AWG Correspondent

Becky Parr

Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard Photos

Blue Ostrich Winery & Vineyard Review

Region: Texas

Reviewed: June 22, 2015 by Becky Parr
Published: February 4, 2015

What do you do with an ostrich farm when the ostriches are gone? Start a winery, of course!

That's Blue Ostrich Winery's story in a nutshell. In the 1980s and 1990s, it was a fully operational ostrich ranch. Now, only seven ostriches linger, and their job is to lend their name and serve as hospitality representatives for a really nice winery. If you show up during mating season, you might even get to see an ostrich dance!

The Place:  Blue Ostrich has a very attractive facility, inside and out. The facility is located a few miles outside of St. Jo, which is just a blip on the North Texas map – it kind of feels like the winery is the only place for miles and miles, especially when you're sitting outside on the patio, overlooking the hills and watching the sunset. The tasting room is the front section of a much larger facility, and you can peek through the glass door into the production area – but don't stand too close, people frequently come in and out of that door carrying lots of delicious wine! This is a great place to come and have a tasting inside or to bring a picnic and sit on the patio with a bottle.

The People:  We have actually visited Blue Ostrich twice – I lost my tasting notes the first time, like a ninny, so we had to (got to) go again. We met Julie, the owner and manager, the first time, and she remembered us the second time, which is really impressive considering there were probably 18 months between visits! The winery was fairly busy both times we visited, so I was really impressed that she recognized us as repeat customers. There were several ladies behind the bar taking care of tastings. They each take care of everyone, so we didn't get to talk to anyone in particular for very long, but we never had to wait for anything. They were clearly enjoying what they were doing, but they had the efficiency down, too.

The Wines:  Of course, this is the best part. My husband and I each did a tasting (four wines) so we could pass the samples back and forth. The menu offered four sweet wines, three medium, and five dry. We tasted all five dry wines, two of the mediums, and one sweet since my husband is a bit obsessed with Orange Muscat and tries that wherever we can find it. (He said this one wasn't his favorite.) Starting with the mediums, which I'd call off-dry, I had the Texas Blanc du Bois, which was balanced and not too sweet – and the 2012 Texas Sangiovese, which had an odd nose but was still good. It was a tiny bit sweet and would be a good summer red.

The 2012 Texas Cabernet Sauvignon was first on the list of the reds, which isn't surprising considering how Cabernet behaves when grown in north Texas – it turns out light, more like a Pinot Noir (to me) than a Cabernet. This was super light for a Cab, but very good. The 2011 Texas Merlot was also pretty light, and smooth, and kind of different for a Merlot. Going down the list and getting darker, the 2012 Malbec was more plummy and more tannic. The 2012 Texas Tempranillo was light for a Tempranillo but still getting fuller on the "bigness" scale as compared to what I'd already tasted.

My favorite, hands down, was the 2010 Cuvee Rouge. This blended Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec, and was described as "not for beginners." It was a VERY nice wine. I had a glass of the Cuvee Rouge when we finished our tasting.

The Experience:  Who knew that ostriches do a dance during mating season? The first time we visited Blue Ostrich, we got to see it! The largest male ostrich was preening and strutting his stuff, walking up and down the fence, showing off. Ostriches are funny-looking creatures anyway, and this was a sight to behold!

Ostrich dance season or not, Blue Ostrich is a great place to visit. It's a bit of a drive from Dallas, but it's worth it.

Address & Contact Information: 5611 FM 2382 Saint Jo, Texas 76265. Telephone: 940-995-3100, website: Tasting Hours: Thurs-Sat 12:00-6:00, Sun 12:00-5:00 and by appt..

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