On our recent trip to the beautiful Texas Hill Country, we discovered a wonderful selection of wines at Lewis Winery, it's our favorite Texas winery...so far!...
As you may gather from reading our blog amd following us on social networks, we truly enjoy wine. We have at least a glass of wine a night and go by the axiom, “Life is too short to drink bad wine”. We are huge California wine lovers and have taken numerous trips that have centered around enjoying wineries in Sonoma, Napa and Paso Robles. Texas wines are starting to make their mark at national and international wine competitions, but up to now Texas wines have been nothing more than a passing interest to us. The whites we find to be either too sweet or sour and the reds are thin.
Many times, when we stumble upon a Texas wine that piques our interest, we find that the vineyard wants $40 or more for a bottle. Compare that to a glorious $15 to $20 California wine - sorry Texas, we aren't impressed. We are from Texas and we would love to support Texas wines, but they have to be good. Admittedly, we have not tried all Texas wines and would certainly love the “challenge” of trying them all, so if there are favorites out there we need to try, please let us know.
On our recent trip to the Texas Hill Country, where the local wine industry has truly taken off, we decided to make another go of it and see if we could find a few Texas wines that truly stand out. When we visit wineries, we always ask them what are their favorite wineries are and we usually end up with many great recommendations. When we visited Bending Branch Winery (winner of 2014 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition’s TOP TEXAS WINE, Class Champion and Double Gold for their 2011 Tannat, CM, Estate Grown) we truly enjoyed their wines and they highly recommended Lewis Winery. Lewis Winery has a small operation and does tastings by appointment only, so we set up an appointment.
Lewis Winery is located between Johnson City and Fredericksburg on highway 290. You should definitely visit the Lewis Wines website before you visit to get updated directions since they are building a new entrance and we missed it the first time. After you drive down a simple country road, along which can seen recently planted vines (they were digging the holes for the plants when we were there), you will come up to their facility. The recently completed building is truly a purpose build metal and cement building for making and storing wine. Perfect for an operation just starting out.
We were greeted by one of Lewis Wines staff members who brought us upstairs to a small area they have set up for tastings. If you are used to the big opulent tasting rooms of larger wineries, you will feel at first out of place but then will relax in the cozy confines of their tasting “room”.
We tasted four of their wines:
2012 Texas White Wine (52% Viognier and 48% Chenin Blanc) - The wine was very well balanced with fruit forward melon and citrus and a very clean, citrus finish. The fruit is sourced from Texas High Plains.
2012 Voignier wine (100% Viognier) - The fruit is source from the Bingham Vineyards in the Texas High Plains. A crisp, fresh, youthful wine with a nice full-bodied fruit flavors on the front end that mellows out to a relaxed middle. The residual sugar is low so you get a very clean finish.
2010 “Mourvedre Blend” (55% Tempranillo, 35% Mourvedre, 8% Syrah, 2% Grenache) - A very nice Mourvedre Blend and has medium bodies flavors that include berry and notes of sage. We were introduced to Mourvedre wines in Paso Robles at Kenneth Volk winery and love the grapes unique character. Though the Mourvedre only comprises 35%, its character truly shines through. This wine is aged in Eastern European and American oak for 14 – 15 months so this adds an additional unique dimension to the wine.
2010 “Touriga Blend” (50% Tourga Nacional, 33% Tempranillo, 17% Tinto Cao) - This blend of traditional Portuguese varietals has deep berry fruit tannic structure. This robust wine compliments Texas steaks as well as can be enjoyed one its own after decanting. The tannin structure should allow it to age nicely for a few years.
In the end, we loved all of the wines with our favorites being the 2012 Texas White Wine and the 2010 “Mourvedre” Blend. That being said, I am enjoying the 2012 Voignier wine as I write this and I am becoming a fan.
I will have to say that the four Lewis Wines are hands down the best tasting of Texas wines I have enjoyed so far. Always looking for recommendations on what can top it, but the bar has been set high.