360 West April 2017 360 West : Page 78

Wanderings Wine on Down the Road Weekend escapism shouldn’t be about big destinations and packed itineraries. New and lesser-known Texas wineries and vineyards just a few hours away offer diversions aplenty, including road-trip rewards of bountiful wildflowers. We’ve sourced the closest — and coolest — places to stay for a night or two, along with good eats and shops along the way to and from the wine tasting. Just remember to take your time; some of the best trips are about the journey . Go off the beaten path to discover Texas wine … and hospitality. By June Naylor A spectacular view of the verdant Red River Valley is the backdrop for 4R’s tasting deck. Photos courtesy of 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery Muenster In the Red River Valley about an hour from Fort Worth, Muenster’s Germanfest in late April (Brave Combo alert!) and a terrific old-fashioned butcher shop keep the town from being too sleepy. Now, you can enjoy a fine selection of pours at 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery, about nine miles into the hilly, rugged landscape north of town. The pedigreed sommelier-turned-winemaker Willem Johnson, left, creates an admirable list of whites, rosés and reds from both estate-grown grapes and those sourced elsewhere, all in a solar-powered barn on the ranch. We love the Old World-style Lenoir grenache, as well as the viognier-chenin blanc blend. Sip those and more in a hilltop, ultracontemporary tasting room with an airy deck affording breathtaking views of the valley’s Wolf Ridge. Consider staying in a homey, three-bedroom guesthouse on the ranch complete with a kitchen and pool table. The winery is owned by a Dallas family. 4R Ranch and Vineyard, open Thursday-Sunday; 1473 County Road 477, Muenster, 940-736-3370 or 4rwines.com. Diversions Nine miles west of Muenster, the town of Saint Jo is noted for the Davis & Blevins Gallery , featuring National Cowgirl Hall of Fame artist Donna Howell-Sickles. In Lindsay, 10 miles east of Muenster, a platter of smoky ribs and German sausage at Dieter Brothers Pit BBQ is a draw, as are the magnificent hand-painted interiors at St. Peter Catholic Church . Roam around Gainesville’s courthouse square, about a half-hour from 4R, and shop for handcrafted fabric handbags, watercolor paintings and ceramics by local artist Paige Davidson at her same-named gallery; buy peasant blouses, soaps and decor at B Hive ; kitchen and wine accessories at Muse ; and indulge a sweet tooth at the Fried Pie Co. Check into 205 Melody Lane, a comfortable three-bedroom guesthouse three minutes from the center of Gainesville. Photo by Paige Davidson Photo by June Naylor 78 April 2017 360westmagazine.com

Wanderings

June Naylor

Go off the beaten path to discover Texas wine … and hospitality.

Wine on Down the Road


A spectacular view of the verdant Red River Valley is the backdrop for 4R’s tasting deck.

Photos courtesy of 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery

Weekend escapism shouldn’t be about big destinations and packed itineraries. New and lesser-known Texas wineries and vineyards just a few hours away offer diversions aplenty, including road-trip rewards of bountiful wildflowers. We’ve sourced the closest — and coolest — places to stay for a night or two, along with good eats and shops along the way to and from the wine tasting. Just remember to take your time; some of the best trips are about the journey.



Muenster

In the Red River Valley about an hour from Fort Worth, Muenster’s Germanfest in late April (Brave Combo alert!) And a terrific old-fashioned butcher shop keep the town from being too sleepy. Now, you can enjoy a fine selection of pours at 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery, about nine miles into the hilly, rugged landscape north of town.



The pedigreed sommelier-turned-winemaker Willem Johnson, left, creates an admirable list of whites, rosés and reds from both estate-grown grapes and those sourced elsewhere, all in a solar-powered barn on the ranch. We love the Old World-style Lenoir grenache, as well as the viognier-chenin blanc blend. Sip those and more in a hilltop, ultracontemporary tasting room with an airy deck affording breathtaking views of the valley’s Wolf Ridge.

Consider staying in a homey, three-bedroom guesthouse on the ranch complete with a kitchen and pool table. The winery is owned by a Dallas family.

4R Ranch and Vineyard, open Thursday-Sunday; 1473 County Road 477, Muenster, 940-736-3370 or 4rwines.com.



Photo by Paige Davidson



Photo by June Naylor

Diversions

Nine miles west of Muenster, the town of Saint Jo is noted for the Davis & Blevins Gallery, featuring National Cowgirl Hall of Fame artist Donna Howell-Sickles. In Lindsay, 10 miles east of Muenster, a platter of smoky ribs and German sausage at Dieter Brothers Pit BBQ is a draw, as are the magnificent hand-painted interiors at St. Peter Catholic Church. Roam around Gainesville’s courthouse square, about a half-hour from 4R, and shop for handcrafted fabric handbags, watercolor paintings and ceramics by local artist Paige Davidson at her same-named gallery; buy peasant blouses, soaps and decor at B Hive; kitchen and wine accessories at Muse; and indulge a sweet tooth at the Fried Pie Co. Check into 205 Melody Lane, a comfortable three-bedroom guesthouse three minutes from the center of Gainesville.



The Rancho Loma tasting room pairs oversize photographs from Paris and small-town warmth.

Photos courtesy of Rancho Loma Vineyards





Coleman

Rancho Loma, a quiet restaurant and inn just outside of Coleman, has brought new energy to the old ranching/oil town some two hours west of Fort Worth. Owners Robert and Laurie Williamson and friends planted grapes for their new venture, Rancho Loma Vineyards, on the property last spring. A couple of abandoned downtown buildings now house the winery and sleek tasting room, which features striking oversize black-and-white photographs from Paris, marble-topped bars and a modern fireplace flanked by comfortable chairs. Wood shelves showcase made-in-Texas leather goods and RLV wines, all for sale. For the time being, winemaker Kyle Johnston, who cut his teeth at Lubbock and Fredericksburg wineries, sources grapes from the Texas High Plains to create delicious wines like a robust Montepulciano, a red called Blend I, Cinsault Rosé (great with cheese), a viognier-roussanne-marsanne blend called III and a surprisingly crisp muscat. And with just this first batch of releases come big rewards: RLV took home two silver and a gold medal, along with the prestigious Judges’ Selection Award, in the recent TexSom International Wine Awards for its inaugural efforts.

Rancho Loma Vineyards, open Thursday-Sunday; 411 S. Commercial Ave., Coleman, 325-625-1010 or rlv.wine.




Photo courtesy of The Terrace Inn



Photo courtesy of Rancho Pizzeria

Diversions

Directly across the street from the winery, Rancho Pizzeria replicates the ranch’s signature aesthetic with sleek, simple lines. Best are appetizers like olive tapenade and truffle-oil-drizzled burrata cheese, served with bread fresh from the wood-fired oven, as well as roasted piquillo peppers plump with a goat cheese filling. Crisp pizzas are topped with arugula and prosciutto or Italian sausage with chiles, easily washed down with Rancho Loma wines. On the same street, Owl Drug serves up lattes and burgers at its soda fountain and stocks everything from kombucha to souvenir T-shirts. A few doors down, Bonneville sells midcentury modern furniture and home accessories. Its spiritual cousin is The Terrace Inn, a converted 1950s home with smart, stylish suites dedicated to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, found just a few blocks west of downtown Coleman.



Photo by June Naylor



San Saba’s historic Regency Bridge is one of the last suspension bridges in Texas. By-passed by major highways, it retains the romance of walking on air.



Old Man Scary Cellars and Wedding Oak Winery tasting rooms, just a few doors from each other, welcome guests in downtown San Saba.

Old Man Scary Cellars and Wedding Oak Winery tasting rooms, just a few doors from each other, welcome guests in downtown San Saba.

San Saba

Deep inside sheep-ranching and pecan-growing country, with rugged stretches interrupted by lazy rivers and cactus-studded meadows, sleepy San Saba has been revitalized by two lively wineries. Hill Country wine adventurers roam this way to drop into the Wedding Oak Winery (formerly Alamosa Wine Cellars) tasting room, housed in a handsome 1926 stone building in the vintage downtown. Cozying up to the bar or spreading out on the Spanish tile patio, they enjoy wines by the bottle or a flight of five pours (the whites include an Albariño). Two doors down, Old Man Scary Cellars is newer, opened with help from the Wedding Oak winemakers. Order a charcuterie platter from neighboring Oliver & Co. To enjoy on the back porch with a bottle of dolcetto, a light-bodied red made from Texas High Plains grapes.



Wedding Oak Winery, open daily; 316 E. Wallace St., San Saba, 325-372-4050 or weddingoakwinery.com. Old Man Scary Cellars, open Wednesday-Monday; 302 E. Wallace. St., San Saba, 325-372-6071 or oldmanscarycellars.com.




Diversions

Above the eatery Oliver & Co., the Dofflemyer Hotel is a 1913 inn recently renovated with thoroughly modern notes in six guest rooms and sophisticated common areas. Find locally made jewelry, antiques, chocolates, handbags and accessories next door at J.C. Campbell Mercantile, and buy boots and cowboy hats (creased while you watch) across the street at Harry’s. Pecans by the wagonload are stocked in shops up and down the main drag. Take a break from wine at Bar D Brewhouse, a hangout whose owners make 11 craft beers, best followed by a dinner of bacon-wrapped quail and juicy mesquite-grilled rib-eyes at old-school Diggs Restaurant & Club, all in San Saba.



Read the full article at http://digital.360westmagazine.com/article/Wanderings/2746884/395472/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here