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Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail: Colony Cellars Winery

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

Colony Cellars Winery

Colony Cellars Winery

Wildflowers and Wine

Colony Cellars was one of seven wineries within relatively close proximity to Houston, Texas, on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail in 2010.

My husband and I often enjoy a sojourn into the countryside each Spring to see the bounty of the Texas wildflowers blanketing the fields and sides of the roads with their brilliant varicolored beauty. It gives me a chance to capture an additional colorful picture or two (or innumerable photos according to my husband) of more wildflowers in radiant bloom.

That year the wildflower show was especially plentiful due to abundant rain that fell at the appropriate time to generate a gorgeous exhibition. Since both of us enjoy wine, we thought that we could combine our interests. We would see the Texas wildflowers, photograph them while also tasting some of the Texas wines that were less familiar.

 Colony Cellars

Colony Cellars

Colony Cellars Winery

Parking any snobbish pretensions by the door was encouraged as one would enter Colony Cellars. The owners, Don and Ruby Corley (also referred to as "Mr. C" or "Mrs. C"), were the most delightful and warmhearted folks you were likely to meet.
Their employee who was there that beautiful April day was equally friendly and helpful as she would assist in pouring the wine samples.

Twelve wine samples were available to taste in four distinct categories. Fortunately, a dump bucket was on hand for use.

Most of the time, people entering their doors can sample four wines for free or taste all 12 for the meager sum of $3.00. For $5.75, they include some reasonably-priced snacks!

As a participant of the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail, all 12 wines were made available in the tasting. A cheddar fondue and Swiss fondue with white corn scoops and Galletas cookies were given, as well.

If you like any of their wines, you can purchase them on the spot. Their gift shop is full of items ranging from corkscrews to ironworks and crafted butterflies among the numerous eclectic offerings. Something for everyone on your gift list!

Bottled wines

Bottled wines

Grape Varieties

For those interested in the varieties of grapes grown by the Corley family, they included the following: Black Spanish, Magnolia, Blanc du Bois, Carlos, Chambourcin, Noble, and Cynthiana. These grape varieties we were told grow well in this part of Texas.

Located about 30 miles northwest of Houston, Colony Cellars is on a bit of a hill comprised of much sand, according to Mr. Corley, with whom we got to visit for a brief time after our tasting.

With those varieties, they blend wines for four distinct labels. They are the following: Crisp, Smooth, Rich, and Random Harvest with a blanc, blush, and red made for each one.

Random Harvest seemed like an intriguing name, and we learned what it meant. Little bits of wine remain from each category each year. It is not enough to bottle under a single label. So with these wines, a new blend is created, and as "Mrs. C" told us, she was out-voted when she suggested the name "potluck."

Filtering Ponds and Fermentation

One of three ponds on the property is pictured above. These ponds created pristine filtered water.

"Mr. C.," told us that the water from the wine-making process and drainage from rooftops was saved and routed into one of three ponds on the property. Filtering with fish and plant life took place. Then it circulated into the second pond, where more natural filtering takes place. By the time it reaches the pond nearest the tasting room and gift shop, it was clean and usable water.

With the help of an underground watering system, the grapevines, and the Christmas trees on their property, were kept nicely watered.

Colony Cellars was only one of two Texas wineries that use whole cluster fermentation when crushing the grapes with the skins left intact. They told us that not only did they think that it imparts more flavor and color to the wines, but drinking their white wines gave as much in the way of health benefits as drinking their reds by utilizing this method.

Enjoyable Get Away

Colony Cellars Winery location was out in the fresh county air, and the people working there had welcoming manners. It was the beginning of their fourth year of selling bottled wine since opening for business in November of 2006. Ultimately all 30 acres were planned to be under cultivation.

Producing about 10,000 cases a year of wine, each year, they added about 2,000 more to their total production.

They used to host private functions of all types plus tours. Picnic tables were in various locations on the property, and the public could utilize them.

Standard business hours were from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Thursday to Sunday. Their physical address was the following: 35955 Richard Frey Road, Waller, Texas 77484.

Wineries on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail

Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.

— Benjamin Franklin

Update

We had heard that Colony Cellars was up for sale sometime after our visit, and they are now closed. Hopefully, "Mr. and Mrs. C" are faring well with new endeavors of their choice. We wish them well!

You can view an aerial view of it from their Facebook Page by clicking on the source link below. You can also see a current listing of wineries on the Texas Bluebonnet 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 are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 13, 2021:

Hi Sandra,

It is fun driving out into the countryside to view the wildflowers, and as a bonus, get to sample some wines. This winery is no longer in operation, but there are plenty of others.

Sandra on March 12, 2021:

Looks like a fine escape from the big city.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 12, 2021:

Hi Christy,

Wineries are fun places to visit. Combining those visits with getting to see vast fields of wildflowers makes it even better! Thanks for your visit!

Christy Birmingham-Reyes on March 12, 2021:

We went to wineries before and that was so much fun. I haven't been to Texas but imagine the wonderful sights for wine and more.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 31, 2014:

Hi Au fait,

Not sure this winery is still open. We heard that it was up for sale and their website seems to have been taken over by someone trying to sell Louis Vuitton luggage. Glad we saw it when we did. The drive out into the country with the wildflowers in bloom made for a nice outing.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 04, 2014:

This looks like a wonderful way to spend a weekend day to get out and breath some fresh air and see the countryside. Won't be long and those wildflowers will be blooming. Texas does have some beautiful wildflowers and they are profuse when spring arrives. The Winery sounds interesting too, and you have certainly made it sound like a tempting enjoyable break between taking photos of the gorgeous wildflowers. Your photos here are superb as usual.

Really enjoyed this article. Voting up, useful, interesting, awesome and beautiful. Also pinned to my 'Travel' board on which your articles often get repinned over and over again. Sharing with followers too.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 12, 2012:

Hello cindy,

My husband and I visited all of the wineries that I wrote hubs about in a matter of two days. There would have been one more day and hub...Mesina Hof. We drove all the way up to College Station from Houston and went there only to find out that the battery that I was charging for my camera had not been put IN TO THE CAMERA before leaving home. Haha! Thus I did not write about that winery. Will go back sometime again and feature it.

So to answer your question, allowing for some time for the tastings and seeing the various wineries on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail, I think that taking 3 days to do it all is reasonable. You could do it in 2 days if you do not stop along the roads to take photos of the beautiful wildflowers as I did...but that is half the fun! So...2 to 3 days is reasonable for planning purposes. Enjoy!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 12, 2012:

Hello UCAgent,

This was labeled as spam because of the link that you left in the comment section. Not supposed to do that...in case you come back here to read this again.

Thanks for your comment and hope that you found this hub about Colony Cellars Winery helpful since you are just now learning about wine.

cindy on January 12, 2012:

I was thinking of doing the bluebonnet trail this yr w/hubby for v-day but does it really require a lot of driving and does it really take 4 days to complete the trail?

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

Hello Chicagovision,

Glad that you liked this hub about Colony Cellars and the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Chicagovision from Chicago on April 10, 2010:

this was very nice

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2010:

Hi akirchner,

A motor home would be a great way to travel with all the comforts of home plus your pets. Visiting wineries like the ones on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail would be ever so much fun. The parking lot at Colony Cellars could accommodate such a vehicle.......and oh, yes!, a corkscrew would not be necessary for these wines. They use a screwcap which more and more wineries are starting to utilize. Eliminates the problem with corks tainting the wines. Thanks for the visit.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on April 05, 2010:

I would love to visit and indulge! All I need is a huge motor home so that the mals can pull if they need to and a corkscrew - great hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2010:

Hi D.A.L.,

I agree that wine and wildflowers are a great combination which is why we were tempted to indulge our senses with this Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail this year. Great way to discover new (to us) wineries like the Colony Cellars one in this hub. Thanks for reading.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2010:

Hahaha...very funny Mickey Dee. I can assure you that Colony Cellars produces better wines as compared to MD 20/20 and from what I have heard about the latter, with much less alcohol content.

Bicycling to wineries would be a great way to experience them. Are there any wineries in your area?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2010:

Hi Hello, hello,

Happy to hear that you liked the pictures of the wildflowers on this Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail - Colony Cellars hub. Thanks for reading.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2010:

Hi msorensson,

Click on the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail link to see the ones featured on this particular wine trail route. The furthest away is up in Bryan. There are others not a part of this group also. If you put in a search for wineries in Texas, I think that you will be amazed. It is certainly a growing industry! I'll be doing more hubs about Texas wineries as time allows. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2010:

Hi dahoglund,

Colony Cellars is indeed a nice place to spend some time.

As to the wildflowers...Lady Bird Johnson had a lot to do with the encouragement of scattering wildflower seeds along highways all across the United States. Of course birds scatter some also the "natural" way. Personally I don't care who did the scattering...the results can be spectacular.

One cannot mow an area until the wildflowers go to seed and drop back to the ground to provide for the next year's annual show of blossoms. For that reason, most home gardeners do not go the wildflower route unless they have large spaces of land.

Dave from Lancashire north west England on April 05, 2010:

PeggyW, wine and wild flowers what more can one ask for? great hub. Look forward to more.

Micky Dee on April 05, 2010:

So you think this wine is better than MD 20/20? I heard the blue MD 20/20 was the best. That's what the wino down the street told me. I usually ask the most experienced! Thanks Peggy. I bet a wine tour could be pretty good- by bicycle!

Hello, hello, from London, UK on April 04, 2010:

This was very infromative and the lovely photos added to the joy reading your hub. Thank you.

msorensson on April 04, 2010:

Thank you for this, Peggy W. I did not know there is a winery relatively close to us.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on April 04, 2010:

It looks like a peaceful and pleasant place to spend an afternoon. When we lived in Illinois there were a lot of wildflowers by the side of the road. They may have been planted there for erosion purposes or something. Of coarsse than they really wouldn't be wild, would they.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 04, 2010:

Hi Candie,

2 photos that I had intended to add to this hub wouldn't load for some reason. Will add them later IF it works. As to my husband...he is so patient with my photo taking. Nice guy!

Yes...at Colony Cellars Winery, they take recycling (at least with water) very seriously. We really liked this part of the Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail. Always fun exploring new places.

Glad you liked this Candie. Thanks for the visit and Happy Easter!

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on April 04, 2010:

Another fantastic travel-log-ala-Peggy W!

I would have to agree with your hubby - innumerable photos in deed!! HAhaha! And to our benefit I would add! This winery is enchanting! And their respect of nature is as great a draw as the wine itself! Thank you for finding these out of the way spots, and sharing them!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 04, 2010:

Hello Betsyickes,

Wow...that was a fast comment. Just posted this! Yesterday was a wonderful diversion and we really liked our drive out into the country to see the fabulous wildflowers and we also enjoyed being introduced to Colony Cellars. We know much more about other wines than ones from Texas. Intend to become better educated about the ones from the State in which we live.

BetsyIckes from Pennsylvania on April 04, 2010:

Thanks for sharing this. Learned a few things from it.

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