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Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail - Colony Cellars Winery
Wildflowers and Wine
Colony Cellars was one of seven wineries within relative close proximity to Houston, Texas that was included in the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail in the year 2010.
My husband and I often enjoy a sojourn into the countryside each Spring to see the bounty of the Texas wildflowers blanketing the fields and sides of the roads with their brilliant varicolored beauty.
It gives me a chance to capture an additional colorful picture or two (or innumerable photos according to my husband) of more wildflowers in radiant bloom.
That year the wildflower show was reputed to be especially plentiful due to abundant rain that fell at the appropriate time to generate a lavish exhibition.
Since both of us also enjoy wine, we thought that we could combine our interests and partake of not only viewing the Texas wildflowers and photographing them but also tasting some of the Texas wines that were less familiar to us.
Colony Cellars Winery
Parking any snobbish pretensions by the door was encouraged as one would enter Colony Cellars. The owners, Don and Ruby Corley (also referred to as "Mr. C" or "Mrs. C") were the most genial and warmhearted folks you were likely to meet.
Their employee who was there that beautiful April day was equally friendly and helpful as she assisted in pouring the samples of wine. And pour she and "Mrs. C" did!
Samples of 12 wines were served in four distinct categories. Fortunately a dump bucket is furnished and can be utilized at will.
Most of the time people entering their doors can sample four wines for free or taste all 12 for the meager sum of $3.00. For $5.75 they include snacks which is extremely reasonable!
As a participant of the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail all 12 wines were included in the tasting and a cheddar fondue and Swiss fondue with white corn scoops and Galletas cookies were offered as well.
For those who are interested in the varieties of grapes grown by the Corley family, they included the following:
- Black Spanish
- Blanc duBois
- and Cynthiana.
These grape varieties we were told grow well in this part of Texas.
Located about 30 miles northwest of Houston, Colony Cellars was located on a bit of a hill that is comprised of much sand according to Mr. Corley with whom we got to visit with for a brief time after our tasting.
With those varieties they blend wines for four distinct labels titled CRISP, SMOOTH, RICH and RANDOM HARVEST with a blanc, blush and red made for each label.
RANDOM HARVEST seemed like an interesting name and we learned what it meant. Little bits of wine remain from each category each year. It is not enough to bottle under a single label. So with these wines a new blend is created and as "Mrs. C" told us she was outvoted when she suggested the name "potluck."
One of three ponds on the property is pictured above. This ponds created pristine filtered water.
"Mr. C" told us that the water from the wine making process as well as drainage from rooftops was saved and routed into one of three ponds on the property. It was then filtered with the aid of fish and plant life and was circulated into the second pond where more natural filtering takes place. By the time it reaches the pond nearest the tasting room and gift shop, it was truly clean and usable water.
With the help of an underground watering system, the grape vines as well as the Christmas trees also grown on their property were all kept nicely watered.
Whole cluster fermentation is used when crushing the grapes with the skins left intact and Colony Cellars was only one of two Texas wineries that did that.
It was explained to us that not only did they think that it imparts more flavor and color to the wines, but drinking their white wines gave as much in the way of health benefits as drinking their reds by utilizing this method.
Colony Cellars Winery is one of the wineries featured on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail and worth a visit in this author's opinion.
You will be greeted by Texas friendly folks and if you like any of their sampled wines, you can purchase them on the spot. Their gift shop is filled with items ranging from various types of corkscrews to iron works and crafted butterflies among the numerous eclectic offerings. Something for everyone on your gift list!
Enjoyable Get Away
Colony Cellars Winery was located out in the fresh county air and the people working there had very friendly manners. It was the beginning of their fourth year of selling bottled wine since opening for business in November of 2006. Ultimately all 30 acres was planned to be under cultivation.
Producing about 10,000 cases a year of wine, each year they added about 2,000 more to their total production.
They used to host private functions of all types as well as tours and picnic tables were set out in various locations on the property and the public was invited to utilize them.
Normal business hours were from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Thursday to Sunday.
Their physical address was the following: 35955 Richard Frey Road, Waller, Texas 77484.
We had heard that Colony Cellars was up for sale sometime after our visit and apparently they are now closed. Hopefully "Mr. and Mrs. C" are faring well with new endeavors of their choice. We wish them well!
Texas Bluebonnets set to the music of "Texas Our Texas" (State song)
While we had yet to view many bluebonnets, we saw these Texas wildflowers alongside the country roads shortly after leaving Colony Cellars and stopped to take a few pictures.
Closer to Brenham we were to see numerous fields of bluebonnets. Many cars were stopped along the highway with people posing amidst the beauty of these signature Texas wildflowers...the bluebonnet.
Naturally we stopped and got some great photos. Stay tuned.
Do you enjoy visiting wineries?
Wineries on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail
© 2010 Peggy Woods