So…do you have a free weekend coming up soon? Here’s a great idea – how about taking a road trip? But, wait, not just any road trip…a winery road trip!! How does a picnic lunch on a patio sound? Good? OK, how about pizza and wine for dinner? Oh, yeah, now I have your attention. What about an overnight stay in an old hotel on a quiet town square to end the relaxing day? Let’s put this plan in motion…
Check your calendar for a couple of dates and make a phone call to Ancient Ovens (940-366-4255) and see which one is available, they have a tendency to sell out rather quickly. Next call Texas Kings Hotel (940-995-2565) and make reservations for the same night, trust me after the wine and pizza you will not want to drive home.
OK, now that the dates are set and reservations are made lets plan the rest of the weekend!
The morning of your reservations, pack an easy picnic lunch of maybe a pasta salad, French bread, cheeses, deli meats, whatever you enjoy eating as a picnic, and water. The secret to a good winery trip is to stay hydrated. Load up and head up the road a couple of hours to Blue Ostrich Winery. Their building once housed a herd?…a flock?…a gaggle?…of ostrich and the barrel room was the hatchery. Be sure and have them tell you the story, it is very interesting! As you go through your tasting keep in mind that you will want to take some wine to the pizza dinner. Maybe Poppy’s Garden if you like a little sweeter? Hmmmmm…Meritage? What about Cielo? I know, so many choices! These are just some of the reds, they still have a handful of whites to try. The good news is you don’t have to make the decision yet. Choose a glass of wine and take your picnic out to their pergola covered patio. You can enjoy the view overlooking the vineyard as it drops into the valley. Maybe the ostrich will do his dance for you, ask your tasting guide how to get him started. Most of all relax as you enjoy your day. Now you can make your decisions, but remember you still have another winery just down the road to visit.
Leave enough time in your schedule to call and meet at the hotel to check in and pick up your keys.
Now it’s time to go to Arche’. More than likely Amy will be at the tasting bar to greet you as you step inside. Allow her to guide you through a tasting. Do they have something you’ve never tried before? Give it a taste. They have some great varietals. Let her know you have reservations for the pizza dinner and she will get you out on time and with directions. Before you leave, take a moment to step outside and enjoy the view of their vineyards. Rows and rows of grapevines!
Did you make a wine choice at Blue Ostrich to drink with your pizza dinner? Did you find something at Arche’ you’d like to take too? It’s ok to take two, you can put the corks back in them if you don’t finish.
Dinner is just down the road and around the corner. Be sure to get there early enough to get settled and your wine poured before dinner gets started. It is quite a production. I am purposefully not saying much about it because it is so good and so fun. We went during February so we sat inside the new building, but I want to go back either in the Spring or Fall so we can enjoy dinner on the patio and watch the sun go down. Spoiler…save room for dessert!!!
When you can waddle out, head back to town to the hotel. Let yourself in and enjoy your room.
Breakfast is not provided, but feel free to bring your own continental brunch provisions. Pastries, yogurts, and fruits would be good to munch on as you leisurely prepare for the day ahead. There is a community coffee pot in the billiard room that can be used.
Brushy Creek is just outside of Alvord about an hour down the road from Saint Jo. Their tasting room opens at 10:00. Les Constable, the owner, has a very wide variety of wines to taste and choose. Most of their grapes are estate grown, but they do purchase grapes from various vineyards from the high plains in west Texas to some vineyards in east Texas.
The tasting room is rather small, but that is fine when there are other people in there with you. Before you leave you will probably have new friends! The tasting guides will help you decide which wines to try based on your tastes and preferences. They have a table on the front porch of the tasting room you can take a glass and enjoy the quiet sounds of the country or they have an event facility that you can see if you can take your wine and sit and enjoy the view of their little valley.
Feel free to personalize this trip so that it fits your preferences and desires, I really meant this to be just a guide or a basic idea. Be sure and check driving directions and travel times that work for your schedule.