Brushy Creek Vineyards Review
Address: 572 County Road 2798 Alvord,Texas 76225.
Phone Number: 940-427-4747
Tasting Hours: 10:00-6:00
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Review Date: 11/1/2014
Reviewer: Becky Parr
With tons of family and family history in Wichita Falls, Henrietta, and St. Jo, Texas on both sides we drive Highway 287 all the time. All the time. I can’t count the number of times we seen the sign for Brushy Creek Vineyards, looked longingly at it, and said, “We should stop there sometime.” Well, we never could stop there, mid-road trip, so we decided to make it our destination. And we’re so happy we did!
The Place:  Don’t worry, the winery isn’t the broken-down house you first pass on the right when you turn in from the highway. It’s on the left, and it does have a bit of a rustic country house look about it, but in a charming way. Inside, the tasting room is very small, with the bar on one side and a lineup of wine bottles (decorated with medals) on the other. There’s a tiny kitchen-type room at the end of the tasting room, with restroom adjacent; on the day we were there, it seemed the winery employees were having a bit of a party in that tiny kitchen! When I asked, I learned there was an event involving 13 wineries that evening, and the ladies were busily labeling bottles to take them to the event. It sounded more like a scrapbooking party or something! Their presence actually made the tiny tasting room seem like a really fun place.
For such a small space, the gift shop is fairly extensive. Don’t forget to look up and see the metal-work sayings hanging from the beams on the ceiling.
The property is actually much larger than it appears. We were invited to take a look around and search for the winery cat, Muscat (sadly, he didn’t make an appearance), so we wandered behind the tasting room and discovered there’s an entire two-story building and loading dock back there, with the top floor overlooking the vineyard.
The People:  I already mentioned the chatty bottle labelers, who truly gave the place a festive atmosphere. I didn’t get names, but I did determine that one was the wife of the vintner. Stephanie came out from the bottling party to help us out with tastings. She was super informative, and chatty, and asked us almost as many questions as we asked her! Turns out she’s about to go to Napa and Sonoma for her first visit, so we gave her some tips as to where to visit!
The Wines:  Driving into the winery, we noticed rows of vines labeled by variety. We didn’t recognize half of them! Once we got inside, we saw traditional varietals such as Chardonnay, Muscat, Merlot, and Sangiovese, along with bottles of Carignane, Chambourcin, and R. Katsitelli! And I must say that this place is swimming in Tempranillo. There are FOUR different Tempranillos.
So we dove in. I went for whites first; there are two Chardonnays, one oaked and one not, but I didn’t get a whole lot of oak in either of them. It was very light, and the oaked version was light as well. I enjoyed the Rousanne; it was light and floral, and would be a good wine for hot summer days. Stephanie suggested I try the R. Katsitelli, which is brand new for the winery (and I totally can’t pronounce it); and that one was kind of unusual, with pear on the finish and a lovely nose.
Now, for all those Tempranillos! They’re all seriously different from each other. I didn’t care for the 2010 Rush Creek; it had an odd nose and strange aftertaste and was too tannic for me. The 2011 Klassen was also a bit on the tannic side, but with some time will be very nice. My favorite was the 2012 Klassen, which I found to be smoother and more balanced than the 2011. The Brushy Creek 2012 was good too, just a bit tannic, and on the spicy side.
My husband wanted to try the Trois Amis, a blend, which is apparently a very popular wine among visitors. He liked it too, and said it opened up more as it sat. He bought a bottle to bring home. I asked about the Carignane and tried it, and it’s a very interesting and lovely lighter red. I bought some of that, and the 2012 Klassen Tempranillo.
Being a port and muscat drinker, my husband tried the Orange Moscato, which he declared sweet and light, and the Ruby Port-Tannat, which he really liked. I have a feeling that next time we pass by Brushy Creek, we’ll stop and get him some Port. Provided he drinks what he’s already got stored in our wine rack!
This is a great stop off 287. The atmosphere was a lot of fun, and there are some really good wines. It’s definitely worth a detour!