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Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail - Colony Cellars Winery

Updated on October 10, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Colony Cellars Winery
Colony Cellars Winery | Source

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
Colony Cellars | Source

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.

Bottled wines from Colony Cellars Winery
Bottled wines from Colony Cellars Winery | Source

Grape Varieties

For those who are interested in the varieties of grapes grown by the Corley family, they included the following:

  • Black Spanish
  • Magnolia
  • Blanc duBois
  • Carlos
  • Chambourcin
  • Noble
  • and Cynthiana.

These grape varieties we were told grow well in this part of Texas.

Wildflowers on the Colony Cellars Winery property
Wildflowers on the Colony Cellars Winery property | Source

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."

Colony Cellars Winery viewed from the back of the building
Colony Cellars Winery viewed from the back of the building | Source

Filtering Ponds

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.

Christmas trees as well as wine produced on this property at Colony Cellars Winery.
Christmas trees as well as wine produced on this property at Colony Cellars Winery. | Source

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.

Plantlife in one of the ponds helping to purify the water at Colony Cellars Winery.
Plantlife in one of the ponds helping to purify the water at Colony Cellars Winery. | Source

Fermentation

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.

View of Colony Cellars from the parking lot
View of Colony Cellars from the parking lot | Source

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!

Texas wildflowers
Texas wildflowers | Source

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.

Texas wildflowers
Texas wildflowers | Source

Update:

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)

Bluebonnets

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.

Additional Texas wildflowers seen on this trip
Additional Texas wildflowers seen on this trip | Source

Do you enjoy visiting wineries?

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35955 Richard Frey Rd, Waller, TX 77484, USA
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Wineries on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail

© 2010 Peggy Woods

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    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Not sure this winery is still open. We heard that it was up for sale and their website seems to have been taken over by someone trying to sell Louis Vuitton luggage. Glad we saw it when we did. The drive out into the country with the wildflowers in bloom made for a nice outing.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      This looks like a wonderful way to spend a weekend day to get out and breath some fresh air and see the countryside. Won't be long and those wildflowers will be blooming. Texas does have some beautiful wildflowers and they are profuse when spring arrives. The Winery sounds interesting too, and you have certainly made it sound like a tempting enjoyable break between taking photos of the gorgeous wildflowers. Your photos here are superb as usual.

      Really enjoyed this article. Voting up, useful, interesting, awesome and beautiful. Also pinned to my 'Travel' board on which your articles often get repinned over and over again. Sharing with followers too.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello cindy,

      My husband and I visited all of the wineries that I wrote hubs about in a matter of two days. There would have been one more day and hub...Mesina Hof. We drove all the way up to College Station from Houston and went there only to find out that the battery that I was charging for my camera had not been put IN TO THE CAMERA before leaving home. Haha! Thus I did not write about that winery. Will go back sometime again and feature it.

      So to answer your question, allowing for some time for the tastings and seeing the various wineries on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail, I think that taking 3 days to do it all is reasonable. You could do it in 2 days if you do not stop along the roads to take photos of the beautiful wildflowers as I did...but that is half the fun! So...2 to 3 days is reasonable for planning purposes. Enjoy!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello UCAgent,

      This was labeled as spam because of the link that you left in the comment section. Not supposed to do that...in case you come back here to read this again.

      Thanks for your comment and hope that you found this hub about Colony Cellars Winery helpful since you are just now learning about wine.

    • profile image

      cindy 5 years ago

      I was thinking of doing the bluebonnet trail this yr w/hubby for v-day but does it really require a lot of driving and does it really take 4 days to complete the trail?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Chicagovision,

      Glad that you liked this hub about Colony Cellars and the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • Chicagovision profile image

      Chicagovision 7 years ago from Chicago

      this was very nice

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi akirchner,

      A motor home would be a great way to travel with all the comforts of home plus your pets. Visiting wineries like the ones on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail would be ever so much fun. The parking lot at Colony Cellars could accommodate such a vehicle.......and oh, yes!, a corkscrew would not be necessary for these wines. They use a screwcap which more and more wineries are starting to utilize. Eliminates the problem with corks tainting the wines. Thanks for the visit.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      I would love to visit and indulge! All I need is a huge motor home so that the mals can pull if they need to and a corkscrew - great hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi D.A.L.,

      I agree that wine and wildflowers are a great combination which is why we were tempted to indulge our senses with this Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail this year. Great way to discover new (to us) wineries like the Colony Cellars one in this hub. Thanks for reading.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hahaha...very funny Mickey Dee. I can assure you that Colony Cellars produces better wines as compared to MD 20/20 and from what I have heard about the latter, with much less alcohol content.

      Bicycling to wineries would be a great way to experience them. Are there any wineries in your area?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hello, hello,

      Happy to hear that you liked the pictures of the wildflowers on this Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail - Colony Cellars hub. Thanks for reading.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi msorensson,

      Click on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail link to see the ones featured on this particular wine trail route. The furthest away is up in Bryan. There are others not a part of this group also. If you put in a search for wineries in Texas, I think that you will be amazed. It is certainly a growing industry! I'll be doing more hubs about Texas wineries as time allows. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi dahoglund,

      Colony Cellars is indeed a nice place to spend some time.

      As to the wildflowers...Lady Bird Johnson had a lot to do with the encouragement of scattering wildflower seeds along highways all across the United States. Of course birds scatter some also the "natural" way. Personally I don't care who did the scattering...the results can be spectacular.

      One cannot mow an area until the wildflowers go to seed and drop back to the ground to provide for the next year's annual show of blossoms. For that reason, most home gardeners do not go the wildflower route unless they have large spaces of land.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 7 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      PeggyW, wine and wild flowers what more can one ask for? great hub. Look forward to more.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      So you think this wine is better than MD 20/20? I heard the blue MD 20/20 was the best. That's what the wino down the street told me. I usually ask the most experienced! Thanks Peggy. I bet a wine tour could be pretty good- by bicycle!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      This was very infromative and the lovely photos added to the joy reading your hub. Thank you.

    • msorensson profile image

      msorensson 7 years ago

      Thank you for this, Peggy W. I did not know there is a winery relatively close to us.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It looks like a peaceful and pleasant place to spend an afternoon. When we lived in Illinois there were a lot of wildflowers by the side of the road. They may have been planted there for erosion purposes or something. Of coarsse than they really wouldn't be wild, would they.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Candie,

      2 photos that I had intended to add to this hub wouldn't load for some reason. Will add them later IF it works. As to my husband...he is so patient with my photo taking. Nice guy!

      Yes...at Colony Cellars Winery, they take recycling (at least with water) very seriously. We really liked this part of the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail. Always fun exploring new places.

      Glad you liked this Candie. Thanks for the visit and Happy Easter!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Another fantastic travel-log-ala-Peggy W!

      I would have to agree with your hubby - innumerable photos in deed!! HAhaha! And to our benefit I would add! This winery is enchanting! And their respect of nature is as great a draw as the wine itself! Thank you for finding these out of the way spots, and sharing them!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Betsyickes,

      Wow...that was a fast comment. Just posted this! Yesterday was a wonderful diversion and we really liked our drive out into the country to see the fabulous wildflowers and we also enjoyed being introduced to Colony Cellars. We know much more about other wines than ones from Texas. Intend to become better educated about the ones from the State in which we live.

    • BetsyIckes profile image

      BetsyIckes 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for sharing this. Learned a few things from it.