In: Drinking16 Feb 2013
(map) It’s amazing how different Texas wineries are. Some are small, family-run operations; others are big, bustling, Tuscan-style villas. And then there’s one you can live in. Literally. If you’ve ever fantasized about living in a vineyard, The Vineyard at Florence can help you realize your dream. The gorgeous property has a tennis court, polo field, stables, and two-to-10-acre plots for sale overlooking the vines. Have a couple of glasses of wine and you just might take them up on the offer!
Texas’ only residential winery has a beautiful tasting room where you can taste three blends made from Texas grapes, or for slightly more, three wines from grapes grown on the estate. They’ve only been here five years, so production is still small, but growing (so to speak). The estate-grown Vineyard Roma and Vineyard Forte were both exquisite.
They do wine and gourmet chocolate pairings, too. Two of my favorite things! The chocolates are for sale in the gift shop.
There’s a cafe for salads and sandwiches. You can also enjoy your food outside on the patio under the oaks. And yes, you can take your glass of wine out there, too. Saturday afternoons offer live music.
You can get different salad-sandwich combos, like this grilled-cheese panini with a fresh Greek salad.
The hefty Panini Paisano featured tender strips of grilled chicken breast with melted provolone. This orzo-almond salad, below, made an exotic accompaniment to the grilled Panini Donatello with sliced turkey and cheese.
The place is huge, with gorgeous art-filled rooms and hallways off the main tasting room. The Polo Lounge, above, offers lots of upscale goodies for sale. The art throughout is for sale.
The Reserve Room is a place to meet or just sit and enjoy a glass of wine. Bottles lining the walls are for sale. The Vineyard hosts many events, like weddings and parties. They’ll be throwing their fourth annual Boutique Spring Wine Festival, on May 18th, with 65 wines on hand for tasting, plus specialty foods, chocolates and plenty of live music. Don’t you wish you lived here?