By Anne Finch
One of Texas most established wine trails is the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, located between I-45 and Highway 290. For the last 10 years it has offered unique wine experiences at its individual participating wineries. Additionally, the Trail has five seasonal yearly tasting events. The upcoming Harvest Wine Trail, happening on July 2-3 and 9-10, offers ticket holders the opportunity to visit all seven wineries on the Trail and try a summer food pairing with two wine pairings at each winery. However, in addition to the Trail events, each of the seven wineries on the Trail boasts a unique experience.
9403 County Rd 204, Plantersville
Bernhardt Winery, set on a rolling hill and overlooking a Tuscany setting, offers a relaxed, laid back atmosphere where visitors can enjoy hand-bottled wine while enjoying the winery’s beautiful scenery. The winery is currently undergoing some expansions to offer even more options to visitors, owner Jeanette Raines says. In addition to adding a new events room with an outside courtyard, the winery will be adding a fireplace and pizza oven, and by the end of July, visitors will be able to make their own pizzas. “We always like to bring in something new,” Raines says. Through November, Bernhardt is also presenting a Sunday lawn concert series. For more information, visit www.bernhardtwinery.com.
Cork This! Winery
21123 Eva St# 100, Montgomery
Messina Hof Winery & Resort
4545 Old Reliance Rd, Bryan
“What sets Messina Hof apart is its tradition and its legacy,” says Messina Hof Public Relations Coordinator Savannah Gaines. “Messina Hof is the first family of Texas wines.” Started in 1977, before the Texas Wine Boom, the historic Winery and & Resort features a winery as well as a vineyard, a restaurant, a bed and breakfast, a tasting room, and a wine bar. “It’s a whole experience,” Gaines said. Messina Hof’s Harvest Festival begins on July 30, and will continue through August. At the Harvest Festival, families will be able to pick and stomp Messina Hof’s Renoir grapes, eat great food, and drink lots of wine, with sparkling grape juice for the kids. For more information, visit www.messinahof.com.
Peach Creek Vineyards
2029 Peach Creek Rd, College Station
Located between College Station and Navasota, Peach Creek has a relaxing atmosphere and a natural setting, including a pavilion overlooking an abundance of natural wildlife where visitors can relax and enjoy live music. “It’s all about relaxing,” says owner Donna Stoplman. “We promote fun, relaxation, and enjoying Texas wine with friends.” In late July, Peach Creek will have their annual Community harvest, where the community can come out and help harvest grapes, featuring a grape stomp, live music, and food. For more information, visit www.peachcreekvineyards.com.
Pleasant Hill Winery
1441 Salem Rd, Brenham
Pleasant Hill, owned by Bob and Jeanne Cottle, is the oldest winery in Washington County, one of the oldest in the state of Texas. Pleasant Hill features 13 spectacular wines, using only Texas grapes. “Every wine I’ve made has won an award somewhere, and we only enter them in Texas competitions,” says Bob Cottle. In the last two weekends of July and the first two weekends of August, Pleasant Hill will host its annual family friendly Crush for Fun event, where guests are invited to come out and “stomp away to their heart’s content” on grapes Pleasant Hill grows specifically for stomping. For more information, visit www.pleasanthillwinery.com.
958 Farm to Market Road 1948 N, Burton
“We’re the start of the Hill Country, so we’ve got great ranch scenes,” says owner Stephen Morgan. This winery features scenic views of the vineyard and ranch in a peaceful outdoor setting, and a winery and tasting room located in a rustic renovated horse barn. Saddlehorn offers 17 wines, most of which are award winning, for customers to sample and taste by the glass. They also have indoor seating and covered outdoor seating, and serve woodfire pizzas on Saturdays. For more information, visit www.saddlehornwinery.com.
4342 Clover Rd, Brenham
This Brenham winery is a great place to relax and escape from the stress of everyday life. Windy Winery is perfect for people to come together over a shared love of wine. “The winery business is a fun business where people can come in to try wine that they wouldn’t get to try before,” says owner Linda Meitzen. “People love to talk to other people who have similar passions, and people make great friendships here.”
For every weekend in July and the first two weekends of August, Windy Winery will be having their Harvest Grape Stomp, where families can take hayrides and stomp grapes. On August 13, Windy Winery will also participate in the 10th Annual Lavender and Wine Fest with Chappell Hill Lavender Farm. For more information, visit www.windywinery.com.