Haak Vineyards and Winery (Santa Fe, Texas)

11 Jan

If my post on Tara Winery has piqued your interested in the Blanc du Bois grape, then it’s time to take a road trip to where some of the best Blanc du Bois wines are currently made.  Haak Winery in Santa Fe, Texas is home to the award winning semi-sweet Blanc Du Bois made from all Texas grapes (some from Haak’s vineyards). 

Haak is currently the only winery in Galveston County.  The grape growing conditions aren’t ideal there, but winemaker Raymond Haak and his wife Gladys both grew up in the area.  The winery itself is a Mediterranean style building unexpected in the semi-rural/semi-suburban residential surroundings.

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The winemaker has put much effort into making this winery a travel destination by offering various live music, food, and other events.  Hence the large tasting room:

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Haak also offers a grand covered patio with views onto its vines for those who prefer sipping with scenery. 

But back to the topic at hand, the wines.  Raymond Haak is one of the first winemakers in the world to cultivate the Blanc du Bois grape, a varietal developed by Dr. John Mortenson of the University of Florida in 1968 to resist Pierce’s Disease.  Raymond Haak started experimenting with Blanc du Bois as a single varietal wine in the 1970’s, long before his winery opened its doors to the public.  For a complete discussion on the history of the Blanc du Bois grape as well as wineries currently using the grape, refer to this Wine Compass article.  Though the semi-sweet Blanc du Bois ($12.95) is the best seller at Haak, I actually prefer the dry Blanc du Bois ($12.95) for its versatility with food pairings.  The wine has a crisp, clean mouthfeel much like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

At Haak Winery, the excitement doesn’t stop at the Blanc du Bois wines.  Raymond Haak is the first winemaker in Texas to make a Madeira-style fortified wine.  The difference between this Texas Madeira and the Portuguese native?  Haak’s 2003 vintage Madeira ($39.95, released in 2006) is made from 100% Jacquez (or Lenoir, another Pierce’s Disease resistant variety) grapes grown in the gulf coast region of Texas.  The fortifying process involves keeping the wine barrels in a heated cellar between 102 and 106 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a multi-international wine competition winner that is nutty, smokey, and caramel-ey (is that a word?).  Simply a wonderful after dinner drink.

While you’re in the tasting room, also check out Haak’s 2005 Malbec made from Texas grapes (a 2007 Dallas Morning News Wine Competition silver medal winner) and the toasty, oakey 2003 Zinfandel.

If a roadtrip to Galveston County isn’t in your future, you can check out Haak wines at select Tom Thumb stores in the DFW area (Coppell, Legacy at Coit in Plano, Parker at the Tollway in Plano, and Northwest Hwy at Central Expy in Dallas).  They don’t carry all the Haak wines but will at least have the semi-sweet Blanc du Bois.  If you do have a couple of hours while in the Houston area, I highly recommend stopping at Haak’s tasting room.  This is a Texas winery with the frontier spirit, where innovations and discoveries are made from years of hard work. 

Haak Vineyards and Winery
6310 Ave. T
Santa Fe, TX 77510

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4 Responses to “Haak Vineyards and Winery (Santa Fe, Texas)”

  1. foodczar 01/12/2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Malbec, eh? My dear Donna, I must ask if you have tried the Becker vineyards 2005 Texas Malbec (see new Czar review!). If so, how does it compare? Becker’s version literally blew my socks off!!!

  2. donnaaries 01/12/2008 at 3:52 pm #

    Czar, I don’t believe I’ve had Becker’s Malbec. What does that retail at? I’ll have to keep it in mind.

  3. foodczar 01/12/2008 at 8:35 pm #

    Check it out at Kroger. 16.99 (I think.)

  4. donnaaries 09/12/2008 at 7:39 pm #

    Our eyes are glued to the TV tonight as our thoughts are with our family and friends awaiting Hurricane Ike in Houston. I grilled up some Italian sausages and asked my better half to pick out a bottle of wine from the rack. He brought me Haak’s Zinfandel. Then it hit me like lightning.

    Our thoughts are with you too tonight, Haak Vineyards.

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