French Connection Wines is a Texas winery located in Hye, Texas along the Texas Wine Trail on 290 West. Coming from Austin, just hang a left on the road next to the Hye Country Market and a mile down the road you will find one of the most delightful wineries on the Wine Trail pouring distinctive 100% Texas wines made from 100% Texas grapes grown in the High Plains of Texas.
Where the Rhône Valley meets Texas
If you haven’t yet visited, you are missing out on some of the most interesting and amazing wineries along the Texas Hill Country’s Wine Road.
It’s true, there are many new wineries along the Texas Wine Trail but the wines here are particularly interesting and worth spending some time tasting and pondering over.
There are many varietals grown and produced throughout the Texas Wine Country, but the focus is solely on Rhône Valley varietals here at FCW.
The winemaker originally from France, Ben Calais, in my opinion, is an up and coming winemaker in this area to pay close attention to. I refer to him as the wine whisperer. He has brought a breath of fresh wine to this area that is a near perfect fusion of Texas terroir and Rhône varietals.
Due to climate and elevation of the Texas High Plains AVA, this area is particularly well suited in producing grapes that grow in the Rhone Valley of France. These varieties include Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault, Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc and others.
I’ve heard the upcoming Picpoul Blanc is going to be awesome.
Ben is a former IT guy and winemaking was a hobby. Well, we are glad he didn’t keep his day job and began focusing his talents on these wines we had the pleasure of drinking.
What immediately jumped out at me as I sampled through the wines is that each wine was distinctive and maintained it’s own personality and characteristics of the grapes; they taste like what I would expect them to taste like compared to it’s Rhone counterpart. Acidity is very important in the balance of the wine’s flavors as well as longevity and each wine we tasted-especially the red blends – had the right amount to keep the wine interesting with fresh and lively flavors.
(Just a note, along the way I’ve tasted some of the other Texas blends from other wineries made in Texas and this is not always the case.)
Ben, I applaud you and your team for creating a true Rhône wine oasis in the middle of the Texas Hill Country.
Victoria Gimino – Tasting Room Operations & Events Coordinator and fiancé to Ben, spent the afternoon with us tasting and sampling the wines.
First of all, Rhône Valley varietals and wines, have always been at the top of my favorite varietal list. Ben has captured the essence and character of the varietals and bottle some amazing juice! Fresh fruit jumps out of the glass with beautiful aromas without being a fruit bomb.
The wines are so distinctive that they lend themselves well to wine and food pairings. Recently, we enjoyed the 2018 and 2019 Rosés reviewed them in an article. (linked here)
Around the winery and tasting room
Grab a bottle of wine, a charcuterie and cheese plate, sit on the patio and embrace the breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country that surrounds the winery. It is just absolutely gorgeous!
There are several locations to take memorable photos with your friends and lots of comfortable shaded space to enjoy your wine.
Want to stay the night? You are in luck because they have three adorable maisonettes to hang out and sip through the evening and spend the night in luxury in the hill country.
The La Connection 2018 Red Blend and La Connection 2018 White Blend were enjoyed by all with a selection of cheeses and charcuterie and we bought several to enjoy at home. Check out the photos below of our Sunday afternoon in the Texas Wine Country were French grapes make gorgeous 100% Texas wines!
Cheers! to La Connection white and red blends !
great place for photos!
My collection of wines to drink at home!
Some of the best rosés in Texas!
Can’t wait to spend the night in the Texas Hill Country