Cooley Bay Winery just celebrated its two year anniversary, and during that time has experienced a tremendous growth in new and repeat customers. There are now almost 200 members in its wine club, and their wines have taken home honors at shows usually given to Texas Hill Country wineries.
Owner Tom Busch only produces wines created from Texas grapes and with no artificial colors or flavors. He turns those grapes into dry, semi-sweet, and sweet red and white wines. He also creates blackberry, cherry, strawberry, peach and cranberry wines. His signature handiwork is “The Cooley” — wine coolers served with a carbonated beverage — again, all natural.
And to top those off, patrons can order a specialized meat and cheese tray. Busch has searched the four corners of Texas to get the best ingredients for those trays, and chose honeycomb salami from Bluebonnet Meat Company and Hard Salami from Fischer Meat Market. He also adds cheddar, gouda, emmantal and fontina cheeses, a complimentary taste when combined with the crackers and red grapes also on the platter.
On Thursdays — the winery’s designated Ladies Night with half-price drinks — Chef Appolo arrives and sets up his crepe kitchen, in plain view for all to watch when ordering his entrée or dessert style crepes. Patrons can choose any and all ingredients to go into their specialized entrée, including smoked turkey, smoked ham, roasted chicken, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, several kinds of cheeses and much more. And on the dessert crepe, there’s choices of banana, strawberry, coconut, honey, maple syrup and other items to make each crepe unique. Chef Apollo said he’s been creating crepes since he was eight years old.
Cooley Bay Winery also has live music on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. For three hours, patrons can enjoy solo, duo or small band artists for three hours, along with their favorite glass of wine or wine “cooley.”
The venue’s wine club is no charge to join and provides a 20 percent discount on bottles of wine, a free glass of wine when patrons bring a new wine-purchasing customer with them and members agree to purchase 12 bottles of wine each year as part of membership.
Cooley Bay Winery is located at 292 Cartwright Road in Van Alstyne. For more information, call (469) 408-7425 or visit www.cooleybay.com.