When you think of Texas, you probably think of cattle, cowboys, and the famous saying “Everything’s Bigger In Texas!” right?
More than likely, you don’t think of wine when you think of Texas, do you? Well, that’s where you would be mistaken. Texas has some of the best up and coming wines that nobody knows about, yet!
We recently visited a small winery just west of Houston in the quaint town of Sealy. Part of the Texas Independent Wine Trail, this unassuming young winery has some of the best tasting domestic wine I have had in quite some time.
If you consider the fact that I have lived in the Napa Valley and was exposed to many different wines, that should say something.
Cast Iron Winery is tucked away among cattle pastures and dirt roads and unless you know it’s there, you’d likely never get to it which would be a shame. This small winery may not have vines on the property yet, or the famous wooden casks you associate with a winery but what it does have is charm, friendliness, and great wines.
The winery is the passion of a lovely couple, Sean and Chelsea, who after spending several years in the hospitality industry, decided in 2017 that they would take their love of wine, and of course Texas, to the small town of Sealy and constructed a small blue metal building that is now their tasting room.
Why Sealy? Well, it’s location being just outside of Houston is perfect for those who want to spend a day sipping wine in a relaxed, casual atmosphere without the chaos of traffic or the noise.
Besides, where else but in Texas can you sip wine, watch cattle graze, and enjoy the sounds of the countryside?
While they both have degrees in Hotel Restaurant Management, Sean upped his game and obtained his Sommelier as well as attending winemaking courses at Texas Tech University in Fredricksburg, Texas. That knowledge has translated into their passion and production of some very tasty wine offerings.
In 2018, their first clippings of Black Spanish grapes were planted which one day will grow into rows and rows of beautiful vines producing bottle after bottle of their wine.
We learned from Sean that the Black Spanish grape is a 1/2 French, 1/2 American hybrid that was developed by the University of Florida to withstand the Texas climate, mainly the humidity which can quickly destroy a crop of grapes.
I shared with him that I have memories of hearing the tractors pulling the sulfur machines in the vineyards of Napa Valley whenever the humidity rose as a way to protect the grapes from disease. Because of the hybrid grapes that is not necessary here in Texas.
Because the grapes are resistant to Pierce Disease, they grow quite well in Texas and are a hearty variety. This is one of 3 types of grapes that they use in developing their various wines. The other 2 types they use are Blanc du valle which is a white grape and Wild Mustang which is a red.
As we sat and visited with Sean and Chelsea, learning all about the winery, why they decided to build it, and their plans for the future, the passion they have for developing outstanding wines and sharing them was evident.
With names like Sunday Traffic, Sweet Red Firefly, and Lilo, their sense of humor shines through in each unique name given to the wines. Don’t let that fool you though, the taste is anything but funny.
I am by no means a wine expert or even pretend to be but the wines I tasted were so good that we went home with 2 bottles, 1 red, 1 white.
From the sweetness of Lilo to the smoothness of Sweet Red Firefly, each wine has its own unique flavor and personality.
As Chelsea described each wine we were tasting and Sean shared his vast knowledge of the wine industry, particularly the grapes, it was evident that they have poured their hearts and souls into their venture.
In addition to the seating inside the building, they have lovely outside seating where we could sit and enjoy great wine, conversation, and perhaps a game of corn hole. We even had a visit from the resident Guinea Fowl that make the property their home. Along with tastings, they also have fun monthly events such as cupcake and wine pairings, Painting With A Twist, live music, Texas BBQ, and more. I’m all in for the cupcake and wine pairing, how can dessert and wine be anything but awesome?
If you prefer to have your wine by the bottle, they also offer memberships which allow you to receive their amazing wines shipped straight to your door, complimentary tastings, discounts, and more.
Although they can ship their wines, they are currently not available in any retail stores. In fact, the only place you can get them outside of the winery is at Anthonies Market Grill restaurant which we happen to love!
The winery is open Thursday and Friday 1p-8p, Saturday and Sunday 12p-6p and Monday by appointment. In addition to the obvious bottles of wine, they also have wine glasses, shirts, and other fun retail items you can purchase while you are there.
Whether its a table during regular hours or you would like to come out for your own private event, let us know the occasion and we will individualize the event for your group.
Cast Iron Winery may not be the biggest winery in Texas, but they definitely are one of the friendliest! Stop by and say hi to Sean and Chelsea, sip some wine, enjoy a cheese platter, and share some stories.
Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll be introduced to the guinea fowl and chickens by their son and daughters – the unofficial winery ambassadors!