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Monday, Sept. 21, 2020

A Trip To Texas Wine Country

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Welcome to Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards

Drive a short drive northwest from Shreveport, and you’ll find a land of rolling hills in the heart of Northeast Texas filled with lumber and farming. You’ll also find a land filled with rich economic history as you head north on Highway 271 to Pittsburg, Texas, best known as the home of Pilgrim’s Pride, founded by Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim in 1946. What you will not expect to find are breathtakingly beautiful vineyards.

Just a few miles south of Pittsburg, you’ll turn west off of Highway 271 onto County Road 1522. As with all directions in small-town Texas, you’ll need to pass the country church until you get to the railroad track and head north and turn on an even smaller blacktop road, CR 1322. Don’t go too fast, or you’ll miss the Pilgrim’s Pride facility on your right. You’re definitely in the heart of Northeast Texas. After a quick jig in the road followed by a wave to the friendly folks who sit and watch the passersby, you’ll take one more turn to the west on County Road 1334 and finally cross those railroad tracks. This is about the time that you start to wonder what you were thinking and flashback to scenes from the James Dickey book “Deliverance.”

What you are about to see is one of the most spectacular treats this area has, and when you arrive, you forget you’re in the middle of nowhere, Texas. You’ve just found a mecca of sorts, filled with acres upon acres of lush grapevines, some 20 years old that beg to welcome you into one of the area’s largest wine production facilities, a beautiful place to take your mind off the stress you left at home. Welcome to Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards.

Los Pinos has vineyards where guests meander through vines of Black Spanish or Blanc Du Bois grapes, and there are beautiful landscapes, a gazebo and seating areas that provide a relaxing view of the grounds. Sit back and take a deep breath of the clean, fresh Texas air, watch the fireflies in the evening or listen to the sounds of nature by day.

Either way, you’ll melt your cares away before entering the production facility tour paired with wine and cheese samplings.

Those not interested in the winemaking process make a reservation in their popular dining facility for dishes designed to pair with any of the over 20 varieties of wine they produce, all available by the glass or bottle. There are real Texas-style names in winemaker Arnulfo Perez’s creations. From things like “Sweet Rodeo Red” or “All My X’s,” you also have traditional Sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and this writer’s favorite, Tempranillo. For the lighter wine drinkers, try Rosie the Riveter, Pinky Tuscadero or a traditional Blanco Grande made with the Estate Blanc Du Bois grapes.

Match any of them with their myriad of tapas, wood-fired pizzas, salads or steaks, all designed to satisfy every flavor palette. Try the Blanket-Mission figs, with goat cheese and balsamic reduction wrapped individually in a flaky puff pastry or go for the Brie Burger with sundried tomatoes, caramelized red onions and a fig tapenade. Leave room for dessert with their fabulous perfectly textured crème brûlé or flourless chocolate cake, or choose a glass of their 2013 Texas Torte dessert wine.

Fall in love and stay the night at their onsite Tuscan cottage complete with a couple’s Jacuzzi tub or reach out to one of the nearby accommodations to stay at a casita in the adjacent Relax and Wine Down or nearby Lavender Mermaid Bed and Breakfast. Friday and Saturday evenings feature live local music, and Sunday mornings await you with sangria and a special Sunday brunch menu. Of course, the friendly staff will help you with selections of wine and Los Pinos swag to take home to enjoy until you can return. Don’t forget to join the Wine Club and be one of the first to know about new releases, events and, more importantly, to get your wine discounts. Once you’ve been to Los Pinos, you’ll never want to stay away too long.

For information on the vineyard, upcoming events and live music, go to www. lospinosranchvineyards.com 658 County Road 1334 Pittsburg, Texas 75686 (903)855-1769 Check for hours during COVID phases

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