Mineola, TX (FOX 51) — Texas is the fifth largest wine and grape producing state in the U.S., and the wine making continues to grow right here in East Texas. Mineola has their first vineyard and winery. Carroll and Martha McHenry bought land in Mineola fifteen years ago, and decided to start a vineyard several years after that. "My daughters and my wife said, well you love wine, why don't you get into the wine business? We began experimenting with classic wine grapes to see what we could grow out here back in 2007," said Carroll McHenry. It wasn't until last year that they decided to open a winery.
After many years in the making, they will be opening Grand Oaks Vineyards and Winery on May 3rd, 2014. "Its always good to have new ideas, and a new influx of people coming into your community and Mineola indeed is lucky to having a lot of this happening," said Mercy Rushing, the economic developer for the City of Mineola.
McHenry said that it has been a challenge growing grapes in East Texas weather, but all of the work has been worth it. They have grown five different varieties of grapes, and almost all of the blended wine they have made have been from their grapes. East Texans will be able to tour their vines and taste their wines, all while enjoying the Mineola Nature Preserve. "It gives us a beautiful setting to grow our grapes and make our wine," said McHenry.
This has been somewhat of a family project for the McHenry's, and they say their main goal is to make quality and classic wine. They also want Grand Oaks to be a destination place for people all over Texas, and to be an addition to the growing area. Rushing said the city as a whole is "very excited and so happy that they chose Mineola, Texas to bring this new business into our community."