, next time I go back I would love to visit with Andrew and Kristi to discuss more about their winemaking philosophy and how they approach tending to the vineyard.
We had a great visit with Andrew and Kristi, not to mention the couple that came in while we were there, and we thoroughly enjoyed their wines. While we could have stayed all day, we had another stop to make so we purchased our wines and said our “until next times.” If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend making a reservation at Lonesome Vine. They have a fear that they might be too far out of the way for people to come out, so let’s prove them wrong!