Sage Hill Vineyard & Winery Review
Address: 32621 Rock Creek Rd Parks,Nebraska 69041.
Phone Number: 308-423-9463
Tasting Hours: Thurs-Mon 1:00-6:00 and by appt.
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
Review Date: 5/26/2014
Reviewer: Mark and Sonja
To say that Parks, Nebraska, is in the middle of nowhere might offend the middle of nowhere. Two hours south of Ogallala, within view of the borders of both Kansas and Colorado in the very southwest corner of the state, sits the tiny town of no more than twenty-five people. As we drove down the gravel road that would eventually lead to the winery, we began to wonder if we would ever find the place or if this journey off the beaten path would be worth it.
When we finally arrived, the quaint and welcoming exterior and garden put us at ease. Hal, the owner and winemaker, was working outside and greeted us as we got out of the car and invited us inside. The tasting room is small, but it is bright and clean. Before settling in for our tasting, Hal gave us a quick tour and showed us the creek outside where he hosts an annual kayak race. Back inside the tasting room, an area around the corner from the tasting bar features ample seating. Once a porch on the side of the building, the area was enclosed and is now often used for art classes. We learned that labels on Sage Hills wine bottles are adorned in original, beautiful, works of art, created by various family members. Many of the pieces also decorate the walls of the tasting room for all to enjoy.
We enjoyed the wines offered by Sage Hill, and as we were in no hurry to get back into the car and drive two and a half hours to our next stop, we sampled them all. The red collection included varietals such as Leon Millot, DeChaunac, Marechal Foch, Rosette, Frontenac, and Chambourcin. Though more common to the Midwest perhaps than other U.S. wine regions, winemaker Hal Walker has joined Nebraskas best vintners in proving that they can be turned into excellent wines. The Chambourcin, in particular, is a big red wine, dry, and cab-like, though all of them were good. The whites were enjoyable as well, the LaCrosse being our favorite for its lightness and acidity, though the whites were somewhat overshadowed by the rhubarb wines listed below them. Rhubarb wine is an uncommon find, but one that sweet wine drinkers are sure to relish.
Sage Hill might be a little bit of a jaunt for some, but if youre up for the trip, we highly recommend giving it a try. A great feature at Sage Hill is the Winemakers Loft, and apartment situated above the tasting room. The apartment has all you need for a comfortable stay including a queen sized bed and a fully equipped kitchen. With the Rock Creek Lake nearby, the creek right next door, and of course, delicious wine to drink, a trip to Sage Hill can easily make for an enjoyable and relaxing vacation. Getting off the beaten path might not be such a bad thing after all.