Blue Ostrich Winery: Worth the Drive from DFW

We had just dropped our youngest off in the dorms for his Freshman year at college. Facing a 3-hour drive home as we headed into the first days of an empty nest, we discussed what might be a good stop to break up the drive and determine if we were feeling more boo-hoo or ya-hoo. Our answer was unanimous: wine. So we mapped a course to a winery we had visited a few years back that was about half way home from the dorm. Blue Ostrich Winery was the destination.

Situated in what was at one time one of the largest ostrich ranches in the Southwest, Patrick and Julie Whitehead have created wines and a relaxed experience that are worth the 90-minute drive from DFW. The winery is located just outside of Saint Jo, in the Red River Valley, 30 miles to the west of Gainesville. Nearby Muenster provides a taste of German culture and food and the winery website lists other nearby restaurant options, although we chose to stop at the downtown square in Denton for dinner on the way back to Dallas.

The intimate tasting room is staffed with knowledgeable staff who artfully guide guests through the winery’s offerings at the wood and marble bar. Steps away from the tasting bar is a large enclosed (and air conditioned) seating area with full length windows that look out on the vineyards. The setup is perfect for trying several of their offerings in tasting portions at the bar first and then buying a glass, or bottle to share, of your favorites to take into the enclosed patio and stare out into the peaceful red river hills.

The Whiteheads grow Tempranillo, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon in the rolling hills of the estate. They utilize grapes from a variety of other locations, including the Texas High Plains, Wise County and New Mexico, to round out their full line of sparkling, sweet, rosé, white and red offerings. A couple of our favorites include:

2018 Viognier. Winner of double gold and best of show at the San Francisco International Wine Competition for good reason, this Viognier starts with aromas of fragrant honeysuckle, moves to flavors of white peach and cara cara orange then finishes with a hint of salinity.

Sun Kissed Rosé. The stunning deep salmon-pink color on this dry rosé makes it appealing right out of the bottle. Made from estate-grown Tempranillo grapes, the wine opens with aromas of rose petal and bright red fruit, displays ample juicy fruit flavors of strawberry, honeydew and watermelon before evolving into a ruby red grapefruit finish. Grand Star winner in the 2018 Lone Star International Wine Festival.

2017 Syrah. Grown in Wise County, the Blue Ostrich Syrah is fruit-driven, opening with rich blueberry jam and black plum fruit followed by sweet tobacco and smoke. Another award winner, this wine took home Best in Category at the 2019 Lone Star International Wine Competition.

If you would like to spend the night at the winery, Blue Ostrich has a 4-bedroom guest house that sleeps up to 8 people that can be rented. You can learn more about Blue Ostrich Winery at the their website: www.blueostrich.net

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