Cheers to These Houston-Area Wineries
Wine lovers typically head to California, Oregon, or Washington for their fill of vineyards and wine. However, Texas, specifically the Houston hill country area, is fast becoming popular for its grapes and wine production. Located anywhere between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 290, oenophiles can enjoy spectacular views and award-winning wines not too far from home.
Haak Vineyards & Winery - Galveston County
Since it opened in 2000, this family-owned winery has grown from a modest tasting room, kitchen, and bottling area to a 25,000-square-foot winery that hosts special events. Haak produces 16 types of wine including a tempranillo, malbec, and cabernet. They also produce their proprietary varietal, a popular blanc du bois.
Pleasant Hill Winery - Brenham
The overall operation is hands-on and quaint as they still do most of the steps by hand. For hand-crafted wines, the bottles are reasonably priced from approximately $12-$30. A favorite for oenophiles is their red sangiovese and their white Collina Bianca. Pleasant Hill offers multiple tours and tastings on the weekend. The brief tour includes showcasing their vineyard and their cellar where they age, test, and bottle their harvest.
Messina Hof Winery and Resort - Bryan
Messina Hof Winery and Resort is a destination winery located about an hour outside of Houston in Bryan. The 100-acre family-owned business has won thousands of awards, and the website boasts it’s the most awarded Texas wine in national and international competitions.
While strolling the vineyard, lake, and waterfall, guests can enjoy wine flights, tours, shopping, fine dining, weekend getaways at The Villa Bed and Breakfast, and year-round special events.
Cork This! Winery - Montgomery
Cork This! Winery is a boutique winery that produces custom-made wines. Located on Highway 105 in downtown Montgomery, Cork This! Winery was established in 2009. Their wines are all made on site, and the winery offers guests a chance to taste-test their offerings. For a more personalized experience, the staff will even guide visitors through the process of bottling their own wine with a personally designed custom label.
Cork This! Winery bottles 17 wines, about 6,000 annually, including reds, whites, and sweet wines. Each varietal bears non-traditional names such as the popular One Night Stand cabernet sauvignon or the Overly Committed pinot grigio.
LaFuente Winery - Houston
Located in northwest Houston, LaFuente Winery is owned by Rogelio de la Fuente, the “Wine Doctor.”
LaFuente’s featured wines include a sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, carmenere, and the Wine Doctor Blend, described as a “romantic” wine. La Fuente red wines are 100 percent single variety — no blends — and are aged three months in French oak. The winery also sells their wines in Holland and England.
Tidbit: The label on La Fuente Winery’s bottles is a reproduction of Léon Bonnat’s “Roman Girl at a Fountain,” which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. La Fuente Winery is the only wine to be in the Met.
Bernhardt Winery - Houston
Bernhardt Winery and vineyard is on a 20-acre estate situated just an hour northwest of Houston.
They produce a variety of wines including a pinot grigio, Schrock (sweet), Aggie Blush (110 cases produced), Blanco Dulce, chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, Sarah (special blend), and a port. Bernhardt also carries traditional wine merchandise along with jellies, jams, and sauces in the tasting room. A bed and breakfast is also onsite.
Peach Creek Vineyard - Houston
Located in College Station, about an hour outside of Houston, Peach Creek Vineyard sits on five acres of vineyards and ponds alongside a tasting room and large event pavilion. They offer six varieties of wine, including red blends, a white made from chenin blanc grapes, and a muscat. Bernhardt also produces a number of specialty wines including the Brazos Blend, Just Peachy, Dancing Star, Rudy’s Red, Enchanting, Night in the Town, and Frivolity. Go onto their website to find out each week’s featured wine.