Off the Beaten Path: Perissos Vineyard and Winery

A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to get out of town. It was hot, downtown was swarming with people for the Austin Food and Wine Festival, and we were fed up with chores and renovation projects. Taking a drive out to the Hill Country for wine tasting was the perfect escape!

I did a little research and stumbled upon a boutique winery just outside of Burnet, TX. I didn’t want to go to the more popular wineries in Fredericksburg, or Driftwood. I wanted to get off the beaten path and find the cute, charming wineries. You know, the kind where the owners are talking to visitors and various animals are running around the property; the kind of place you want to stay all day because it feels like home.

Perissos Vineyard and Winery

Perissos Winery

Perissos is a ancient Greek word from the Bible meaning “exceeding abundantly, beyond what is expected, imagined, or hoped for”. I think that is a fitting name for this lush, healthy estate. With plenty of seating inside and outside, this is a great off the beaten path option for those that want something a little different!

The main building houses a beautiful tasting room, barrel storage, and wine making facilities. The large stone structure was built by the owner, Seth Martin, a former custom home builder and self taught wine maker. We were able to chat with him for a few minutes as he was taking a break from the day’s work. He was super friendly and told us about the crop he just harvested, difficulty of the previous years water shortages, and life as a wine maker and farmer. It was obvious he loved making wine and had such a passion for it. He wanted visitors to explore and spend time on the estate. Everyone working there made us feel at home; even the farm dogs and chickens wandering through the picnic tables and tasting room!Perissos Estate

Now, I have to admit, I don’t normally drink Texas wine unless I’m out wine tasting. Most of the flavor profiles just don’t do it for me. I like big, bold, and serious. Texas wine is more light and playful. However, I did find the 2012 Petite Sirah and 2012 Roussanne to be absolutely fantastic. The Petite Sirah is 100% estate grown while the Roussanne is sourced from Bingham and Oswald Family Vineyards in Meadow, Texas. The two wines couldn’t be more different, but I thought the fruit and minerality of the Roussane and the structure of the Petite Sirah were fascinating. I ended up with a bottle of the Sirah to take home. Now all I need to do is figure out what to make with it. Any suggestions?

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Off the Beaten Path: Los Pinos Ranch Winery

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Over the weekend I traveled to North East TX (Piney Woods for the Texas folk) to visit my family. I usually spend most of the weekend on the road traveling between towns to see everyone, but last weekend I found the time to visit a local winery in Pittsburg, TX, called Los Pinos Ranch.

I enjoyed a lovely butter lettuce salad with apples and goat cheese and tried the Vermentino, Viognier, and the Super Texican. Los Pinos does produce wine from its own vineyard, but also produces wine from grapes planted on three vineyards in West Texas.  They divide their wine into two categories: Sweet and Dry. I thought that was odd, but a lot of people I know like one or the other.

I have to say that I did not care for the Viognier at all. There was too much fruit on the nose for me and I found the smell overwhelming. However, I did like the Vermentino and thought it was a softer, more enjoyable wine to sip. The best of the three was the 2011 Super Texican. The Super Texican is 50% Sangiovese and 50% Cabernet. I only had a tasting, but that will be the wine I order on my next trip!

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Los Pinos offers other small plates and wood fired pizza in the rustic, Tuscan inspired dining room.  Live jazz is also a staple on Friday and Saturday nights. Unfortunately, I had to miss the live music.

Because I visited the winery in the winter it was too cold to sit outside. East TX tends to be a lot cooler than Austin! It was unfortunate as the outside seating area is very nice. I can imagine the spring and summer will be gorgeous when all the greenery fills in around the estate.Retouch 3

I am glad I had the time to stop by Los Pinos Ranch Winery. Los Pinos is relaxing, quiet, and definitely off the beaten path (two miles down a black-topped country road).  In an area saturated with fast food and chain restaurants, it was nice to have a “real food” and wine option. Cheers to finding a new East TX destination!

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