Corks and Caps sample local artisan wines

Corks and Caps with Larue Vineyards’ owners

Corks and Caps with Larue Vineyards’ owners

Vicki Baker

Producing outstanding and unique wines at truly remarkable prices is the underlying philosophy of Larue Vineyard. Corks and Caps Wine Club visited Lewisville’s first winery for a personalized wine tasting experience sampling a variety of hand-crafted red and white wines.

Housed in the middle of a small industrial park in Lewisville, Larue Vineyards opened two years ago. Owners Cleve Joiner and Gillian Goldthorpe are dedicated to creating excellent wines at great values, thus focused on small production artisan wines. The wines are made and bottled on site where the tasting room is also the production room.

Larue Vineyard, a family owned and operated custom winery, came about its name from a parcel of land owned by Cleve’s great grandparents since 1912 near Larue, Texas. Nobody has lived on the property since 1920, and there are future plans to buy the property with the idea of growing their own grapes and having a true Texas winery. But in the meantime their wines are produced from grapes grown in California and Chile and include whites (sweet, dry, and oak-aged), reds (sweet and oak-aged), and a specialty port.

Though they do not have a huge selection of wines, Larue Vineyards current focus is on making the highest quality wines before expanding the business further. Wine tastings (seven wines on our visit) are free and available on Friday and Saturday evenings. Red wines are a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. White wines are made exclusively with juices from Blanc das Chateau grapes giving it a crisp, refreshing and very fruity flavor. All wines are available in dry (oak chips in three months), one year aged in barrels and sweet. They have also entered into an arrangement with nearby Witherspoon Distillery where Witherspoon uses the winery’s red wine to make brandy. In turn a portion of the brandy is returned to the winery, which uses it to create a port-style wine.

To complement the personalized wine tasting, Corks and Caps received a complimentary educational tour of the winery. The owners, excited and passionate, know their wines and the production process from top to bottom. Cleve, always interested in making wine, did not start until 2015. Although he learned the basic elements of wine chemistry he credits his hands-on education along with relying on his senses during the production process to know when it’s time to blend or bottle. The goal is not to mass produce their wine but to focus on making handcrafted wine as natural as possible with every attempt to keep preservatives and nitrates to a minimum.

All the wines tasted were great and full of flavor. It’s obvious wine making is a labor of love for the owners. Treat your wine club to a great evening by visiting Larue Vineyards; sample wines produced by local wine artisans following the age-old wine making practices and traditions handed down through the generations.