Living in a major city, it can feel at times that life is moving at too fast a speed. Days and weekends pass by in a blur, and nothing remains to show for it. To make the most of our weekend, Mrs. CurryOnTravel and I headed to Los Pinos Vineyards, where time moves at the pace you want it to move.
What to do there
Located in Pittsburg, on the Texas Forest Trail and Texas Lakes Trail in the Pineywoods of East Texas, you’ll pass towns whose names may be unfamiliar, but the scenery blends into a common theme: you’re not in the noisy city. Driving in from FM-3384, you get a feeling you’re about to park in someone’s ranch when the music and the rustic decor hit you.
The welcome party
A large group had come in for the weekend and while taking care of them, Gerald ensured we were settled in. The cottages at Los Pinos are very popular and tend to book quite early, that is why more cottages are popping up around the vineyards. With Lakes Cypress Springs and Bob Sandlin close by, guests can enjoy cruising the lake in the morning, checking into the Ranch in the afternoon, and enjoying the festivities late in the evening. You’ll find more information on the cottages and their availability at the Cottage Rentals page.
Hacking Tip: Along with a weekend getaway or a day-trip, Los Pinos Ranch is a great place for a private party or event. The ranch is a perfect place for a get-together with family or friends. The staff is very accommodating, and they will ensure you have a memorable experience. Reach out to the Los Pinos crew with your ideas. Visit the Los Pinos site for more information, and reach out to Gerald Jones, the managing partner of Los Pinos, to make the most of your trip.
Mrs. CurryOnTravel and I jumped in with both feet at Los Pinos by starting with the Tasting Room. The staff was really informative as they guided us through the wines based on our tastes. We started with the dry white and jumped around the tasting menu. Mrs. CurryOnTravel couldn’t get enough of “All My X’s”, a sweet red, while I just loved “Texas Torte”, a dessert wine fortified with brandy. The Sangiovese and Montepulciano reds had the familiar hints of oak and a great taste that stayed with you.
A perfect pairing to the wine
Gerald introduced us to Arnulfo Perez, Los Pinos’ winemaker and vineyard manager, who graciously offered us a detailed tour of the vineyard and the winery. With extensive knowledge of viticulture, Arnulfo walked us through the process of planting, growing, harvesting, and ultimately using grapes to make wine. An arduous process, the team does not take shortcuts with quality; a fact apparent in the end product. Arnulfo’s passion was on display as we discussed how he creates the different flavors and experiments with different techniques of wine-making. He has his own ranch with a vineyard, appropriately called El Sueno, or The Dream.
The Black Spanish Grapes
We walked back through the dining area, where members of the La Famiglia Wine Club have exclusive invitations to enjoy the reserve wines with a special menu created by the chef. With the growing fame of Los Pinos, the partners opened a tasting room in Fredericksburg, TX. Their wine is shipped and available in shops across many states. The Ranch, however, is still the home of Los Pinos. The small-town winery is winning over both critics and wine-lovers, and with a new tasting room more folks will have access to enjoy eclectic flavors such as “Besitos de Chocolate”, a dessert wine that tastes like chocolate covered strawberries.
The Tasting Room at Fredericksburg
After finishing the tour, we sat with a glass of Texican, a spicy red, and a table full of cheese, bread, olives and a pan of hand-tossed Margherita pizza. With the live music going, featured on Fridays and Saturdays, and the Texas sun shining above us, it’s not hard to see how the best way to enjoy an afternoon is with some chilled wine, great company, delicious food, and a ranch that just feels familiar.
Texican and Margherita
How to get there
Los Pinos Ranch is located in Pittsburg, Texas, about two hours east of Dallas. The ranch is close to major cities such as Austin, Houston, and Shreveport, Louisiana. Drive in early to enjoy the lakes or the Texas Rural Heritage Museum.
Where to stay
You cannot beat the cottages at Los Pinos Ranch, they define quaint, rustic, and southern comfort. Make reservations early for a worry free visit to Los Pinos, where you can enjoy the late evening while spending a night at the ranch.
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