At one time the land north or St. Jo, Texas was home to hundreds of ostriches in one of the southwest’s premiere ostrich ranches. Today, the grazing has been replaced with grapes and the barn houses barrels as the ranch has transitioned into the Blue Ostrich Winery. Located about 90 minutes north and west of the DFW area, the winery retained 7 live ostriches on the property. The birds provide a nice complement to the comfortable tasting room and covered patio overlooking the vineyard from which you can sample their wines and watch the grapes grow.
The winery is about 30 minutes west of Gainesville off of Interstate 35. Our group visited Blue Ostrich from the Dallas area later on a Saturday afternoon, leisurely tasting many of their wines and then buying a couple of our favorite bottles to enjoy on the patio. On the way back to Dallas, we stopped in downtown Denton for dinner. The two stops made for a unique and fun half-day outing away from the Metroplex.
Blue Ostrich grows their own Tempranillo, Viognier, Muscat Giallo and Cabernet on the 8 acre estate and sources many of their other grapes from neighboring and other Texas vineyards. Their production includes a wide variety or solid reds, rosés, and whites, many, but not all, of which lean on the sweet side. If you make your way to Blue Ostrich, and I recommend that you do, the must-try options from each category are:
White: Blue Ostrich Estate Viognier.
Produced with grapes grown just steps off the patio, this lighter-style Viognier is a honey of a wine. Honeysuckle florals on the nose give way to honeydew melon and apricot in the palate. This wine is crisp and dry and perfect chilled on the patio in the Texas summer.
Rosé: Seven Brides.
Yes, this is the summer of #roséalltheway, but this bottle is far more than just fashionable. A blend of seven Texas-grown varietals with the color of a Provence Rosé, the Sangiovese and Syrah rise above the rest, providing notes of strawberry, cherry and peach. The estate grown Moscato Giallo adds and additional touch of sweetness but is not overbearing. This is a Rosé that can please both red and white wine lovers.
Red: Table One Red Blend.
Lighter in feel than might be expected from a blend dominated by Syrah, Table One is an extremely well balanced blend, with rich blueberry, clove and pepper in the front layered with plum and vanilla in the mid-palate. This is a nice every day table red to satisfy a variety of tastes.