Salado Winery Company Review
Address: 841 N. Main St. Salado,Texas 76571.
Phone Number: 254-947-8011
Tasting Hours: Fri-Sat 12:00-7:00, Sun-Thurs 12:00-6:00 and by appt.
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Review Date: 3/1/2014
Reviewer: Becky Parr
My mom wanted to see Salado. So, one sunny Sunday afternoon on the way back to Dallas from the Austin area, we stopped. Mom is smart; she knew she had a much better chance of getting me to stop than Dad, so she chose to ask during a trip when I was the chauffeur and Dad stayed home to play in his garage. I was quite amenable to stopping in Salado. Besides three wineries, they have shopping. It wasnt a hard sell.
I think we expected Salados touristy area to be similar to McKinneys or Georgetowns, laid out on a square with a courthouse in the middle. Of course, if I had realized Salado wasn’t the county seat, I would at least have realized that there wouldn’t be a courthouse. But theres not a square either. The shops and restaurants are all located up and down Main Street, and Salado Winery is at the far north end.
The Place:  The winery is in a self-contained building, which I learned used to be an antique shop. Someone was clever when it came to parking; there is angled parking to the right as you drive in, and when you leave you simply circle around the back of the building and exit on the other side. Theres a fun display in front of the building made from vertical wooden posts and wine bottles.
Inside is a large-ish room that could possibly be used for tasting or even a small dinner. Based on the website, it appears they hold events fairly often, and the room can be rented for private tastings or events for a very reasonable fee. Theres art on the walls, and its a sunny room, so I can imagine it would be a great place for a small gathering. Food can be catered in.
The tasting room is pretty small, but there was ample room for a small group. I appreciated the merchandising displays, particularly one in front of a very large and lovely picture window. That window makes the room. It was a bit chilly inside, which surprised me, since it was a fairly warm day so if you visit outside of the hot summer months, you might bring a sweater.
The People:  We met June, the winery owner, although she didn’t tell us her name I had to look it up on the winerys Facebook page. This is becoming kind of a pet peeve; people behind the tasting counter should either tell patrons their names or wear name tags just my opinion.
Adding a bit of personality to the winery is Winery Cat, a tuxedo cat whose name is actually Winery Cat. She wandered in and out and around like she owned the place, which she probably does; she wouldn’t let me pet her, but she was quite willing to hang out in the room and observe.
The Wines:  There were six wines offered, three dry and three sweet. They all have great names! The El Gringo is a blend of Blanc du Bois and Muscat and is light, fruity, and floral. The Diamond Back is a red blend that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese grown in Central Texas. I found it a bit tannic, but I do appreciate wines made from local-area grapes. The Big Bully was my favorite; the nose was reminiscent of Amarone, and I liked the blend. Mom didn’t care for it too big and bullish for her! Her favorite was the Dillo Dally, which was a sweet red, and of course I didn’t care for it but Mom liked it enough to buy a bottle. This is why I always take someone with me when I do a wine tasting. Everyone has different tastes!
We also sampled Sweet Tweet (I like the name) and Rootin Tootin, which were both too sweet for both of us. But you cant go too wrong with a tasting fee of $3 for all six wines!
Something I liked about Salado Winery is that June sells other Texas wines in addition to her own. There was a nice assortment, and I recognized many of the Texan wineries as those I had visited. She also pointed us to the two other wineries in Salado, Salado Creek and Rising Star. I always appreciate it when winery owners encourage their customers to patronize their neighbors. I applaud partnerships among local vendors!
The Experience:  This was a pleasant place to visit. The atmosphere is open and friendly, and the location is bright and airy. The wine isn’t the best or the worst I’ve had; people with sweet wine preferences might enjoy the winery a bit more than those interested in drier wines. The winery was only founded in 2005, and based on what June told us, it has changed ownership at least once. I think the winery still has some growing to do, but it will be interesting to see what they accomplish over time. And you gotta love a winery cat with a tux!