Planted in 2015, our vineyard is a local landmark in Punkin, Texas, about 15 miles east of New Waverly on State Hwy 150. As you drive past, look for our flock of Barbados Blackbelly sheep trimming the grass between the rows from mid-August to early March. They are thorough mowers and do a great job of fertilizing too!
The grape varieties we grow include Lenoir and Noble – both of which thrive in the East Texas Piney Woods.
Our tasting room is inside the old Punkin General Store space, right next to our vineyard on Highway 150. Offerings include our Gryphon line of meads and a variety of local Texas red and white wines for tastings, by the glass, or by the bottle.
The following bottled meads are planned for 2023: Black Currant, Blackberry, Blueberry, Yuletide (a scrumptious blend of honey, Madagascar vanilla beans and Ceylon cinnamon), Traditional, Strawberry and Apple Cyser.
Wondering what mead is? At its simplest, traditional mead is wine made by mixing water and yeast with honey and fermenting it. Other ingredients can be added, including fruit, spices, herbs, and tea - to name a few, and it can be dry, semi-sweet or sweet. Some call it nectar of the gods!
We believe that great mead starts with great honey, and we source our fresh, raw honey from local beekeepers. Our lineup includes traditional mead, melomels, (honey plus fruit or fruit juice), metheglins (honey plus spices and/or herbs), and a variety of other tasty flavors.
We are Bruce and Bridgett Leslie, long-time wine enthusiasts, grape lovers and fermentation aficionados. We made the leap to home wine and mead making 12 years ago, and Bruce became a professional mazer (mead maker) in 2014. About a year later, Bridgett retired from IT project management, helped to lay out and plant the vineyard, and bought a small starter flock of sheep.
We have had ups and downs in the years since, but working with the vines and sheep is soul satisfying in a way that our previous endeavors cannot match. Add the "science plus art" creativity of mead and wine making, and you pretty much have our idea of the perfect place to live and grow.