We had an opportunity to spend a weekend with our dear friends, Doug and Alyce, at their Lake house in East Texas last month.  While there I had the chance to spend some time with Patrick and Susan Pierce, the winemakers and owners of  Tara Vineyard & Winery the oldest winery in Henderson County.

As you drive up to the grounds, a stately 1880’s antebellum house once owned by former Dallas Cowboy Owner Clint Murchison, looks over the vines and made me think of Scarlett O’Hara’s house in Gone with the Wind.  The house was relocated from downtown Athens and serves as a respite as the Tara Inn.  The winery is also adjacent to the Cellar Door restaurant, which I did not try, but heard great reviews.  

Tara Irish Book

Susan Holding “The Hill of Tara

I loved the story about how Tara came to be.  It was the name of Patrick and Susan’s sailboat.  The name comes from Irish folklore and stands for “a view from afar”.  The name originally came from a book discovered in a used book store in Berkeley, The Hill of Tara. 

Tara Wine

While Tara makes 14 wines, we only tried a few produced in East Texas on the 7-acre estate while my six-year old and her friends played the drums, danced and sang “California Girls”.  It was quite the musical revue.   My favorite Tara wine was one that I had tried before from my friend, James.  It is a white blend of Texas grapes, the Texas Blanc de Bois.  It’s a fruity wine with tropical notes and vanilla on the end and is priced under $18.  The Stagecoach Red, priced at $18.50, was termed “barbeque wine” and I see how it would be a good match.

If you are visiting East Texas, Tara is definitely worth a trip – for the food, the wines, the conversation and the live music events.  I think this is a good winery to watch with lots of future potential.