Red Road Winery Review
Address: 4050 Summerhill Square Texarkana,Texas 75503.
Phone Number: 903-792-9463
Tasting Hours: Mon-Wed 10:00-9:00, Thurs-Sat 10:00-11:00, Sun 1:00-7:00
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Review Date: 4/21/2014
Reviewer: Becky Parr
I ended up loving Red Road Winery. But the first thing Red Road did was lead me on a bit of a wild goose chase.
Let me explain so you won’t be confused like I was!
First of all, don’t confuse Red Road Winery with Red Road Vineyard (like I did). They’re the same people, but two entirely different places. Red Road Winery, which is ultimately where I ended up, is in Texarkana, and has only been open about a year. Red Road Vineyard, which is where I thought I was supposed to be going, is in Naples, Texas, decidedly off the beaten path if you’re trying to stop there on the way from Dallas to Hot Springs, Arkansas, like we were.
Here’s what happened.
Somehow I only looked at the website for Red Road Vineyard. The map told me Naples wasn’t too much of a detour off I-30, so we decided to make that our Friday afternoon stop on the way to a weekend in Hot Springs. Yes, I saw a blurb on the website about visiting their new tasting room in Texarkana. Right below that, it said hours 12-5 on Saturdays. Somehow my little brain thought the new tasting room in Texarkana was open 12-5 on Saturdays, and that the vineyard location had more extended hours. It turns out I had it backwards.
So, to make a long story a tad shorter, we took the scenic route to Naples and found their 1890s building all locked up tight, with nary a soul in sight. I called the winery and discovered my error. So we re-routed to Red Road Winery in Texarkana, since it was on our route anyway.
The Place:  Plan changes irritate me. I don’t adapt well. This is a flaw in my personality of which I am aware. I share it just to demonstrate my frame of mind going into Red Road Winery. Because of the wild goose chase, and the fact that my original plan was thwarted, I didn’t want to like Red Road Winery. But once I was there, I had to like it.
Both my husband and I have history in Texarkana, either living there (him) or visiting former in-laws (me). If you’re familiar with Texarkana at all, you know that the state line (Texas-Arkansas) literally runs down the middle of the town, and that you can’t buy liquor on the Texas side. No liquor. Zip. Zero. So, knowing this, I was quite interested to see how someone had managed to open a winery on the Texas side.
Not only did they open a winery this place isn’t just a tasting room, it’s a fairly good-sized wine bar and wine store. I walked in and got a super-surprised look on my face, I’m sure. There are lots of tables, a seating area with sofas, a place for a band to set up, and televisions. I could see this as a definite after-work go-to place. And there’s lots of wine to buy!
The People:  Our server was Claire. She was super sweet and very tolerant of all our questions. The first thing we had to know was whether the liquor laws had changed they haven’t and how they managed to open a winery! Apparently they found a loophole. Since they’re only selling wine, and it’s made from grapes, they can slide in as an agriculture-related business. Apparently agriculture trumps alcohol. Who knew? Anyway, I seriously applaud the cleverness of that move, and Red Road definitely has a corner on the market.
There were a lot of patrons in the winery on this Friday; it was early evening, so they were beginning to get the after-work crowd. Every time Claire came back to us, we had more questions. Poor girl! But she was great about it, and she always knew the answers. We had a lot of fun with her. There’s a lot of art on the winery walls, of wildly different styles. Claire told us that they display the work of many local artists, which I think is super cool.
The Wines:  Red Road Winery serves not only their own wines, but they also have a large selection of other Texas wines, and recently they started offering what they call wines of the world. Since they are the only wine bar in town, I certainly understand that. They represent at least 45 wineries at any given time, and their selection changes. But we told Claire we wanted to sample Red Road’s wines (because, frankly, I had to write this article, although I didn’t mention that at the time!).
The Red Road wines have Celtic names. They appear unpronounceable (well, Claire knew how) but I think that’s cool. We first sampled Fion, which was similar to Pinot Grigio. It had a great nose, kind of floral with some peach overtones, and was off dry, with more peach (or maybe peach skin) on the finish. It wasn’t quite cold enough, I didn’t think. But I think it would be a nice summer wine.
The signature red is a Merlot blend with a touch of sweet and black cherry flavors. Claire described it as a crowd-pleaser. The Dearg (there’s the Celtic again) is a Cabernet Sauvignon; if you are accustomed to drinking Cabernet from other areas of the country, don’t expect Texas Cabs to taste like that. They’re much lighter because of the heat, so this is more like a Pinot Noir. This one did fill out a little after the first sip.
That was all the Red Road wines Claire had on hand, but we got five tastes, so Claire set us up with a Messina Hof Cabernet Franc, which would be good with spicy food or pasta. I felt that needed time to open up and might benefit from some age. We had a Texas Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon that was peppery and pleasant.
The Experience:  Except for the geographical runaround which was pretty much my own fault I really enjoyed Red Road. I wish it had been around when I was visiting ex-in-laws!