Raymond Haak's Santa Fe Wines Grown Close To Home
By Carrie Ann Davis

   A cool breeze gently stirs through the rows of freshly budded grapevines. While the scene feels like Sonoma or Napa Valley in California, it is actually a few miles down the road at Haak Vineyards and Winery.

The winery, located in Santa Fe, Texas, offers free daily tours and samples of wine created on the estate. Bright and welcoming, the winery provides a quiet retreat from the bustle of daily life.

Raymond and Gladys Haak, owners of the vineyard, grow Blanc Du Bois and Black Spanish grapes on three acres located behind their home. The Haaks have been growing grapes at their home since 1975, when Raymond Haak received his first two Concord grape vines as a gift from Gladys.

Currently, there are more than 1,800 vines being cultivated in the vineyard and last year a little more than 2,500 cases of wine were bottled, according to Raymond L. Haak, owner and winemaker.

Grapes grown in the Haak vineyard are combined with imported grapes from California, and are transformed into Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Blanc du Bois and Port.

Asked which wine is his favorite, Haak was unable to decide.

"That is kind of like asking which one of my five daughters do I like the best," Haak said. "They are all my children."

A Photo Tour of the Haak Vinyards and Winery.

Haak's wines are available for sale at the winery, or they can be purchased at a few gourmet wine shops in the Houston area. Currently, Christopher's in the Rice Village, Gourmet Wine Shop in Webster, and Guido's restaurant in Galveston offer wine enthusiasts the chance to purchase wine produced at the only winery in Galveston County.

The winery's clientele include locals, wine and social clubs, and tourists who have come to Galveston.

The winery currently has Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay available for purchase. These two wines have unique scents, flavor and body. Golden in tone, with strong legs, the wines are only 1 percent residual sugar.