Eden Hill Vineyard: 2013 Dallas Morning News – Texsom Wine Competition Gold Medal from Where?


Eden Hill Vineyard: 2013 Dallas Morning News – Texsom Wine Competition Gold Medal from Where?

You haven’t heard of this award winning Texas winery either?

I will admit that my knowledge of Eden Hill Vineyard started once I got the just released gold medal results from this year’s Dallas Morning News – Texsom Wine Competition. After perusing the results and noting the gold medal for their 2012 white blend of 50% Albarino and 50%  Viognier (grapes harvested from Smith Estate Vineyard…yep, that’s the vineyard that belongs to Texas wine pioneer Dr. Bobby Smith near Ft. Worth), I realized that Eden Hill was a winery that was not on my recent Texas rural travel itinerary, but definitely should have been.

Well, to make up for my oversight, I quickly searched to find their contact information and talked to Linda Hornbaker, owner of Eden Hill Farm and Vineyard to get me some of their award winning wine. She gave the credit for this wine to Chris Hornbaker, a recent graduate of Grayson College’s viticulture and enology program (click here for more info). I also got the details on this new, but already high flying boutique winery in North Texas:

  • Eden Hill’s winery is located in Celina, Texas, just 30 minutes north of Dallas, and 20 minutes west of McKinney.
  • If you want to taste (or buy) some of their good juice, they are open every Sunday.
  • All of their wines are made in Texas from Texas-grown grapes.

After getting a bottle of their Albarino-Viognier blend, I decided first to taste it and then pair it with an appropriate dish. Upon opening the wine and pouring the first glass, I realized that I was in store for something special. It had a fun effervescence (a light sparkle or frazzante) as it hit the glass followed by a tropical rush of citrus and pineapple overlaid on tart apple with a hanging hint of floral on the finish. I could see why the DMN-Texsom wine competition judges were attracted to this wine and scored it well. It is fun, pleasing and well made.


Then, I set off to prepare just the right dish to complement the wine. I started by keying on something common to the Spanish roots of the Albarino and the Rhone Valley of France where Viognier originates: garlic. I whipped up a course of curly, vegetable pasta intermixed with garlic, mushrooms, clams and a squeeze of Meyer lemon, and topped with a shake of crushed Aleppo pepper and grated cheese.

I finished the meal with a cool pour of Eden Hill Vineyard 2012 Orange Muscat that uses grapes from their vineyard in Celina, Texas, paired with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream. Ooooooh!


There is more information about Eden Hill Vineyard on their website at: http://edenhill.com.

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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.


  1. Thanks, Russ, for the great review of our Albarino~Viognier. It’s been fun to be the “dark horse” winery that surprised everyone at the race!

    Dr. Smith has been a great mentor to me for several years now. Everyone should get out to Springtown and visit with Bobby and taste his great wines. We enjoy harvesting fruit from his vineyard with him each year.

    The Albarino and Viognier came in very ripe in 2012, and the clusters filled our tank room with incredible honey, pear and pineapple aromas as we pressed them. We fermented the grapes very cold to lock in the fruit flavors and the natural CO2 from the yeast to give it that bit of “sparkle” that you wrote about.

    We’re looking forward now to bottling our Roussanne from the High Plains, and our Tempranillo/Cabernet blend.

    Kindest Regards,
    Chris Hornbaker, Winemaker, Eden Hill Vineyard

  2. I enjoyed your wines very much. Keep doing what your doing and say hello to Dr. Bobby from me. The chapter in my book, The Wineslinger Chronicles (http://wineslinger.net) is one of my favorites. I believe it captures both his unselfish accomplishments that aided the industry during the restart in 70-80s and also his love of life and love of wine.


    Russ Kane

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