Tyler, Texas (October 26, 2012) When you hear the word winery, you normally think of Sonoma Valley, France, or Spain. But there's an unknown fact that wine country exist even within Texas. A winery, in which I frequent often along the Texas Wine trail, because it is very close to home, is Kiepersol Winery & Estates. Every year in the month of October, they have a festival; Kiepersol Estates Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp. This past weekend, the family and I loaded up in the car to attend their annual Festival!Barrels with next this seasons wine to be ready for next year.
With a 60 plus acre vineyard, Kiepersol is the largest winery in the state of Texas. The de Wet family is very passionate about what they do and has hired a team of youthful wine lovers, creating a family environment. Any given day when you visit the estate, you feel a sense of family with the knowledgeable staff about their product and wine making.Enjoying the day at Kiepersol's Harvest Festival on the balcony
While at the Festival, you are greeted at the gates with a large whimsical bottle that tells you this is the place you will enjoy. The drive before making it to the winery, Kiepersol is surrounded by beautiful homes along the Estate. Did I mention they still have lots available for purchase? This is one community fit for wine connoisseur's who enjoy the country life. As mentioned on their site, "Kiepersol Estates provides luxurious living in a gated community. The vines are distinctive garden homes nestled among the rolling vineyards of Kiepersol Estates' Winery." Once you drive through the property past the gorgeous homes, you can make a right turn that leads to the Bed and Breakfast which has a magnificent A+ restaurant. Honey, they feature fine dining with top of the line beef and of course Kiepersol wines that can tickle your palate when blended with the chef's tantalizing cuisines. I digress. Or you can make a left turn at the split in the road and head on down to the winery. For this event, our family couldn't miss out on the grape stomping good time.Mom with local artistan Katherine J. Zymbroy going over her most recent work at Kiepersol's Harvest Festival.
Once parked, we were met with transportation up the hill to the winery. The tractor ride reminded you of being on a farm during harvest time. Excellent idea! Local musicians played in the amphitheater and wine tasting along with vendors were at the top of the hill next to the vineyard. You really had a sense of being on a farm full of family, food, music, and vino from the land. This was a complete experience of a traditional wine stomp. Each year they offer something new and I appreciate the idea of having something available for all ages will enjoying the festival. The vendor's were East Texas artist who shared their sculptures, paintings, and ironwork. Near the concession stand was the infamous wine stomp in which many of the children enjoyed.Tour Guide and Enologist of Kiepersol Enterprises, Michael McClendon
Free tours were given throughout the event on how they make their reds, whites, and dessert wines. When a man from the crowd asked Proprietor Mr. Pierre de Wet why he chose East Texas as the place to start the Estate he replied, "This is where I picked up the phone and God answered." A very humorous man from South Africa, you can tell that he enjoys what he does. Frugal, with many plans, and a passion in his eyes, who enjoys life and those he has around him.Kiepersol Estates Winery a must visit for a taste of East Texas wines.
Each time a family or friend comes for a visit, Kiepersol Estates & Winery is the first place I take them. It gives me a sense of being back in California. The environment, staff, and all truly makes everyone feel at home. For that, they get a Double 5 out of 5 stars. Next time you come to East Texas, visit Kiepersol Estates & Winery. You will enjoy it. Don't forget to tell them Shani sent ya!
My favorite wines from Kiepersol:
They have a new Denim line that I must try! I tell ya, I love this place! Something I also love that Mr. Pierre de Wet said was, "whatever wine you like is the best pairing you can have when it comes to a meal." -Shani Fenderson, Contributor
For more information about Kiepersol Estates & Winery, upcoming events, and more, visit: