Written by Jeff Cope – June 10, 2019– The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association hosted the 36th Annual Lone Star International Wine Competition (LSIWC) on June 3-4 at the Grapevine Convention Center. The competition is the oldest wine competition in the State of Texas.
The competition welcomed back former Lone Star International Wine Competition Chairman, Michael Zerbach, and former executive director, Dacota Haselwood, as the competition management team. As in previous competitions, the Grapevine Wine Pouring Society provided their expertise in maintaining the organization of the competition.
To qualify for the Texas Competition, 75% of the wine by volume must be from Texas fruit and more than 50 cases must be produced. The International Competition requires more than 200 cases be produced, while the Limited Production Competition requires less than 200 cases be produced.
Written May 24, 2019–Texas has one of the longest histories of wine production in America, dating all the way back to the 17th century. Today, there are more than 200 delightful wineries located throughout the state, making it one of the nation’s leading producers of ultra-premium and boutique small-batch wines.
Eight gorgeous American Viticultural Areas are home to a number of wine trails, which offer opportunities for day trips from the state’s major cities or extended travel itineraries to multiple wineries. These lovely wineries offer guided tastings, behind-the-scenes tours, delicious bistro restaurants, and beautiful overnight accommodations at bed and breakfast inns, sure to make any Texas wine country vacation a memorable experience.
Written by Jeff Cope – February 16, 2019– It is always fun to take a road trip to visit Texas wineries, especially when you know you are going to visit new ones and also revisit some other favorites in the area. I recently had a weekend free to take a long road trip and wanted to visit some wineries that were not easily accessible to me from Houston and were not in the popular U.S. 290 area. A couple of the wineries are in the Texas Hill Country AVA, but the other ones are north of the Texas Hill Country.
I started my drive early in the morning on a Saturday to begin my four-hour drive to Mason. I was heading first to a new winery for me, Murphy Creek Cellars. If you have not been to Mason before, it is starting to become a little destination with its small-town homey feel and currently two wineries in town and more coming.
Written by Kyle Whitecotton – January 31, 2019– Originally opened in 1914, the Lyric Theater is the centerpiece of a great Brownwood retreat. The 2019 performance series includes the stage version of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” the jukebox musical “Ring of Fire” and the musical “Gilligan’s Island.” After the show, head over to the Brown County Museum of History, showcasing over 150 years of history, and tour the interior of the town’s old fortress-like jail. Brownwood’s Lehnis Railroad Museum exhibits Central Texas railroad history, while the Gordon Wood Hall of Champions sports museum celebrates the state’s most-winning high school football coach. Close out this historic weekend with a short drive to Early and the Spirit of Texas Winery where you’ll find a beautiful tasting room built from a repurposed barn, animal pen and wood shed.
Written by Jimmy Potts – August 4, 2018– After more than a year in business, the Spirit of Texas Winery in Early seems less like a business and more like an area convention center.
Since opening last April the Spirit of Texas Winery has done much more than be the area’s top voted winery/wine bar, according to the recent Best of Brown County results, and has daily events ranging from yoga classes to welcoming new teachers as part of its upcoming Back to School Brunch.
“Our biggest thing is getting the community involved,” said Miora McCue, who founded Brown County’s first winery alongside her husband Brian in April of 2017. “We find things people enjoy doing. We want people to come out here and enjoy the people that they’re with and have fun doing it.”
Written by Ben Cox – May 30, 2018– Local entrepreneurs Moira and Brian McCue are celebrating a year in business with Spirit of Texas Winery, and are celebrating with a new wine.
Located just a mile from the railroad bridge on the road to Zephyr, Spirit of Texas Winery is more than just a place for wine buffs to sit and talk about wine. Moira says “Sometimes people are afraid to come into a winery because they don’t know what to expect. I think that this is a good place to start. We’re small enough that we can sit and talk to you about it.”
Decorated with items found exclusively on their property, the winery has a warm, friendly, homey quality to it. “Everything, even the boat behind the bar was found here” says Brian.
Spirit of Texas Winery is located in Early and is owned by Brian and Moira McCue. The winery opened April 6, 2017.
I first met Brian McCue at the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference held in Fredericksburg November 2016. After the conference, I looked forward to the winery opening and then getting a chance to visit. The winery opened as Star of Texas Winery, but like other wineries have had to do, they were contacted of a possible trademark infringement and changed their name to Spirit of Texas Winery.
I visited on a Saturday, and the previous day it had rained heavily in the area leaving some places muddy. I was on the road already and did not happen to check Facebook when the winery announced they would be opening later in the day instead of noon because the parking lot was a “swamp.” Thankfully when I pulled into the winery’s entrance, Brian and Moira were outside and they directed me to a parking spot out of the mud and under a covering. I was happy they said I could still do a tasting and as it turned out, others stopped by while I was there too.
Brownwood News – The Brownwood and Early Chambers of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting on Friday, June 9th for Spirit of Texas Winery. Pictured at top are Spirit of Texas Winery owners Brian and Moira McCue with Brownwood and Early Chamber ambassadors and board members.
“Every now and then you get a business that’s a little bit different and special,” Brownwood Chamber of Commerce Director Ray Tipton addressed the crowd during the ceremony. “Not every business on its own is a tourist attraction. Those draw in large amounts of people from larger cities, and that makes you unique to Brown County.”
The new winery opened in April of this year and offers a selection of wines that can be enjoyed in their tasting room or outside on the patio. They also offer cheese and meat trays, but customers are welcome to bring their own food as well. They frequently offer special events and live music to add to the atmosphere.
Ronald W Erdrich , Abilene Reporter-News Published April 23, 2017
EARLY – Love that bathroom!
“The bathroom is a beautiful place,” laughed Moira McCue. “I know that sounds horrible, but that’s what it is. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to do the bathroom because it had to be really neat.”
Moira and her husband Brian opened the Star of Texas Winery two weeks ago. It’s on U.S. 183/84 about a mile south of the Union Pacific overpass on the east side of the highway.
“It sounds silly, but I wanted places where women could hang their purses,” she explained, still laughing. A peek inside showed what she meant; a door knob hangs on the wall opposite the commode and reclaimed wood covers the walls. It feels homey, perhaps even restful.
One hardworking Texas couple is fulfilling their lifelong dream of opening a winery. Star of Texas Winery & Vineyards is a small, family-owned boutique winery owned by Brian and Moira McCue. After leaving their respective 30-year careers in finance and teaching, they decided to work together and focus on their love of wine.
They found the perfect location and hope to open Star of Texas Winery in early April. Located in Early, Texas, the property was something that ‘fell into place’ for them.
With a goal of creating a place where you can “relax and unwined”, the Star of Texas Winery in Brown County is a family-owned boutique tasting room exclusively stocking Texas wines and presently in the process of developing their acreage to grow their own grapes. Brian and Moira McCue had 30 years experience in their respective employment fields when they chose to make a change and finally pursue their shared interest in starting a winery. After seeing the property in Early, Texas, they knew they had found the place.
By Graham Dudley / Brownwood Bulletin Posted Feb 21, 2017
Just off Highway 84, a few miles south of Early City Hall, an abandoned storehouse is quickly transforming into Brown County’s new destination for quality Texas wine.
Brian and Moira McCue spent 30 years working in sales and teaching, respectively, across the state of Texas. Both felt the time was right for a change, and started searching the state for a property to pursue a shared love and start a winery.