By: Elton Brown & Marc Sparks
Wines have become an expectation at most all kinds of social gatherings, regardless of the number of people involved. Be it a get-together with friends and family, a party or even a quiet evening date with your partner, a bottle of wine can go a long way in lightening the mood and providing enjoyment. Given the great importance of this drink in our daily lives, it is fair that we try to understand the various aspects of the drink as well as the places from whence they come- Wineries.
Dallas, Texas – A relatively new entrant to the winemaking industry
Dallas, Texas is a relatively new turf for wineries, with a number of new establishments on the rise in the area. There are several boutique wineries on the rise as well. These wineries are most operated by individual owners, although sometimes, families run such establishments. These wineries also offer tours, also known as “Trails”, that allow you to visit such establishments and see how they work. By taking a tour of such places, you can garner a lot of fun-filled experiences and witness a number of interesting events. After all, they are much more than just places for wine making.
Marc Sparks – Our Guest, Entrepreneur, SparkTank Founder, Venture Capitalist, and Wine Enthusiast
I am Marc Sparks, Dallas entrepreneur and today, I am going to discuss three of the best winery establishments that I have had the pleasure of visiting in the Dallas area. I love starting new businesses, tossing around new business concepts, and helping others do the same. I have always believed that hard work and dedication will allow me to successfully convert and execute on ideas that others have deemed impossible or even useless, and turn them into a profitable operation. This belief throughout life has led me to maintain a number of portfolio companies under my family office, Timber Creek Capital, LP.
As I mature in my life, my wife and I have come to enjoy wineries. We grew about 16 acres of grapes at our East Texas ranch, which resulted in a nice blended red wine! I enjoy the process of making wine and how the different grapes and soil of each region plays into the taste of a respective wine. Wineries have attracted my attention a lot over the years, and because of this I have started to visit a number of such establishments to understand the many intricate details of these places. I enjoy taking the tours as well from sommeliers. For the most part, I have been impressed by what I have seen across the many places that I have visited. I have been to hundreds of vineyards and wineries, from the France Bordeaux district, to Italy, Argentina, Santa Barbara and Napa Valley, California as I love the process of growing grapes and winemaking. So today, I am going to discuss a few awineries that I have visited in the Dallas area.
#1 – Times Ten Cellars
It was only recently that I visited Times Ten Cellars, and I regret not visiting it sooner. Each and every aspect of this place is delightful. The wine that I recommend to every person visiting this place would be the Petit Verdot. The food, combined with the interior decor will give you the perfect setting to enjoy a fine evening. The chef of Times Ten Cellars knows how to please patrons with the large number of delicious food items on the menu too. If you are looking to taste some delicious wine, Times Ten Cellars is certainly worth every penny you will spend. Sparks’Score: 9/10
#2 – Checkered Past Winery
It was only last Saturday that I was looking for a place to stop for lunch while trying to avoid the many parking difficulties in the Deep Ellum area, and accidentally happened upon this amazing place. The food is great and at very inexpensive prices. I have tasted some fine wine in my life, but the wine served by our host, Tracy, was something that I would not be able to forget in quite a while. Try the wine. Fabulous! The decor of the place was also pleasant with comfortable seating areas and loads of space to move around. Sparks’ Score: 8/10
#3 – Bishop Arts Winery
This is one place that you can miss quite easily due to its small size. However, pray that you do not miss this amazing winery at the corner of Tyler & Davis because the food as well as the wine here is absolutely marvelous. The service is good which only adds to the incredible experience that I had in this place. When leaving, I opted for a bottle of their Blackberry wine, and found it scrumptiously delicious enough to highly recommend it to others. (Many of my friends have already visited and enjoyed themselves!) If you are looking for a quiet place for a date, Bishop Arts Winery is definitely the place you should visit. Sparks’ Score: 8/10
Check out Marc’s book, They Can’t Eat You