Red Wine and a Red Caboose at this Award-Winning Winery

When you think of a red caboose, it likely invokes train tracks and railroad crossings.  The last thought on your mind is probably award-winning red wines, but at Red Caboose Winery, you can expect just that.

Tucked away in the rolling hills of central Bosque County, Red Caboose Winery provides a very welcomed surprise for travelers and oenophiles alike.  With land purchased in 2001, owner and architect Gary McKibben and his son, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager Evan McKibben, originally set out to start a hobby vineyard, a plan that quickly escalated.  Gary is a train enthusiast, and with his son, Evan, he began the vineyard by planting vines on the weekends and camping out overnight in an old Santa Fe red and yellow caboose, the winery’s namesake.  Four years later, the winery was bonded and produced it’s first two vintages, a viognier and a cabernet sauvignon.

While the list of awards the winery has won is a bit dizzying, the wines are not the only reason to visit the winery.  The steel and limestone winery building is beautiful, resembling a small resort.  Visitors have the option of tasting wines inside the oak barrel-lined cellar or outside on the rock patio, which provides views of the 20 acres of vines included in the winery’s 200 tree-filled acres.

And if all of that weren’t enough, possibly one of the most intriguing aspects of Red Caboose Winery is the sustainable focus.  Since the inception of the winery, Gary and Evan have approached the winemaking process with a “back to the basics” mentality.  They looked at the earliest principles of wine making and sought to replicate many of those techniques.  They also use green and sustainable practices in producing their grapes, including a 4-year composting process of all organic waste.

Furthermore, the limestone used in the rock patio along with the rock on the building was all harvested from the property.  The cellar was sunken and surrounded by dirt to naturally keep the temperature cooler. Further cooling and chilling are provided with a geothermal system.  Other electrical needs are supplemented with solar panels installed on the roof providing net-zero energy consumption.  Add in the fact that the winery captures and stores almost 19,000 gallons of water to assist with irrigation and you’ll soon realize that the way they make wine is just as green as the way they grow the grapes.

Maybe all that’s nice, but you’d rather just get together with some friends and enjoy a nice glass of wine around a fire pit on a crisp Texas evening.  No worries, you can do that, too.

Insider Tip:  If you truly want to please your palate, you might want to attend one of the winery’s monthly Cork & Fork events from February through October.  These events fall on the last Friday of the month and include dinner and wine pairings.  In addition, twice a year they host Camp Cork & Fork, an opportunity to camp after the regular event.  The next Camp Cork & Fork event is scheduled for Friday, March 28.

Red Caboose Winery is located at 1147 CR 1110, just 4 miles northwest of Meridian, Texas. The winery is open Fridays 12pm-5pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm & Sundays 12pm-5pm.  Tastings are $10 and include all of their award winning wines plus a complimentary wine glass.

If you have any questions, you can call 254.435.9911.  For additional information, check out