Vineyards

Valley Mills wine delivers a taste of Texas in your glass

Whether you prefer red or white, sparkling or dry, wine is big business in Texas. And for enthusiasts, the state offers more than 400 wineries to visit.

A short drive west of Waco to Valley Mills will transport you to wine country! At Valley Mills Vineyard, the Bagnasco family is focused on producing the best Texas wine possible.

Winemaker and General Manager Joey Bagnasco is understandably proud of his new wine offering.

“It’s the very first bottled sparkling wine we’ve released and natural bubbly,” Bagnasco said. “The French expression for this style of sparkling wine refers to an age-old method of producing natural sparkling wine by letting fermentation complete in the bottle.”

The Bagnasco family’s European roots run deep.

“Well, wine is such an integral part of the culture in France and Italy, and that’s part of what inspired, I think, my parents, my father, in particular, to get into the wine business,” Bagnasco said.

A natural choice for growing a wine business – which is a slow and deliberate process.

“It’s been almost 15 years now that it’s being prepared. We started cleaning up this site in 2006, and the building we’re sitting next to was completed in early 2019, almost three years ago,” Bagnasco said.

Valley Mills Vineyards produces 3,000 cases a year of a variety of wines, or some 36,000 bottles.

It’s a generous contribution to make Texas the 5and largest wine producer in the United States Adding $13.1 billion to the state’s economy.

And the vineyards attract around 1.7 million tourists each year.

The vineyard of the mills of the valley is a privileged gathering place for friends. A wonderful venue for wine tasting, music, dancing and even weddings.

Amanda and Kelby stopped for a quiet drink and to take in the beauty of the surroundings.

“But isn’t it just delicious?” said Amanda. “Oh my God. Plus, plus, you know, every time we go up the stairs and come out here and I was like, it’s literally beautiful, like the hills and just like the landscape, I was like , that’s wonderful.”

The Hill Country around Fredericksburg is considered the heart of Texas wine country, but Bagnasco tells 25 News that great grapes are grown in central Texas.

“It’s a bit of the Wild West for viticulture, for viticulture because we’re not an old settled region where the rules are already set,” Bagnasco said. “Here in Texas, we are experimenting. We can grow the grapes that we think will adapt best to our warm continental climate.”

No matter the season, there’s beauty in a vineyard and there’s no shortage of work to be done, Bagnasco said.

“So right now, in the middle of winter, our vines are dormant and they’re kind of waking up or we call that process bud break, right? They’ll have new green growth in late March or early April.

But before they bud, we’re going to go through the pruning process, which is probably the most important part of growing grapes, pruning skillfully and correctly. (butted) yeah, it definitely all starts with the agricultural side of things. And I would say that I take very good notes every year and we always focus on what we can improve on the viticulture side and on the winemaking side.

Valley Mills Vineyard is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. They invite the Central Texans to come; taste a little Texas in your glass.