San Martino is a gorgeous winery just outside of Rockwall. Its tasting and barrel rooms are housed in a grand Spanish Mission-style building, surrounded by beautifully manicured landscaping and two small vineyards. The owners, Maria and Emilio Ramos, welcome guests with open arms to the winery they built from scratch and named for Emilio's ancestral homeland of San Martino, Spain.
Winemaking goes back generations in this family, over 100 years, and I felt the full impact of this rich history with my very first sip of their 2005 Tempranillo. Rich, ripe fruit is perfectly balanced by mild oak in this medium-bodied red. The combination of Emilio's superior craftsmanship and premium Newsom Vineyards fruit from the High Plains results in a wine with depth, character and style that reaches far beyond its $20 pricetag. Give this Spanish variety a try the next time you're planning to serve Merlot or Shiraz.
San Martino Tempranillo is available only at the winery, and at the Fairmont Hotel downtown. What a great excuse to head east this weekend!