When most people think of scheduling a Texas wine tour, East Texas probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. Well, I am here to change that!
The Piney Woods of East Texas are brimming with Texas wineries just waiting to be discovered and explored.
Visitors have flocked to East Texas for years to immerse themselves in nature. Known for its fabulous lakes and scenic hikes, East Texas is truly an outdoor lover’s playground.
A lesser-known attraction in East Texas is the incredible wineries and vineyards that call this area home.
Over the last 10 years, numerous wineries sprung up in the East Texas area, and one company has made it their mission to put this Texas wine region on the map, Lekker Wine Tours.
We recently had the opportunity to go on a tour with Lekker Wine Tours and instantly fell in love with the owners, Tony and Melanie Juays.
The Juays and their son Gareth are not strangers to the hospitality and tourism industry. In fact, I would call them experts.
Before moving to Texas, the family ran a successful family-owned guest house opposite the V&A Waterfront, just 45 minutes from the Winelands of Cape Town, South Africa, where they often escorted guests interested in exploring the region’s many wineries.
Their attention to detail and level of service are unparalleled, as are their passion and knowledge of the Texas wine industry!
Keep reading to see why you need to book an East Texas Wine Tour with Lekker Wine Tours!
Disclaimer: Lekker Wine Tours hired us to help promote their business. Of course, as always, all information and opinions are our own.
*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost. That Texas Couple also participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
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Tour Unique Texas Wineries
Many people associate Texas Wine Country with the Texas Hill Country and, more specifically, Fredericksburg, Texas.
Well, I am here to tell you that there is more to Texas wine than just the Texas Hill Country wineries!
With over 500 wineries in the Lone Star State, ranging from small producers to large production vineyards, there are plenty of opportunities to tour unique Texas wineries.
Luckily, East Texas is home to over 30 wineries just waiting to be explored.
While many wine tour companies visit the same wineries every visit, Lekker Wine Tours prides itself on offering unique wine tours to its customers, allowing them to customize their wine tours so guests can always have a great experience.
During our full-day group tour, we visited five Texas wineries and had an opportunity to enjoy wine tastings at each of the locations.
The locations we visited on our tour ranged from the relaxed cafe-style setting of Enoch’s Wine and Coffee House in Tyler, Texas, to the interesting and eclectic Silver Lake Cellars.
Our tour began at the fun and casual Enoch’s Wine and Coffee House in Tyler, Texas.
Enoch’s allowed us to choose a sweet or dry wine for our wine tasting, ensuring that there was something for everyone on the tour.
I especially loved Enoch’s Rose City Rose!
After lunch on our own at Enoch’s Chomp, we headed to our second stop, the Green Goat Winery.
The Green Goat also offered a selection of dry and sweet wines, each with their own distinctive flavor profile. After our tasting, we were treated to a production facility tour and given some free time to enjoy the vineyard.
The third stop on our tour was White Fox Vineyards. White Fox Vineyards had a small, rustic tasting room enhanced by a barn-style outdoor seating area.
Marty loved their Texas Sweet Blueberry wine, made from locally sourced blueberries, and I really enjoyed their Merlot.
If you love an eclectic environment, our fourth stop, Silver Lake Winery, is for you. Silver Lake offers guests a quirky outdoor area with a pet goat and sheep to enjoy while drinking their wines.
The favorite wine on our tour was the Crushed Velvet, a red blend that tastes like cherry cordial candy.
Valle della Pace Vineyards & Winery was the final stop on our tour.
Here, we were treated to our choice of wines from an extensive tasting menu, all served by the owners’ two sons. Their passion for wine and wine-making shined through with each pour as they told us the story behind the labels and the wine.
I recommend pairing your wine with one of their delicious pizzas or cheesecake when you visit!
Each winery visit included a wine tasting and some time to explore the winery and vineyards if applicable.
Remember that your tasting fees are included in the wine tour, but any additional food or alcohol purchases are an additional expense.
Support Local Businesses
When you visit the wineries and vineyards of East Texas with Lekker Wine Tours, you are supporting several local businesses.
As mentioned above, Lekker Wine Tours is a family-owned and operated small business in East Texas, as are the majority of wineries they expose you to on your tour.
As you go from winery to winery during your East Texas wine tour, you will quickly see that you support local people and families who are truly passionate about Texas wine.
One illustration of this can be found when visiting Valle della Pace Vineyards & Winery.
During our tasting at Valle della Pace, we were served by two passionate men who knew every detail associated with the Texas wine they were serving you.
They described each bottle of wine with confidence and enthusiasm, even explaining the meaning behind the labeling.
Their fun stories entertained our group for the entirety of our tasting, allowing everyone to relax and be in the moment.
Of course, when I learned these were the owner’s sons and part owners in the family business, I loved Valle della Pace even more! I wanted to sit, taste wine, and listen to their stories all day!
Valle della Pace is just one example of the many family-run businesses you impact when choosing to book with Lekker Wine Tours.
Melanie Juays of Lekker Wine Tours says, “We want people to experience and learn about the vineyards that they’re going to; everybody’s got a story.”
Learn From Wine Experts
From our experience, many Texas wine tours are treated as “booze cruises.” This is not the case when you book with Lekker Wine Tours.
Combining their background in hospitality and tourism with their extensive knowledge of East Texas Wine Country, Lekker strives to treat their Texas wine tours as an opportunity to teach guests about the wine industry while allowing them to experience the area’s hospitality.
Owner Melanie Juays explained to our group, “We visited many wineries (in South Africa). It’s just as common as it is in France or Italy. Wine is just a part of life there.”
After moving to Texas, Melanie immersed herself in the Texas wine industry, helping wineries with their bookkeeping, applying for liquor licenses, and completing their TABC and TTB compliances.
Combining the knowledge of Lekker Wine Tours with the knowledge and expertise of the area’s winemakers and employees, this East Texas Wine Tour allows you to expand your knowledge of Texas wines while having a great time!
Custom Private Tours and Group Packages Available
One aspect that sets Lekker Wine Tours apart is your ability to customize your wine tour.
Once you have rounded up several friends, give Lekker and call and discuss the private tours that meet your needs.
Lekker offers a three-stop tour that includes stopping at three wineries. Wine tasting at three wineries is a great introduction to their tours that allow you and your friends to enjoy a safe and fun visit to the wineries.
If you want a fun full-day tour, look into a 5-stop tour that allows your group to visit 5 wineries with wine tasting at each one. This itinerary also allows time to tour a production facility at a winery.
Another tour offered is the His & Hers Tour. This unique tour offers wine tasting at wineries and visiting a brewery or two into the mix for a beer tasting.
If visiting a local brewery is the way to convince your beer-loving friends to join you, then go for it. This tour is a great way to spend a night in the town!
Lekker Wine Tours truly considers their customer’s needs and wants when structuring their Texas wine tours.
They consider this so much that they even ensure they pick up and drop off the group at an agreed-upon central location, even your lodging area, if applicable.
Make New Friends
One of my favorite things about tours, especially Texas wine tours, is the ability to make new friends.
Marty and I have met lifelong friends while participating in various tours worldwide.
This tradition held true during our East Texas Wine Tour with Lekker. We met so many fun people during our tour that we will stay in touch with for years.
There’s nothing like getting to know people over a nice glass of wine or during a wine tasting.
Listening to the stories of the winemakers and staff as they share their passion for the wines you are tasting makes for great conversation with the person by you.
Avoid the Crowds
If you have been visiting the Texas Hill Country wineries for years as we have, then you know how much this area has grown over the past 5 years.
The growth in the Texas Hill Country and the popularity of their wines means that the wineries in the region are much more crowded these days.
If you prefer avoiding crowds, then the wineries and vineyards in East Texas are definitely for you!
During our tour, we were the only group at the winery. This allowed us to relax, enjoy our time in the vineyard, and not feel pressured during our tastings.
The lack of crowds gave us more personalized tastings and more time with the wine experts.
East Texas Wine Tour Final Thoughts
I love that we had the opportunity to explore the wineries and vineyards in East Texas with Lekker Wine Tours.
We were exposed to many fabulous new Texas Wineries that we didn’t know existed. This tour made us want to explore the East Texas wineries and vineyards even more.
We can’t wait for our next visit to East Texas!
Don’t wait; book your East Texas wine tour with Lekker Wine Tours today!
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About The Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.