Restaurants / Bars

Time To Wine Down — Wineries Just 15 Minutes From The Woodlands Create an Unexpected Oasis

Sip, Dine and Relax In a Vineyard or Tasting Room Near Home

BY // 04.07.23

While it’s common knowledge that Fredricksburg is a great Texas destination for wine, did you know there are wineries (practically) in The Woodlands’ backyard? You can learn, sip and relax in a vineyard or tasting room, have a gourmet meal or groove to a live band. All a 15 minute drive or less from The Woodlands.

Here are some Woodlands area wineries to consider:

In 2017, James Barber had an epiphany during his shift one night at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. He wanted to start his own winery. In 2018, he joined forces with MCSO colleague Jack Solomon and shift partner Chris Dowell. The trio developed the concept for Blue Epiphany Winery, now known as B.E. Winery.

The winery sits on 15 acres in Conroe, complete with a tasting room and patio overlooking a pond. There’s even a wedding venue in the construction stage.

B.E. typically has four to five red wine options and two to three white options, while seasonal small batches filter through the selection. Currently, all-red tastings are $22 and a classic mixed tasting is available for $18. B.E. offers tastings during business hours and frequently hosts live music on Saturday nights. Reservations for groups of 10 or more are recommended.

But there’s more to B.E. than the wine. Beyond expert classes in wine tasting, B.E. features an array of events, like bingo, yoga, monthly artisan markets and even a gumbo cook-off.

Not a fan of wine at all? B.E. is diving into the brewery scene with Texas Grand Brewing Co., set to open this month. In the coming weeks, B.E. will launch its own food line, and it already boasts a very popular Sunday brunch.

B.E. Winery’s hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon to 6 pm, Saturday hours run from noon to 9 pm and Sundays, it’s noon to 6 pm. B.E. Winery is located at 400 Bryant Road in Conroe.

Take a seat on the front porch of the renovated home that is GADELA Winery.
Take a seat on the front porch of the renovated home that is GADELA Winery.

GADELA Winery

Franco Knoepffler began making wine in 2002 as a hobby. Over the years, friends and relatives encouraged him to open a winery. In 2017, Knoepffler and his wife Brenda finally took the plunge and opened GADELA Winery in Spring. While there are no vineyards on the property, GADELA primarily sources Texas grapes for its wines.

Guided wine tastings are available at $20 per person, which includes eight individual tastings. The experience runs about 30 minutes, featuring detailed wine explanations, a run down of the history of the winery and a souvenir glass. Visitors can choose from among 15 wines for the tasting (four whites, nine reds and two after-dinner wines). Walk-ins during business hours are accepted, but reservations are also available. For groups larger than 10, the tasting time expands to 45 minutes.

GADELA Winery has an indoor seating area, an outdoor patio, and an upstairs area that can accommodate groups of 20 to 25.

GADELA’s two most popular wines are Kerubim, a blend of syrah, cabernet and xinfandel, and brisa, which is a sauvignon blanc infused with kiwi and pear. The food menu is extensive, from empanadas to pizza to cheese trays. There are also cocktails and coffee available.

Its wine club turns quarterly wine pickups into special events, where drinks and food are part of the pickup process. Memberships are available at three levels, each with their own benefits, including exclusive invitations to bottling parties.

GADELA’s hours are Mondays through Wednesdays by appointment, Thursdays from 4 pm to 8 pm, Fridays from 4 pm to 9 pm and Saturdays from 1 pm to 9 pm. GADELA is located at 8311 Ginger Drive in Spring.

Wild Stallion Vineyards

While traveling through Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand and other far-flung lands, Larry and Karen Cress began to dream of beautiful vineyards and making wine. The dream became a reality in 2009 when the couple opened Wild Stallion Vineyards in Spring.

In 2008, the seed was planted for Wild Stallion Vineyards — literally — with a small test site of Blanc du Bois grapes. Fast forward to today, and there are more than three flourishing acres. In 2015, two more acres adjacent to the Event Center were added, giving guests a personal experience with the vines. There is also another small test vine area of different grapes that has not yet been harvested.

On Saturday nights through June 3, Wild Stallion hosts a concert series with live bands. Grab your blanket and a seat on the lawn for $20 per person, rent an entire deck for a group up to 25 for $700, or choose any available seating option in between.

White wines are made on property and red wines are outsourced. Tasting options for these wines range from $14 to $22 for three, depending on the wines you choose. Wild Stallion has a full kitchen, with options ranging from snacks to full meals.

It also has an active wine club, with distributions three times a year and varied wine selections. Wild Stallion’s hours are Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 pm to 6 pm and Fridays from noon to 6 pm. On concert series evenings, wine tastings begin at 5 pm. Wild Stallion is located at 5969 West Rayford Road in Spring.

H-Wines Winery is housed inside the historical First State Bank building, which was a bank from 1906 to 1934. The vault now serves as the wine cellar.
H-Wines Winery makes its home in the old First State Bank building.

H-Wines Winery

Two Frenchmen — Steve Hari, an experienced winemaker from Burgundy with two wine making degrees, and Philippe Legrand, a descendant of a family of wine merchants — established H-Wines Winery in 2017 in Coldspring. In 2019, Hari and Legrand opened a tasting room with a patio in the historic First State Bank building in old downtown Montgomery. The former bank vault is now the wine cellar.

At H-Wines, you get flights featuring four four-ounce wines. The winery also boasts a selection of French wines in addition to wines derived from locally grown grapes.

On Wednesdays, wine-paired dinners are available with reservations at $69 from 6 pm to 9 pm. Chef Celi creates a gourmet meal and wine is served with each course. (Last week’s dinner was Alaskan halibut with salad, sides and dessert.) To make a reservation, call (832) 870-9303.

H-Wines Winery’s hours are Wednesdays from 6 pm to 9 pm, Thursdays from 5 pm to 9 pm, Fridays from 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturdays from 2 pm to 10 pm and Sundays from 2 pm to 5 pm.

The Coldspring winery can be visited by appointment, where Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish Lenoir grapes grow for use in its Texas wines.

H-Wines Winery‘s tasting room is located at 14343 Liberty Street in Montgomery. It has a patio and a backyard and both are cigar and pet-friendly.

Yes, you’re near The Woodlands. But why can’t that be wine country too?

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