Day Trips: The Grey Mule Saloon, Fort Stockton

Former Old West saloon becomes Mesa Vineyards' tasting room and wine bar

Day Trips: The Grey Mule Saloon, Fort Stockton
photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Grey Mule Saloon in Fort Stockton doesn't look much like it did when it first opened in the late 1800s. Instead of serving shots of whiskey and mugs of lukewarm beer, the bar now offers a sampling of the best wines from Mesa Vineyards.

Day Trips: The Grey Mule Saloon, Fort Stockton

For years fans of Ste. Genevieve wines have lamented the lack of visitor facilities at the West Texas winery. The state's largest and one of its oldest wineries has a pedigree that stretches back to the fine wines of France.

Day Trips: The Grey Mule Saloon, Fort Stockton

More than 40 years ago, the UT System planted experimental vineyards on school lands east of Fort Stockton. By 1987, UT and its French partner had 1,000 acres of vineyards and a state-of-the-art winery.

The mesa depicted on the winery's labels looms on the horizon beyond the four-story winemaking factory off I-10. The rumor that $1 of every $8 bottle went to the university is not far from the truth.

In 2005, a group of investors under the name of Mesa Vineyards took over the operation. Texans drink 80% of the 600,000 cases the winery produces under various brand names.

The Grey Mule Saloon is at 101 E. Callaghan St. at South Main Street in Fort Stockton, across from the county courthouse and the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum. The gussied-up old saloon-turned-tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:30 to 7pm, and is the exclusive seller of wines with the Mesa Vineyards label. For information, call 432/336-9463 or visit www.stegenwines.com.


1,264th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, a book of Day Trips columns, is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Day Trips
Day Trips: The Elissa, Galveston
Day Trips: The Elissa, Galveston
Tall ship returns as sailing school and museum

Gerald McLeod, April 19, 2019

Day Trips: Pine Forest Golf Club
Day Trips: Pine Forest Golf Club
Old Bastrop golf course gets a new shine

Gerald E. McLeod, April 12, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Grey Mule Saloon, Sainte Genevieve Winery, Mesa Vineyards

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle