On weekends one of the coolest things to do in Houston, is to get purple feet and a T-shirt. It’s becoming a badge of honor for those who seek refugee, from the quickening pace of city life, in Texas vineyards.
Believe it or not! The first vineyard established in North America was around 1662 and it was located in Texas. Residents and visitors are discovering just how many wonderful local wineries dot the landscape around the fringes of Space City.
The drive to consume more locally produced foods and other products has sparked a demand for more Texas grown wines too. A part of the production from vineyards is labeled For sale in Texas only" meaning that the wine contains as little 25 percent (and as much as 74.99 percent) juice from Texas grapes.
From Montgomery County to the Hill country near Austin you will find Texas wineries. The local wine producers welcome visitors to come out and get in on some of the exciting wine events happening at their vineyards.
During the harvesting season there are more than just grape stomps. There are other interesting things to do that allow you to take part in preparing the grapes for bottling. A few of the vineyards offer custom made wines that you can craft and label with your personal brand.
Many guest prefer to just sample the harvest. If you’re a part of the Houston wine bibber crowd, you’ll want to take part in the huge array of stimulating activities centered around Texas wine tastings and its food pairings.
Texas vineyards offer plenty of activities besides the typical Wine and Cheese event too. Here’s a short list of things to do on weekends in Houston area vineyards.
Houston Wine Events
"Groovin in the Grapes" Series, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, New Braunfels
Jazz Sundays, Light Catcher Winery, Fort Worth
Murder Mystery Dinner - "Who Killed the Winemaker" (Messina Hof Winery)
Messina Hof Wine Dinner at Mc Cormick and Schmicks in Austin
Messina Hof Wine and Dinner at Sullivan's in Houston
In early spring, when the bluebonnets start painting the roadsides of the Texas highways, wineries open their cellars for samples of the new vino’s during whats billed as The Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trails.
Historic Old Town Spring also host one of the largest wine exhibition and tasting events in the Houston area. There is a consortium of about 15 wineries that have gotten together over the past few years to make an active effort to educate consumers about the flavorful Texas wines.
The grapes that grow well in the sandy looms of the State are some of the same you will find in Sonoma and other well know wine producing regions. There are over 2 million gallons of vino produced in the Texas each year.
List of Wines
Many of the names of local wineries may be unfamiliar to you. Don’t fret, we have consulted a few sommeliers, wine educators and recognized wine experts and in the next few weeks we will have all kinds of juicy details about each of them, to help you locate your favorite type of wine and where it's being produced locally.
In Texas wine making is not just limited to the classic Chardonnay and Savougn blanc grapes. Plenty of other fruits and plants are being cultivated for wine making. Prickly Pear and Hibiscus are said to make wines that rival those grown in vineyards.