When mother and daughter Carolyn DeWoody and Amber Green found themselves with one acre of land tucked into a corner of the vineyards of Los Pinos Ranch near Pittsburg, it was easy to envision a perfect getaway destination.
“We wanted to create a place where people could go spend time together and unplug from the hustle and bustle of life,” Green says.
They brought in three luxury tiny homes, each with their own view of the vineyards, and placed them well enough apart for guests to enjoy individually, but close enough for groups to visit easily between two or three of the homes together. They named their little slice of heaven Relax and Wine Down.
Calling the buildings “casitas” to go along with Los Pinos’ Spanish themed name, the hosts offer concierge-style service to help guests create a customized destination experience.
Each home is decorated nicely and attention to detail is noticeable from the variety of pots and pans, wine and cocktail glasses, to plenty of coffee and snacks baskets, board games, and even flashlights. The refrigerators have bottled water and sodas, and a “welcome” throw pillow boldly notes the wifi password.
Three convenient fire pits are on the property with plenty of wood for campfires and there are numerous other places for sitting outdoors and enjoying the view of the vineyards.
The casitas come with their own personalities and amenities and are named for wines: Merlot Manor, Blanc Bungalow, and Chateaux Chardonnay.
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards & Winery is a very short walk from the casitas or a quick drive around to the front door in a couple of minutes.
Sitting on the winery veranda overlooking the vines, it’s nice to see the casitas so close and ready to welcome guests back after enjoying all Los Pinos has to offer. The facility makes their own wines from the grapes in their vineyards. Being there continues the “relax and wine down” theme of this getaway experience.
For those who choose to do a wine tasting, it’s really fun. They let each person select five kinds and bring them out in vials on a small tray. As participants try each one, there’s a sheet of paper where they can rate them for their own knowledge. It makes it easy then to select which one to buy by the bottle or the glass.
There’s a wine for everyone with numerous selections of sweet white and blushes, sweet reds, dry rose, whites, reds, and dessert wines.
The winery restaurant has a menu designed for the meals to pair well with the wines. For starters, they have a meat and cheese tapas platter, crab cakes, figs and goat cheese pastries, shrimp avocado salsa, lobster bisque and clam chowder bread bowls, cheese pastries, onion rings with whipped goat cheese dip, baguette with dipping sauce, and french onion soup. Salads come with or without grilled steak or chicken. Speciality pizzas include margarita, portabella and goat cheese, four cheese, and other ingredients like prosciutto, salami, figs, and herbed goat cheese.
Main entrees include steaks, salmon, burgers, short ribs, and cheese ravioli. There are several desserts to choose from and a Sunday brunch menu as well.
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards has live music on the weekends and special events often including wine tasting classes. They also arrange for tours of the facility and wine making process by appointment.
After a beautiful sunset and dining experience, walking back to the casitas through the vineyards under a clear, star-filled sky is just about as perfect a time as it gets.
For those who want to venture into nearby Pittsburg during the Relax & Wine Down getaway, it’s just a five-minute drive. Some of the sites to note include the Witness Park and Prayer Tower with beautiful stained glass windows and Paccard bells from France that chime with melodies on the hour. The Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum has exhibits of regional history artifacts including the Ezekiel Airship that flew a year before the Wright Brothers’ plane. Also downtown is the largest Coca-Cola mural in Texas.
Several antique stores make shopping fun and not-to-be missed is Rustville’s Soap Shop. Owned by Shelby Rust, she makes her own soaps and personal products using all natural ingredients including many essential oils.
Another must-visit is Efurd’s Orchards, open seasonally with home grown fruits and vegetables, canned goods, homemade ice cream, and much more. It’s not a typical produce stand, but a destination all its own where people enjoy hanging out at picnic tables when the weather cooperates.
For food and drinks, putting Pittsburg Hotlinks on the list is important since the town is officially the Hot Link Capital of Texas. And, despite its rustic, “junk yard” ambience, the Anvil Brewery is also popular with the locals with indoor and outdoor seating. It’s located in the historic Pittsburg Feed and Seed, the birthplace of Pilgrim’s Pride.
Relax and Wine down hosts are happy to help plan the perfect getaway for friends, families, and couples. Visit their website for more information, www.relaxandwinedown.com.