McKinney’s growing reputation as an up-and-coming wine destination is in line with a trend seen regionally and nationally. For the last 21 years, U.S. wine consumption has risen, making 2014 the year that the United States became the world’s No. 1 consumer of wines. Texas now ranks fifth among wine-producing states. McKinney, meanwhile, is home to the first vineyards in Collin County, Texas’ 10th-largest wine producer, an active wine trail and many locations to pop-a-cork and pour-a-glass while watching live music.

Landon Winery

An assortment of recent honors and awards for Landon Winery.

An assortment of recent honors and awards for Landon Winery.

 

Fine wines and patio ambiance define Landon Winery’s prime downtown square location. Landon Winery produces an array of wines, including: Napa Valley-grown cabernet and bordeaux-style blends, tempranillo and dolcetto reds, a brisk chardonnay, orange muscat dessert wine and several blended options. Owner Bob Landon serves on the board of the influential Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association. Landon works with vineyards in the Texas High Plains and Napa Valley Atlas Peak AVAs in specifying the perfect viticulture for his wines.

Landon Winery is the 10th-largest winery in Texas, winning the People’s Choice awards in many wine competitions. Landon is a founding member of the Dallas Town & Country Wine Trail.

Bob Landon is proud of the loyalty of his active Wine Club members. He welcomes tours for barrel tasting at his Greenville location, too. “Come,” he says. “This is a great place to hang out, have a great bottle of wine, enjoy live music and talk with our knowledgeable staff. There are interesting stories associated with each wine.”

Landon Winery: 101 N. Kentucky St., 972-542-3030, landonwinery.com.

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Mitas Hill Vineyard

Harold and Sue Mitas

Harold and Sue Mitas

 

Mitas Hill Vineyard is McKinney’s newest wine concept: a wine destination. Located in the northeast quadrant of McKinney, Mitas Hill’s estate hosts a winery, a beautiful event center, Justine’s Steak House, a four-bedroom lodge and a tasting room that are used for weddings, corporate events and dining out.

Owner Harold Mitas envisions Mitas Hills’ Golden Winemaker Experience as one where a member can “cultivate their own row of grapes, harvest their favorite varietals, blend and bottle a personal wine while experiencing berry selection, the fermentation process and French oak barrel aging.” The Golden Winemaker is modeled on Napa Valley’s Harlan Estates’ Napa Valley Reserve, the nation’s first fractional vineyard owners club.

Mitas Hill operations are a family affair, with wife Sue, children and grandchildren involved. Winemaker Lisa Kocsis, Harold’s daughter, has a viticulture and enology degree from the University of California at Davis. Her estate-bottled wines include a signature tempranillo-cabernet blend, as well as a syrah, rosé, a zinfandel, among several uniquely blended wines.

Mitas Hill Vineyard: 2300 Vineyard Hill Ln., 972-316-7991, mitashillvineyard.com.

 

 

Lone Star Wine Cellars

The wines of Lone Star Wine Cellars have won awards in several competitions.

Photo by Deanna Ross

The wines of Lone Star Wine Cellars have won awards in several competitions.

 

Lone Star Wine Cellars and its Triple ‘R’ Ranch were founded in 2003. Exotic animals from the Chisholm Trail-located ranch feature prominently on the wine labels: a red deer on the signature cabernet sauvignon, a mountain lion on the reserve meritage and an antelope on the merlot. Lone Star Wine Cellars’ convenient downtown square location welcomes tourists and frequently repeating customers.

Owners Ron and Deanna Ross note, “Many guests are active wine club members. Everyone knows each other. It’s a ‘Cheers’ atmosphere.”

Triple ‘R’ Ranch wines exhibit the complex characteristics of well-crafted creations. The Triple ‘R’ Ranch wines have won several Lone Star Wine competition awards. Ron Ross’ winemaking methodology uses French oak barrels to age the premium pressed grapes sourced from prime vineyards of the Texas High Plains AVA (American viticulture area). The 2,000–case annual production includes: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, a chocolate port-style dessert wine and other single varietal and blended wines.

Lone Star Wine Cellars sponsors several events during the year including “The Twelve Wines of Christmas” scavenger hunt benefiting Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County and McKinney first responders (with SRS Distribution Corp. as co-sponsor). Wine Club members experience personally labeled custom wine blending, a Valentine’s Day party and travel excursions. Lone Star offers live weekend entertainment and is a member of the Dallas Town & Country Wine Trail.

Lone Star Wine Cellars: 102 E. Virginia St., 972-547-9463, lonestarwinecellars.com.

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Wales Manor Winery and Vineyard

Wales Manor Winery and Vineyard

John Wales established the first vineyards in Collin County during his tenure on the Collin County Planning Commission. “The county was replacing agriculture land rapidly, and we were looking to preserve open space with an agricultural product that was higher yielding, lower acreage than current crops,” Wales explained.

With more than 10,000 visitors a year, Wales Manor features “Music Under the Stars” and hosts private events in a unique country atmosphere.

Wales Manor Winery and Vineyard: 4488 County Road 408, 972-542-0417, walesmanor.com.

 

 

Caudalie Crest Winery

Caudalie Crest Winery

Caudalie Crest Winery’s owners, Ray & Sue Verrill, planted vineyards alongside prized dwarf Nigerian dairy goats. “Making cheese along with wines makes perfect sense,” says British-born Ray. Caudalie Crest offers a rural wine-tasting setting.

Caudalie Crest produces tempranillo, viognier, Texas velvet, sweet ruby and zinfandel wines. Enjoy a picnic during the weekend tasting times or schedule a personal event. Open-mike “Wine Down Friday” nights in season are popular with local musicians.

Caudalie Crest Winery: 8540 N. FM 543, Celina, 214-578-6390, goatsngrapes.com.

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Zin Zen Wine Bistro

Zin Zen Wine Bistro

The Adriatica-based Zin Zen Wine Bistro has been welcoming guests since the opening of the quaint village at Virginia Parkway and Stonebridge Drive. With a choice of 70-plus international wines-by-the-glass, guests experience multiple food and wine pairing choices and imaginative wine flights. Book clubs and baby showers are often hosted in a living room-like setting. Major events at Zin Zen include New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day parties. Regular live music is performed Thursday to Saturday evenings.

“We have a Starbucks philosophy: Find your place between work and home. Good music. Great food,” explains owner Kaleb Moore.

Zin Zen Wine Bistro: 6841 Virginia Pkwy., 972-547-4620, zinzenwine.com.

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McKinney Wine Merchant

McKinney Wine Merchant offers a wide range of wines to downtown customers.

Photo by Tricia Conover

McKinney Wine Merchant offers a wide range of wines to downtown customers.

 

McKinney Wine Merchant appeals both to the serious wine connoisseur and the value-minded wine consumer, offering personal assistance in wine selection. Owner Andy Doyle, a 20-year wine professional, stocks more than 350 domestic and international wines with a wide range of styles and prices. This knowledgeable owner “called” the third place of Wine Spectator’s 2014 Wines of the Year in advance of the publication announcement. He immediately sold out of the Douro-based Portuguese red wine.

The shop is conveniently located in Historic Downtown McKinney. “There are only a few stores in the DFW area where a sommelier will say ‘wow,’ and that has happened several times. I welcome the opportunity to select a unique wine for my guests’ next dinner,” Doyle says.

McKinney area wineries, wine bars and wine merchants offer live entertainment, a wide range of wines, scenic event-hosting venues, and drop-by tasting opportunities. Consider planning a barrel tasting, visiting a vineyard, or hosting a gathering at one of the area’s diverse wine destinations.

McKinney Wine Merchant: 120 W. Virginia St., 972-542-4636, mckinneywine.com.

 

About the author: Tricia Conover is a WSET® advanced sommelier and wine writer. She is a 20-year McKinney resident and serves on the McKinney Arts Commission.