Visit: September, 2016
We learned of Bending Branch Winery when we first tried their Texas Tannat a few years ago, and that wine made a lasting impression. We like seeing Texas wineries experiment and produce wines that may not be considered conventional, and a varietal Tannat arguably fits into that category. It was a bold move for a new winery to embrace a grape variety for their signature wines that most consumers aren't familiar with. Tannat, a grape variety from Southwestern France, has typically been used as a blending grape, added to blends to provide more body, tannins, and color. The only way we're going to continue figuring out what works well in the various Texas grape growing AVAs is through this kind of experimentation and for Texas wine drinkers going along for the ride.
Bending Branch has 14 grape varieties planted on 20 acres of their estate, and their website has an excellent and very informative guide (Winery and Vineyard). Bending Branch sources fruit from their estate vineyard, other Texas vineyards, and a select group of vineyards in California. Their tasting room is a bit tight, but they have plenty of space on their covered patio where tastings are also done. Tastings are $10 for 6 wines; 2 whites, a rose, and 3 reds. They offer a tour on Saturday afternoons but be sure to book ahead of time. Bending Branch also has a tasting room in the town of Comfort called Branch on High that's worth a visit on its own. It was great to finally get to try a wider selection of their wines, and we look forward to see what's next from Bending Branch.
Tasting Menu (September 2016)
View of the hills from the patio