Retreat Hill Winery: Beautiful Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail Countryside Photos
Bluebonnets and Wine Tasting
This past spring, my husband and I ventured out from our home in Houston, Texas, by automobile. Our primary mission was to soak up the ambiance furnished by the springtime Texas temperatures while enjoying the profusion of wildflowers gracing the roadsides. Bluebonnets and many other wildflowers are in abundance, and the newspapers keep us apprised of when they are approaching their peak blooming time.
We also decided to explore some of the nearby Texas wineries that were open for the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, and Retreat Hill Winery was on the list of places to experience. Thus our mission took on an extra flavor of discovery.
The address of Retreat Hill Winery is 15551 FM 362, Navasota, Texas 77868. Their telephone number is 936-449-5285.
Conveniently open from 11 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays and Noon to 5 PM on Sundays (and other times by appointment), this winery is tucked away into the gently rolling countryside.
The people who worked appeared to us as though they were all the best of friends and had probably worked together at the winery for years. Whether that was the case, it was our impression from all the jovial banter back and forth between them.
For the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, once we showed them our tickets, we were ushered outside under a covered patio and were given some tasty morsels of food to accompany the wines they were sampling. An amiable college student was there to serve us and answer any questions that we had about the wines.
A Texas friendly atmosphere prevailed, and the pictures show the typical Texas country farewell posted by a sign as we left the property.
While we did not happen to see the owner and winemaker of Retreat Hill Winery on the day of our visit, Billy Cox is very involved as a director of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. He is also taking an active role in the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail.
Vineyards, Wineries, and Wine
Growing grapes as a crop is an agricultural business and farming the land, trimming the vines, keeping the grapes pest free, and a myriad of other activities dictated by the season and weather keeps grape growers busy like any other type of farming.
Knowing exactly when to harvest the grapes to get the peak of flavor and other desirable components from the fruit take knowledge. Then, turning those grapes into good wine is an art form orchestrated by the seasoned winemaker.
There are many steps between the newly harvested grapes to the final product of what the consumer sees and gets to enjoy in each bottle of wine. Much of this step-by-step process is the same from one winery to another, but the final product depends on the winemaker's decisions and, of course, Mother Nature.
Once bottled, the wine continues to evolve. It is a living and breathing thing! Some wines are meant to be aged and continue to improve over the years, while others are to be drunk soon after purchase. It is fun learning about different types of wine and broadening one's wine experiences.
In addition to passing glorious fields of wildflowers on our sojourn into the countryside looking for Retreat Hill Winery and other wineries on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine trail, we passed numerous areas that were plowed and planted with various crops.
Cattle were grazing in many pastures, and my husband and I spotted animals such as horses and goats, as shown in these accompanying pictures. The weather was bright and sunny and couldn't have been better had we special ordered it for our day trip out of the city.
Not far from the winery is a small cemetery. What drew our attention was the carpeting of wildflowers that adorned this final resting spot for people who had passed from this life to the next. My husband graciously agreed to stop and let me take some extra photos.
I did not see a sign which would have let us know the name of this little country cemetery. However, it is on FM 362 off 105 for those who wish to find it.
While the gravestones were not significant and grand, the setting with some old moss-laden trees and the blanketing of wildflowers presented a beautiful picture. It is a serene setting made even prettier with the splash of Texas wildflowers.
When updating this article, I was sad to learn that despite Retreat Hill Winery winning all kinds of awards, the owner, Billy Cox, decided to close his winery. According to a post by Texas Wine Lover, you can read below Mr. Cox’s partial explanation from his past winery Facebook page as to why.
“I want to focus on my family, friends and continue to build my biomechanical and forensic engineering consulting business (which has been a very full time job since I opened) and sit in the pool on Saturday afternoon with nice glass of somebody else’s Texas wine or a fine Texas beer or perhaps some great Texas brown water.”
I am pleased that we were among the ones who, at one time, enjoyed his wines, and visiting his winery makes for some fond memories. To see the wineries currently represented on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, click on the source link below. The video below also has the current list of wineries represented plus those on the Texas Independence Wine Trail.
Did You Ever Visit Retreat Hill Winery?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Peggy Woods