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Retreat Hill Winery: Beautiful Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail Countryside Photos

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Retreat Hill Winery

Retreat Hill Winery

Bluebonnets and Wine Tasting

This past spring, my husband and I ventured out from our home in Houston, Texas, by automobile. Our primary mission was to soak up the ambiance furnished by the springtime Texas temperatures while enjoying the profusion of wildflowers gracing the roadsides. Bluebonnets and many other wildflowers are in abundance, and the newspapers keep us apprised of when they are approaching their peak blooming time.

We also decided to explore some of the nearby Texas wineries that were open for the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, and Retreat Hill Winery was on the list of places to experience. Thus our mission took on an extra flavor of discovery.

Winery

The address of Retreat Hill Winery is 15551 FM 362, Navasota, Texas 77868. Their telephone number is 936-449-5285. Conveniently open from 11 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays and Noon to 5 PM on Sundays (and other times by appointment), this winery is tucked away into the gently rolling countryside.

While we did not happen to see the owner and winemaker of Retreat Hill Winery on the day of our visit, Billy Cox is very involved as a director of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. He is also taking an active role in the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail.

The people who worked appeared to us as though they were all best friends and had probably worked together at the winery for years. That was our impression from all the good-natured banter back and forth between them.

For the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, once we showed them our tickets, we were ushered outside under a covered patio and were given some tasty morsels of food to accompany the wines they were sampling. An amiable college student was there to serve us and answer any questions we had about the wines.

A Texas-friendly atmosphere prevailed, and the pictures show the typical Texas country farewell posted by a sign as we left the property.

Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures.

— Michael Broadbent

Vineyards, Wineries, and Wine

Growing grapes as a crop is an agricultural business. Farming the land, trimming the vines, keeping the grapes pest-free, and a myriad of other activities dictated by the season and weather keep grape growers busy like any other type of farming.

Knowing exactly when to harvest the grapes to get the peak of flavor and other desirable components from the fruit takes knowledge. Then, turning those grapes into good wine is an art form orchestrated by the seasoned winemaker.

There are many steps between the newly harvested grapes to the final product of what the consumer enjoys in each wine bottle. Much of this step-by-step process is the same from one winery to another, but the final product depends on the winemaker's decisions and, of course, Mother Nature.

Once bottled, the wine continues to evolve. It is a living and breathing thing! Some wines are to be aged and continue to improve over the years, while others are to be drunk soon after purchase. It is fun learning about different types of wine and broadening one's wine experiences.

A young wine is like a horse, it is extremely vibrant. It needs taming. It has lots of life, the edges need bevelling and we need to reduce the tannins.

— Georg Riedel

retreat-hill-winery-texas-bluebonnet-wine-trail

Countryside Views

In addition to passing glorious fields of wildflowers on our sojourn into the countryside looking for Retreat Hill Winery and other wineries on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine trail, we passed numerous areas that were plowed and planted with various crops.

Cattle were grazing in many pastures, and my husband and I spotted animals such as horses and goats, as shown in these accompanying pictures. The weather was bright and sunny and couldn't have been better had we special ordered it for our day trip out of the city.

Not far from the winery is a small cemetery. What drew our attention was the carpeting of wildflowers that adorned this final resting spot for people who had passed from this life to the next. My husband graciously agreed to stop and let me take some extra photos.

I did not see a sign which would have let us know the name of this small country cemetery. However, it is on FM 362 off 105 for those who wish to find it.

While the gravestones were not significant and grand, the setting with some old moss-laden trees and the blanketing of wildflowers presented a beautiful picture. It is a serene setting made even prettier with the splash of Texas wildflowers.

You can see Billy Cox and other winery owners in this video.

Wine to me is passion. It's family and friends. It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.

— Robert Mondavi

Update

When updating this article, I was sad to learn that despite Retreat Hill Winery winning all kinds of awards, the owner, Billy Cox, decided to close his winery. According to a post by Texas Wine Lover, you can read below Mr. Cox’s partial explanation from his past winery Facebook page as to why.

“I want to focus on my family, friends and continue to build my biomechanical and forensic engineering consulting business (which has been a very full time job since I opened) and sit in the pool on Saturday afternoon with nice glass of somebody else’s Texas wine or a fine Texas beer or perhaps some great Texas brown water.”

I am pleased that we were among the ones who, at one time, enjoyed his wines, and visiting his winery makes for some fond memories. To see the wineries currently represented on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, click on the source link below. The video below also has the current list of wineries represented, plus those on the Texas Independence Wine Trail.

Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 14, 2021:

Hi Amy,

I am glad that we got to experience that winery and the beautiful surroundings. Hopefully, the owner now has more time for himself and his endeavors.

Amy on March 13, 2021:

Sorry to heart this winery closed. It looks like a relaxing place to visit and enjoy springtime Texas with wine and wildflowers.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 08, 2014:

Hi Au fait,

The countryside is pretty whether or not you are into tasting different Texas wines or not. Appreciate your votes, share and pin.

C E Clark from North Texas on May 08, 2014:

Not much of a wine tasting person, but I do love your photos as always, and all the great information you always include in your articles. I'm thinking a lot of people would enjoy a weekend trip in the spring here in Texas as you described above. Pinned to my 'Blue II' board, voted up, BAUI, and sharing with my followers.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 22, 2010:

Hello billyaustindillon,

Finding Retreat Hill Winery while on the Texas Bluebonnet wine trail was fun and visiting their new location in that historic bank building will also be fun. Another trip...another time! Glad that you liked the pictures. It is always so pretty in the Spring of the year!

billyaustindillon on October 22, 2010:

I do enjoy the hill country and have done the blue bonnet trail a few times - as always great photos depicting the natural beauty. I am not familiar with Retreat Hill Winery but will be sure to check it out next hill country trip.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 20, 2010:

Hi Celesta,

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on this Retreat Hill Winery...part of the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail that takes place each Spring. Appreciate it.

Celesta on October 20, 2010:

This is a good finale of the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail.

Thanks for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 15, 2010:

Hello DjBryle,

So very nice of you to comment like this. Thanks!

DjBryle from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =) on October 15, 2010:

'Know why I love visiting you and readin your hubs? It's because you me to places with great adventure... I love this hub and the hubber, you never fail to amaze me! =)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 15, 2010:

Hi Prasetio,

Glad you could tag along on our country drive while visiting Retreat Hill Winery and viewing bluebonnets and other Spring blooming flowers. It is always nice getting out of the city and seeing some country scenes once in a while. Thanks for the comment.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on October 15, 2010:

Why I have missed this hub. Unbelievable and amazing place. I really love all the pictures. Again, you show me other beautiful place in your country. Rate up.

Prasetio

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 13, 2010:

Hi Rebecca E.,

Does this mean that we will get to read about some wineries up in Canada? Thanks for leaving a comment on this Retreat Hill Winery hub.

Rebecca E. from Canada on October 13, 2010:

well one which i am definately puttin on my list of things to do.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 13, 2010:

Hi Micky,

We simply made the time to drive out into the country which we do every Spring to see the bluebonnets and just added a special twist this last Spring to visit these wineries like Retreat Hill Winery. It became our mission! Haha! Of course it became good grist for hubs at the same time! Thanks for reading and commenting.

Micky Dee on October 13, 2010:

I need to stop into some wineries here! Where is the time Peggy? God bless you!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 11, 2010:

Hello agusfanani,

What a nice thing to say! Thanks for commenting on this Retreat Hill Winery hub. Appreciate it!

agusfanani from Indonesia on October 11, 2010:

This hub really tells your experience visiting the winery very well. your articles not only satisfy the readers who never visit the places but also give them a chance to learn how to make a good writing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 10, 2010:

Greetings Hello, hello,

Thanks for your virtual visit to Retreat Hill Winery and leaving your comment. The countryside setting is really pretty!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 10, 2010:

Hello Shirley Pisa,

Happy to have taken you to a different place, that of Retreat Hill Winery, and shown you some beautiful Texas Bluebonnets that we get to enjoy each Spring. Thanks for coming along on the ride. :-)

Hello, hello, from London, UK on October 10, 2010:

A really lovely written hub showing and sharing all these beautiful picture. I felt like I have been there.

Shirley Pisa on October 09, 2010:

Hi Peggy W. You took me to a different place and I am able to appreciate the place through your writing. Thank you and have a nice day

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 09, 2010:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the generous comment. I guess I am an explorer at heart as to enjoying various sites whether as near as our backyard or far. You are very kind.

Mike Lickteig from Lawrence KS USA on October 09, 2010:

I am continually impressed by your travel articles, both in terms of making the reader want to visit where you've been and also by the obvious joy you take in traveling and visiting new places. You are obviously an explorer at heart, and had you lived centuries ago, you likely would have been on the Mayflower, anxious to get a look at the new country. I envy your travels and admire your ability to write so well about places to visit in the US. Thanks (as always) for sharing.

Mike

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 09, 2010:

Hi dahoglund,

Learning about wine and developing one's palette can be fun. The same could be said about almost anything of a food nature. Visiting these Texas wineries like Retreat Hill Winery while we were also enjoying the bluebonnets and other wildflowers got us into areas that we would not have ordinarily visited so it made for an extra enjoyable time. Thanks for the visit and comment.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 09, 2010:

You are quite good at writing these travel pieces. I'm not a wine drinker but you make the process, along with some other writers, seem interesting even for me.

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