Beyond the name change which so carefully fits its prior shorthand acronym ‘SOT’ has changed little from its prior operations. The quality, reputation, hospitality, and amazing wines remain in tact.
Business is the same as always with nothing more than a change in title from what I could tell on our recent Friday evening visit to the indoor/outdoor winery and tasting room in Early Texas right off of highway 84. Due to a trademark matter that went nearly unknown for a few years, it turns out a distillery in Texas has the same name already trademarked. That being so, logical advice on the legal side said to change the title and avoid any penalty of trademark infringement. Wise move and a small pivot to stay true to their original values as has always been the case for Brian and Moria McCue, co-owners and couple of SOT for the past five years since opening their winery doors (and bottles) to the public in April 2017.
There are just 3 things you really need to know about this winery and tasting room IMO.
The place, The people, The wine.
The place itself is really very neat. Ample outdoor seating acts like a community patio and backyard for anyone and everyone to come to join in and sip wine, socialize and take in a Texas skyline and sunset. The inside is spacious and open, welcoming and accepting of all walks of life. Ideal for table seating for couples seeking more privacy while the bar space is the heart of the tasting room where anyone you sit next to is sure to be a new friend by the time you leave. The outside and inside alike are adorned with wine-isms that never get old in my book.
The people follow suit in that from the mission of the owners’ Brian and Moira to the regulars who come here, again and again, the place is open to any and all people. If you like truly good Texas wine you are a welcome guest of SOT. The two couples Stacy and I met at the bar and mingled with all evening long were testament to the statement hung over the entrance door to the tasting room “Enter as strangers, leave as friends.” We had a ball the entire 2+ hours we hung out sipping great wines, talking about wine, and life in Texas in general. I have said it before and it is so true here, “Texas wine people, are good people period!”
The wine speaks for itself. It’s just really good across the board. Grown almost entirely in the high plains region of Texas, you taste truly Texas grapes. Stacy and I both got a 6-flight sampler so we were able to try 12 total wines combined, offering us a nice sampling of almost all the wines SOT produces. Ironically, me being a dry red guy, and Stacy being a sweet red or white gal, we found several wines we both truly enjoyed very much. Those we both found to be really unique and worth getting more to take home are Estella Blanca, 19 Viognier, Shamus Rose, 19 Sangiovese, and 19 Hometown Red. The real surprise for us both was that not one wine really let us down. Not one! In any tasting of 12 wines like this, we typically find 1 or 2 we just don’t like much. Not so here.
Now do not overlook the food either, just 2 years ago this month, the tasting room began to serve paninis and pizza. Stacy nabbed a bacon jalapeno panini with swiss cheese. Not only did it turn heads from our companions at the bar, but Stacy also said it was absolutely delicious as well.
The next time you are coming through Brownwood or Early Texas or just passing through the area in general, you really do need to make a point to stop in SOT Winery and see for yourself the experience that awaits you. Good wine, good people, a neat venue, open to everyone from any walk of life, there is something here for everyone. Stacy and I will be back here many times in the future. If you happen to be in the next time we are visiting, say hello!