As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another door opens.” Marker Cellars Winery is the perfect example of this, and I am happy to have been a part of both occasions.
July 30, 2023, marked the end of an era as it was the last day that Marker Cellars tasting room in Alvord was opened. A tasting room that opened in November 2012, that has undergone numerous changes over the years, that was one of the original three wineries Mom and I visited as we started our Texas wine journey, and that holds countless memories of family, friends, and great Texas wine. It was definitely a bittersweet day that was shortly followed by the next chapter.
August 12, 2023, was the official grand opening of the new Bridgeport tasting room. My “plan” for the day was to make the two plus hour drive, spend a few hours celebrating, and then head into Saint Jo for a couple more winery stops before calling it a day. Keeping in line with some other visits to Marker Cellars over the years, I ended up opening it up and shutting it down. I arrived right as they opened, so I was really able to take in the new tasting room and I liked what I saw! Let me just say I am so excited for what the future holds for Marker Cellars, co-owners Mark Rogers and Becky Rogers, and managing partner/tasting room manager Casey Prisel.
Located at 1015 Halsell St, the new tasting room is surrounded by eating establishments and bars/lounges all within walking distance. This alone will make for a perfect afternoon trip to Bridgeport. As you enter the tasting room, immediately to the right is a stairwell leading to a loft area that overlooks the tasting room. The loft is filled with tables and chairs, a cozy lounge area, and a big screen TV.
The loft is the perfect vantage point for enjoying the beauty of the tasting room that has a little bit of an industrial vibe with all the black metal accents accentuating the wood beam ceiling, exposed stone and brick walls, and concrete floor.
Heading back down into the tasting room there are a few tables and chairs as you enter the room, followed by another lounge area with a big screen TV located under the loft, followed by more tables and chairs, and then the expansive bar with a live edge wood bar top, and huge wooden wine rack. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the new tasting room is absolutely beautiful! Definitely a different vibe from the Alvord location, but this location has a nice relaxing atmosphere and will better server patrons throughout the hot summers and cold winters with the expanded seating.
Will Donohue was broadcasting the event live for the We Know Texas Vino podcast, so I had the pleasure of spending the day visiting with him while enjoying the wine, small bites provided by Trosko Culinary, live music, and visiting with friends. While I did not have a chance to try all of the food, I will say the hatch chile mini enchiladas and Wagyu crostini with herb cream cheese and egg mousse was delicious! This was an amazing day and the perfect way to celebrate the next chapter for people I am so proud to call dear friends!
I made a second trip back to Bridgeport a few weeks later to check in with Mark Rogers to see how things had been going and what else we had to look forward to. One thing that is evident in speaking with both Mark and Casey is that they are looking forward to their continued involvement in the community. Marker Cellars has always been involved with their local communities, but now being located in town instead of out in the country, they will have expanded opportunities. Be sure to keep an eye out on their Facebook page or the events section of their website for upcoming events. As for the winery itself, the list of future endeavors includes:
- Cider taps being installed (This was actually completed while I was visiting with Mark, so that is one thing to check off the list.)
- Offering wine on tap
- A build your own seltzer bar where a base seltzer will be on tap then you add your own flavorings
- A cigar patio area at the back of the building
- A small production area were wines will actually be made so patrons can experience the winemaking process
If you have not made the trip into Bridgeport to see the new tasting room, you definitely need to go. I know I cannot wait to get back out there!