Rosann Mitrione jokes that instead of celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip or jewelry, she and her husband Michael (aka “Mike”) celebrated by buying a piece of dirt. That dirt, located on the Texas High Plains, is now Michael Ros Vineyards. The Mitriones started planting the vineyard in 2018, and it currently spans 27 acres and features over a dozen grape varieties. In time, this Brownfield vineyard, plus an additional 8.5-acre vineyard planted at the winery, will supply all the grapes for Michael Ros Winery.
After over 30 years in corporate America, Rosann and Mike relocated from north Texas to Fredericksburg in 2021 and turned their collective business acumen toward opening a boutique Texas winery. With the High Plains vineyard underway, the Mitriones’ next priority was to build a winery production facility at the 38-acre property on Old San Antonio Road, just east of Fredericksburg. Winemaker Tim Drake was involved in the project since its early days, and he designed many aspects of the winery to his specifications. Next, the Fredericksburg vineyard was planted to supplement the grapes from Brownfield. Finally, the tasting room was built and ready for business.
A “now open” sign recently appeared, and the response from visitors and locals has been enthusiastically positive. Guests drive to the parking lot at the back of the tasting room building, then catch a lovely vineyard view before descending the stairs to enter the tasting room on the lower level.
The tasting room is a modern, comfortable space with both table service and living room-style seating. Mike designed and made the stunning tables from fallen pecan trees on the property. The two-story outdoor space beckons now that fall weather has arrived. A fountain in the center of the patio features symbols representing Faith, Family, Friends, and Fellowship, important values to the Mitriones. The “drinking with friends” mural is sure to be a popular photo spot. Saturdays feature live music and food trucks to complete the inviting scene.
Tasting room manager Ron Moore leads the team that filled its Founders Club within a few weekends after opening. While the winery is currently open Friday through Sunday, watch for expanded days of operation beginning in the spring. Mike and Rosann are usually present in the tasting room to share their Texas wine story.
The current tasting menu includes 2022 Viognier, 2022 Sangiovese Rosé, 2020 Sangiovese, 2019 Tempranillo, and 2019 Malbec. All wines are from the Michael Ros Vineyards in the Texas High Plains except for the Viognier which was grown at nearby Reddy Vineyards. A 2022 Roussanne from Michael Ros Vineyards was included as a bonus pour. As good as these wines are, Mike is even more thrilled by what’s to come. Dolcetto, anyone?
Over the next several years, vine growth and wine quality will determine which of the varieties currently planted at Michael Ros Winery will be expanded and which may be replaced. In the interim, expect both blends and single-varietal wines as Tim Drake and Mike experiment. The Mitriones don’t yet know which varieties and styles will ultimately prevail, but their goal is to produce exceptional Texas wine.
What’s impressive about Michael Ros Winery is not only that its wines are nearly all estate grown, but also the care with which the operation was undertaken. Among the eco-conscious features is a BioFiltro system that processes winemaking wastewater, then filters it for use in vineyard irrigation. Future enhancements will include solar panels and possibly even baby doll sheep to help in the vineyard. Sheep would be a perfect anniversary gift!
Watch for the Michael Ros Winery Grand Opening in late October.