Solaro Estate Vineyards & Winery and associate winery The Solaro Winery are unique facilities in Houston and Austin. The Houston branch won the 2015 Best Businesses in Houston award in the wineries category. The winery’s 2014 Miscela won a gold medal at the 2016 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and a bronze at the 2016 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition and its 2013 Barbera won a bronze medal at Finger Lakes. Both wineries offer a Vintner Collection Reserve Tasting package where customers are introduced to the company’s wines, vineyards, and winery practices. Both its locations are unique venues for corporate or social events, offering private wine tastings, wine by the bottle and stem, and pairings and cuisine including charcuterie, pasta, salads, and New York delicatessen plates.
Mid-State Wine & Liquor is a boutique distributor and wholesaler of alcoholic beverages in Houston that opened in 2000. The company distributes beer, wine, and spirits statewide. The company’s wholesale wine portfolio consists of small, mid-size, and larger wineries that produce white wine, sparkling wine, red wine, rose wines, and ports. The family-owned wineries in the collection come from four states and a range of countries, including France, Italy, Germany, and New Zealand. The company seeks clients who are passionate about boutique wine products. The staff introduces new wines to sommeliers and educates customers about the company’s boutique products. The owner introduced his own private label, Sierra Estate Private Selection, that features a chardonnay and a pinot noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
Haak Vineyards & Winery is an award-winning, family-owned company in Santa Fe that opened in 2000. The company specializes in the production of two award-winning Madeiras. The wines come from two grapes that are new to the wine world, including Blanc du Bois, a grape with Florida origins, and Black Spanish or Jacquez grape, which produces the winery’s distinctive Haak Texas Madeira. The company was the first winery in Galveston County and is open for public and private tours and tastings.
Clear Creek Winery, Vineyard, & Resort opened in Kemah in 2007. The company offers general wine tours on weekends, where wine ambassadors share the story of the vineyard’s wines, winemaking information, and tasting tips. Private tours and tastings are available, as well as self-guided tours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday afternoons. The winery’s covered patio can accommodate up to 125 guests, making it perfect for weddings and reunions. The company’s new blending bar allows guests to create their own blended glass or bottle of wine, then sample it in a souvenir etched wine glass. The winery also produces a selection of fruit wines, as well as raspberry and cherry chocolate ports. The company also has the award-winning Clipper House Inn bed and breakfast and the eculent restaurant on the property.
AWI Wines is a boutique winery based in Houston. It was established by a group of friends in 2008 and now has a variety of limited edition wines. The wine company offers distinct wine products that are produced in a private vineyard in Argentina. It sells a huge selection of red wines, rose wines, and white wines, all made from 30 variants of grapes. In addition, the company also shares virtual cooking classes for foods that match its wines.
Bandol Wines is a boutique winery in Houston. The company specializes in importing wines from the Bandol region in France and distributing them to restauranteurs and wine shops in Houston and Austin. Bandol is a specialty wine made from the Mourvedre grape, which is the major varietal of the region. Mourvedre must account for at least 50% of the blend for both Bandol red and rose wines, with Grenache and Cinsaut usually filling out the rest of the wine’s composition. The company also distributes RWB Vodka, an ultra-premium, handcrafted, gluten-free spirit that won the Platinum Award at the 2013 SIP Awards.
The Empty Glass opened in 2012 and offers an array of Texas and imported varietals from its rustic, old-town facility in Tomball. The company features a saloon-style wooden bar that dates back to the early 20th century. The company highlights Texas wines, with almost half of the 135 wines on its menu from the Lone Star State. The bar serves more than 100 by-the-glass labels. A small food menu also is available, offering individual meats and cheeses, sandwiches, pizza, and desserts. An outside patio space offers a relaxed, shaded environment that includes non-discrete flat-screen TVs. The bar also serves several bottled beers, including Shiner Bock, Ziegenbock, and St. Arnolds. The company also has an exclusive tasting room for private gatherings available by reservation. The bar has Happy Hour specials Tuesdays through Fridays and Sunday Funday specials all day.
Perissos Vineyard and Winery features 100% Texas-grown and handcrafted wines at its Burnet property. The owners started growing grapes at their Austin home in 1999, and in time established an estate vineyard, state-of-the-art winery, and barrel storage facility. The winery’s first harvest was in 2006, and since then, 75% of all wines made there have been from estate-grown fruit. The vineyard harvests 100% of its fruit by hand, and the bulk of its wines are made in a traditional dry style. The winery has seven red wines and four whites in its portfolio. The winery’s 2014 Roussanne white won a gold medal at a 2015 San Francisco wine festival. The Perissos Wine Club has no startup membership fee and offers at least three wine shipments annually, no tasting fees at the winery’s tasting room, and a 25% discount on most wines purchased in the tasting room. The tasting room is open Friday through Sunday afternoons.