A Texas Toast: 5 East Texas Wineries Your Palate Will Love
In need of a weekend getaway? Take a trip two hours west of Shreveport-Bossier City and you’re magically transported to wine country.
In and around Tyler, Texas you’ll find a plethora of wineries and vineyards where you can enjoy a variety of wine, spirits and eats. With over 20 wineries to choose from, we narrowed it down to five (all established in the last 10 years).
3 P'S IN A VINE
In January 2012, Brett Priestly was gifted nearly 100 eight-year-old vines. After two years of growing and propagating, he and his wife decided to commit to bringing 3 P’s in a Vine to life and built their winery on 12 acres overlooking the vineyard.
Best selling wine: Cabernet Franc, a bold red wine with a peppery nose and smooth finish; and Chardonnay, a light and floral white wine, lightly oaked.
Underrated wine: Blanc Du Bois, a light and crisp Pinot Gris style wine with a citrus taste; perfect for summertime.
Availability: You’ll have to go directly to their winery or pop into Come and Take It, a beer and wine shop in Athens. The winery is planning to move into the Dallas market soon.
Where does the name ‘3 P’s’ come from? 3 P’s in a Vine is owned by Brett and Rae Priestly, and with Rae’s daughter, McKenzie Parrish, they make up the three P’s.
Upcoming events: Each month you can always expect a crowd at 3 P’s when they host live music and BYOM parties. Unfamiliar with BYOM? It stands for Bring Your Own Meat. 3 P’s offers party packages where you become the grill master and they take care of all the sides. Space is limited to about 65 people, so they encourage you to book as early as possible.
VALLE DELLA PACE VINEYARDS & WINERY
Valle Della began in 2011 during the year of the hundred-year drought in Texas. One might have thought they lost their minds — everything on the property went dry, including their pond. Needless to say, the rains came and Valle Della bloomed.
Best selling wine: Sangiovese made in 2015. It recently won a gold metal at the November 2017 Texas International Wine Competition.
Underrated wine: Their newest wine, Malizioso, is a dry red blended wine made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It’s in its final stages of becoming ready for 2018 and will be best served with any dark meat, marinara sauce dishes and chocolate.
Pairings: Chicken Piccata and Blondie; Shrimp in pink sauce Florentine and Sangiovese.
Availability: On-site at their tasting room in Garden Valley, plus Lindale and Athens.
CASTLE OAKS VINEYARD
In 1998, Roger and Benita Littleton purchased a plot of land that one day would turn into Castle Oaks. Their first harvest was nearly 15 years after, and in 2013 they opened the doors to the public.
Best selling wine: Malbec, any earth big red aged one year in American Oak.
Underrated wine: Viognier, a white wine with notes of pears and citrus.
Pairings: Zinfandel with Mexican food or their Castle Oaks bread and cheese platter.
Launching soon: Dark Knight, a port made from Black Spanish Grapes.
Pizza? Yes, Castle Oaks serves brick oven pizza made on-site. You can try their margherita, veggie or meat lovers. It’s only available on Friday nights from 5-9 p.m., though. If you want to have a party, make sure to book.
WHITE FOX VINEYARDS
Established in 2015 and situated on 330 acres in the heart of East Texas, White Fox Vineyards prides themselves about their wine making process because it’s all done by hand. They produce and bottle small batch, hand crafted, local wines such as their Texas Rosé and Texas Blueberry.
Best selling wine: Texas Blueberry, made with 100% Texas blueberries with no flavoring, no base grape and no chemical alterations for flavor.
Underrated wines: Both white wines on site have won multiple awards at various international wine competitions including the gold medal in Texas International and most recently a gold and silver medal at the San Diego Wine Makers Competition in California.
Pairings: Texas Red with anything off the BBQ pit; Texas White (sweet) with spicy street tacos.
Upcoming events: Piney Woods Wine Trail Festival in Lindale from May 11-12. This event spotlights East Texas wineries that are members of the Piney Woods Wine Trail.
O'FARRELL COUNTRY VINEYARDS
From the time you step foot onto O’Farrell Country Vineyards you’re transported back in time. Benny and Judy Moore’s tasting room is built inside an old barn, which was constructed in part with timbers from an 1800s O’Farrell school. The walls and floors are from an 1800s era farmhouse where Judy’s parents lived in Bear Creek, Texas.
Best selling wine: Blue Diva, a blueberry wine available year-round.
Underrated wine: Vintage Country, a dry muscadine wine with full flavor.
Pairings: Seared salmon with Vintage Country, a dry crisp white wine.
Availability: Inside their tasting room, the Domino Package store in Domino, and 1st Stop Wine and Spirits in Linden.
Upcoming events: St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 17 plus a variety of wine festival in Texas.