Cruising the Wine Trail
The roads of the Piney Woods Wine Trail beckon for end of summer days. One road to travel for a great afternoon or weekend of wine tasting and relaxation begins in Lindale and ends in Sulphur Springs.
Beginning in the once-but-no-more sleepy town of Lindale, wine seekers travel from Interstate 20 north on Highway 69, past new shopping centers, hotels, and businesses displaying “Lindale Eagle Pride” to the few blocks of the historic downtown. There on the corner is a marquee displaying the image of Lindale’s favorite wild child, country music superstar Miranda Lambert. Welcome, to The Miranda Lambert Store and home of Red 55 Winery.
Red 55 is the beloved wine of the Lambert family who partnered with Lou Vinery Vineyards to produce homegrown East Texas wines with Miranda’s signature names. The winery store also offers merchandise for fans, but it is the wine that is the star in this historic building. The Red 55 is a merlot and cabernet blend that is rich, but not thick with tannins. The best seller, Kerosene, is a great earthy blanc du bois wine. The chardonnay, White Liar, does fool a disbeliever when it comes across with a sweeter fresher taste than most oaky chardonnay wines.
Red 55 is a testament to the workmanship and goal of all Northeast Texas wineries as they partner to make wine and the wine industry a way of life in East Texas. The partnerships travel together to a wine shows, support each other at a wine festivals, and help with bottling. They are why Northeast Texas wines taste like home.
After leaving Lindale, the next stop is not far. Go to Hawkins a few miles east and see the majestic beauty of the Fairhaven Vineyards in the Sabine Valley. These estate-grown wines are full of the aromas and essence that make award-winning wines, and the people of Fairhaven are more than happy to brag about the fruits of their labors.
Fairhaven offers not only great wine, but is pushing to be a leader in wine education. The wines are simple, but full of notes of sunshine in the blanc du bois and Spanish moonlight in the semi-dry merlot blend ariadne. Fairhaven also offers a half year and year-long wine club that ships out selections every other month.
Traveling north from Hawkins to Sulphur Springs, wine trail fans can end this day’s trail at a vineyard full of friends and laughter, Crump Valley Vineyards. Crump Valley is known by Northeast Texas wine lovers for having great wine at a great price, but also for having a welcoming spirit, a spirit that carries over into the taste of the wines.
The favorite, Phat Cat, is a sweet white that, after one tasting, will be a bottle in the wine rack at home ready for Friday night. The rich full-bodied glass of the Crump Valley Cabernet is a delight for the red wine lover searching for a wine that does not fade or over power the palette.
Crump Valley Vineyards is about four miles south of downtown Sulphur Springs and develops wines as well as entertainment on a daily basis. It offers events and live music most weekends. It is also the bottling partner for Red 55 Winery.
Visiting stops along the Piney Woods Wine Trail makes for a grand adventure, leaving visitors with an appreciation for the work that goes into the making of regional wines grown in local soil and cared for by brilliant neighbors. Take a few Saturdays, print out the map and directions at www.pineywoodswinetrail.com, and discover the wonderful wine, vineyards, and their creators at home here in Northeast Texas.
Crump Valley Vineyards, 127 Crump Lane, Sulphur Springs, 903.439.2800. See Facebook page. The Miranda Lambert Store and Red 55 Winery, 100 E Hubbard St,
Lindale, 903.882.9305, mirandalambert.com. Fairhaven Vineyards, 5340 South FM 2869, Hawkins,903.769.4616. fairhavenvineyards.com.