Most people in Texas seem to head west to go to the Hill Country to visit wineries. However, those that use the Texas Wine Lover mobile app know there are wineries all over the state. One such winery you should head east to visit is Rowdy Creek Ranch. The winery and ranch are owned by Dr. Harold and Debra Bolnick.
Rowdy Creek Ranch is not only a winery but a destination in itself. Pack up your cares and troubles for a weekend to relax at Rowdy Creek Ranch. If you don’t have an RV to bring along to spend the weekend, that isn’t a problem since glamping trailers and cottages are available for you to rent. The trailers and cottages are designed in cowboy or retro themes to make you feel at home in Texas.
I made an appointment with winemaker Arnulfo Perez to taste through Rowdy Creek Ranch wines. If Arnulfo’s name sounds familiar, he used to be the winemaker at Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards and made many award-winning wines there. The opportunity to move his winemaking skills down the road to a new winery wanting to provide quality Texas wines was too enticing, so he made the move. Arnulfo then began the design of the winery and equipment needed to produce Texas wine.
When I arrived at Rowdy Creek Ranch, I headed to the tasting room not knowing where I was going to meet Arnulfo. I looked in the tasting room and it was a large building with many tables that were set up for either dining or events. Outside the tasting room in the rear was a large area that looked like a small town complete with sidewalks. I learned later that these were the cottages available for staying. A sign indicated that a food truck was available with a nice menu for meals. Outside the building were all kinds of entertainment including ping pong, cornhole, and two pickleball courts. After asking, I was told that Arnulfo would meet me in the production area which is a building you pass when you first arrive, so I headed back up the road past the natural bridge separating a small lake. I learned that was a lake available for visitors to do bass fishing. Also available at the ranch are four-wheelers and horses.
I met Arnulfo Perez outside the production building, and we went back inside to the coolness of the production area. He wondered how much time I had because he had a tour he was going to conduct on the hour. We had 20 minutes before the tour time, so Arnulfo gave me a quick tour of the production. We did a couple of barrel tastings of Cabernet Sauvignon and then we tasted a wine from a barrel from his own Un Sueno Vineyard, a 50-acre vineyard. He admitted it was starting to taste pretty good. Rowdy Creek also has whiskey barrels ready to be used for port-style wine. Rowdy Creek currently grows only Blanc du Bois.
The tour group arrived, and I was able to tag along on the tour. Arnulfo told them about the different items in the production area such as the stainless-steel tanks, barrels, and bottling machine. The group was definitely interested and it was good to see there are more Texas wine lovers out there.
These were some of the wines available at the time of my visit:
- Sweet Blanc du Bois (Texas)
- Moscato (American)
- Sweet Blush (American)
- Sweet Red (American)
- 2021 Chardonnay (California)
- 2021 Rosé of Grenache (California)
- 2020 Pinot Noir (California)
- 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon (Texas)
There are more Texas wines coming out and Arnulfo is excited to bring them to us.
If you want to get away and relax in the country, Rowdy Creek Ranch is definitely one place you want to go.