One of the best pleasures of exploring Texas Hill Country wineries are the fantastic views and interesting people you get to meet along the way. Scimitar Hill Vineyards has one of those breath-taking views that are so majestic and a passionate owner. Tom Hendrix and his wife are the proud owners of this piece of paradise which opened a couple of years ago. His ranch is home to about 33 scimitar-horned oryx. Ironically, raising oryx was the original purpose of the ranch.  The vines and wine making came later.  This is Tom’s later in life hobby and next chapter after a career in information technology.  The tasting room sits atop a hill overlooking the animals and vineyard.  Inside the tasting room, Tom keeps two plaques on the mantle featuring his favorite wine quotes, one from Earnest Hemmingway and the other from Gerald Asher.  A sign that Tom’s passion and love IS in this business.  He and his wife have enjoyed traveling in France and they were inspired by similarities of climate and soil with central Texas. So they decided why can’t they do the same thing here in Texas? The initial plantings in the vineyard began in 2009 and they now have about 2.5 acres planted on two separate plots.  Varietals include Albariño, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.  His estate wines express the labor of love that he and his wife have put into this venture.  We tried all the wines available in the tasting room on our visit. Let the 2014 Malbec breathe for a bit, then you can soak in some great notes on this vintage. The 2016 Cabernet Franc needs some time to settle as it is still a bit tight, but you can discern the nice cherry flavors that will make this wine a keeper.  The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a bit young now, but has some lovely berry notes that will only improve with age.  The 2016 Merlot has a lot of great flavor and a nice long finish. The rock star of his selection is the 2016 Petit Verdot. The dark purple color and the enticing nice long finish puts a whole new meaning to bonding with great wine. This one has the potential to age and drink well for the next decade.  When Tom feels that the Albariño vines are mature enough, he’ll start making some estate wines of that, too.  Yet another excuse for a return trip!  Tom is a great guy to chat with and makes the hospitality of his place that much more welcoming. Another fine example of how small boutique wineries make Texas wines personal. This is a stunning spot to stop, that is a bit out of the way, but so very much worth your time and effort. Plus, on the way you can visit Bandera and enjoy some cowboy country, so what’s not to love? Plot your course for a new winery destination and stop in and say hi and see the wines being produced in Camp Verde, Texas.

IMAG5586 - Scimitar Hill Vineyards