Making the Grapes in Parker County
When Ron and Janan Benefiel purchased 56 acres on Tucker Road from Michael Tucker in January of 2014, Ron surprised his wife with a Valentine’s Day dinner at the top of the hill, a spot with a bird’s eye view of Parker County, even downtown Fort Worth on a clear day. Ron grilled steaks, he said, and the couple raised glasses of wine to toast their new venture, a vineyard with a venue chic enough to host wine tastings, weddings and other events.
A spot for a dozen cabins, so visitors could see the stars ... A place where agriculture and tourism could intersect ...
“It’s a big leap of faith,” Janan admits, “but we are following our passions: a love of wine, a love of the land and being part of a community where people take living at a different pace.”
Ron and Janan have long had an affinity for the green kingdom, with Ron an enthusiastic vegetable gardener and Janan a floral designer who’s also worked in a plant nursery.
The couple’s pathway into viniculture stems from Ron’s growing interest in winemaking kits over the years as well as visits to vineyards and wineries, including LightCatcher Winery in Fort Worth.
The Azle residents have worked hard to cultivate their vision, building a road, clearing and burning hundreds of cedars and drilling holes in the heavy clay soil to plant some 2,200 California-bred rootstalks.
The Benefiel’s vineyard has piqued the curiosity of many a motorist since the first T-post went into the ground, Ron said, and some have even tried to book weddings after confirming it’s really a vineyard.
Dove Ridge Vineyard hopes to welcome visitors to a 14,000-square-foot “rustic chic” style building surrounded by walkways early next summer if all goes well, Janan said,
“We’re going to give California a run for its money,” Janan said.
Article & Photo provided by the Weatherford Democrat, September 25th, 2015