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Bringing Back Brownwood

by Paul Brown
Texas Highways
July 2021

On a typical Saturday evening in the early 1940s, the sidewalks along Center Avenue in the heart of downtown Brownwood filled with folks walking to one of the half-dozen movie theaters to watch films like Casablanca and Paris After Dark. Many of the moviegoers were Army trainees at nearby Camp Bowie. The end of World War II brought much of Brownwood’s activity to a halt as the population of almost 80,000 began its precipitous drop; today the population is around 18,600. And while the town may not return to its 1940s population levels, many new businesses are bringing vibrancy to Brownwood’s downtown streets once again.

A Toast to Country Life: The Spirit of Texas Winery features a tasting room built from a repurposed barn, animal pen, and woodshed. Owners Brian and Moira McCue moved from the Austin area in 2016 to open a winery. “We found our place,” Moira says about discovering the property. If the weather is nice, you can take your glass of wine outside to play some patio games, including checkers and giant Jenga. READ MORE

Top Texas White Wines: Double Gold Medals

By Nan McCreary
Texas Monthly
December 18th, 2020

White wines from Texas were among those from around the world awarded Double Gold medals at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ 2021 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition held Nov. 13-15 at NRG Center in Houston.

A Double Gold medal is awarded to the entries that received a Gold medal rating by all five members of the judging panel. The Rodeo Uncorked! Handbook describes a Gold medal as “Of outstanding quality, superior to most. Reflects the best flavor, balance, style and winemaking for that class and price point.” A Double Gold is the most prestigious award a wine can receive. These Texas white wines were recognized as superior by their peers in the three-day competition. READ MORE

Corona Cooking Chronicles: Spirit of Texas Winery Edition

April 27th, 2020

Raise your hand if your favorite quarantine activity is eating? Yep, us too! Now raise your hand, if you are ever so slightly tired of going to the recipe box to find something new to cook? Yep, us too!

During these crazy times, we’re finding a lot of comfort in good food. We’re also finding that we need a glass (sometimes, bottle) of wine or a good beer after navigating homeschooling the kids as we work full days. 

So we’re very grateful that our beloved winery, Spirit of Texas Winery, is here to solve both of these problems for us! READ MORE


Small Town Comfort: 13 Things to do in Brownwood, Texas

DECEMBER 2, 2019

Drink wine in an old bus! Don’t worry, Spirit of Texas serves wine inside their tasting room as well! The environment at Spirit of Texas is a lot of fun with funny signs outside, the I love you & wine so much mural, and the kind owners who will share all the wine knowledge with you! It’s so nice to visit a place and have time to chat with the people who are part of making the wine you’re drinking in front of you. They have a good mixture of sweet and dry wines. READ MORE


Travel Blog: Brownwood, TX

By Paige
November 27, 2019

We walked into Spirit of Texas on a Friday night while many people were attending local Friday night football games. It was us, the owners, and some of their friends and it was a memory I will never forget. We first started with a tasting of many different wines, and honestly there wasn’t one I did not like. As we drank, the owner explained to us that the building and all that was inside was made from items found on the land they purchased. As I looked around, the building told more and more stories. The canoe behind the counter turned into shelves, the wood and tin on the walls transformed into a beautiful building, the van outside turned into a photo opportunity. As the night went on I heard stories that I will never forget as long as I live. I laughed so hard as they made us feel welcome, and brought such joy to our moments. They told stories that I retell to this day and cannot get through without cracking up about one aspect or another. As we rounded out the night, I honestly did not want to leave. This place is one of my favorites that I have been to, they had incredible wine… but more importantly they had a 5 star atmosphere of laughter, hospitality, and kindness. READ MORE          


Spirit of Texas’ Welcome Wine wins big at State Fair

By Brandy Reynolds
Posted Nov 2, 2019 at 12:50 PM

EARLY — Spirit of Texas Winery’s “Welcome Wine” was the Go Texan Sponsored Blue Ribbon Wine at the Texas State Fair, which recently concluded.

Out of 100 wine entries a panel of nine judges blindly judged 94 wines from across the Lone Star State and selected Spirit of Texas’ “Welcome Wine” as one of the 12 winners.

Named after Welcome Chandler, an original settler of Brown County, the wine is a very fresh, crisp dry white with an aroma of citrus and white flowers, 80% Trebbiano and 20% Vermentino from the Lost Draw Vineyards in the Texas High Plains. READ MORE


23 Texas Wineries Worth Visiting

By VI Staff
November 12, 2019

Texas has one of the longest histories of wine production in America, dating all the way back to the 17th century. Today, there are more than 200 delightful wineries located throughout the state, making it one of the nation's leading producers of ultra-premium and boutique small-batch wines.

Eight gorgeous American Viticultural Areas are home to a number of wine trails, which offer opportunities for day trips from the state's major cities or extended travel itineraries to multiple wineries. These lovely wineries offer guided tastings, behind-the-scenes tours, delicious bistro restaurants, and beautiful overnight accommodations at bed and breakfast inns, sure to make any Texas wine country vacation a memorable experience. READ MORE


Things to See & Do In Brownwood, Texas

Shelby Sorrel
OCTOBER 22, 2019

Brownwood, Texas — a small town two and a half hours Northwest of Austin that is full of hidden gems, incredible people, and tons of delicious eats. I was so excited to finally explore this cute town that I have heard so much about. I got to bring my best friend along and also got to spend some time with friends of mine that are locals, which was a huge blessing. Brownwood was honestly so fun to adventure in and surprised me with its quirkiness, charm, and photographable spots.

Spirit of Texas Winery: I LOVED THIS PLACE SO MUCH—clearly putting this in all caps because I needed to be dramatic and really make a point here. The owners were two of the kindest people we met in Brownwood, and they took such pride in serving us their delicious wines. They have a huge patio with tons of seating, plenty of parking, and so many tasty wines to choose from. We truly enjoyed sitting at the counter and getting to try each different wine, all of which were incredible—we even loved their Republic Red blend so much we brought a bottle home with us. They also have their famous “I love you & wine so much” wall that is perfect for cute photos! READ MORE


BEST OF BROWN COUNTY: Spirit of Texas Winery provides opportunity to unwind

By Brandy Reynolds
Posted Oct 11, 2019 at 1:02 PM

This week’s Best of Brown County feature is on the Spirit of Texas Winery, winner of best winery. The winery, located just on CR 291 outside Early, is “the perfect place to come and unwind and relax,” said owners Brian and Moira McCue.

Here’s a few interesting details the Bulletin discovered about Spirit of Texas Winery when the McCues sat down to discuss their venue.

‒ Upon entering the gates of the winery there’s a feeling of comfort and good home country fun. Above the door entrance reads “Enter Strangers, Leave Friends” and lined on the bar you’ll find the McCues’ Award-Winning wines. READ MORE


On The Road in Early with Spirit of Texas Winery

By: Adam Singleton
Posted: Jul 22, 2019 / 05:42 PM CDT

The Spirit of Texas Winery tells us about their award-winning wines and how you can unwind with them.

Watch Video


State Fair of Texas announces Blue Ribbon wine


DALLAS, Texas — In keeping with the State Fair of Texas mission of promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement, we are happy to introduce the Fair’s new Blue Ribbon Wine Selection program. Sponsored by GO TEXAN and in partnership with the Texas Wine Advocate, 12 of Texas’ best wines were selected from a pool of more than 100 entries. In addition to supporting local agriculture and educating visitors on the best Lone Star wine, this program brings communities of people together to enjoy a glass of great Texas flavors at the State Fair Wine Garden.

A panel of nine wine experts blindly judged 94 wines from across the Lone Star State and selected 12 of the best to receive the “GO TEXAN Blue Ribbon” distinction.

“I raise my glass and toast the winners of this year’s GO TEXAN Blue Ribbon Wine Selection Competition. For the second year in a row, Texans can be proud that the majority of winners were GO TEXAN members,” said Sid Miller, Texas Agriculture Commissioner. “I’d like to congratulate all the winners of this year’s competition and thank our friends at the State Fair of Texas.  And of course, I’d remind all Texans that whether visiting the State Fair of Texas this year, or shopping for that perfect bottle of wine, taste the best of Texas and remember Texas agriculture matters!” READ MORE


What to Eat, See and Do in Brownwood, Texas

By Chastity Beene A COWBOYS LIFE
July 10, 2019

Texas seems to have endless small towns with plenty of charm and I recently visited one of these towns. My son and I recently took a 2 hour road trip to explore Brownwood, Texas.

Situated in the Texas hill country, with plenty of beautiful scenery and wide open spaces. It may be a small town, but it has a plethora of dining options and entertainment for all.

Spirit of Texas Winery – This gem is located a few minutes outside of Brownwood. The winery is kid friendly with plenty of games inside and under the covered patio to keep the kids entertained. Beautifully and creatively decorated with items found around the property when the owners first purchased the property, such as a truck bed book and an old bus that serves as the perfect photo op. READ MORE


What to do in Brownwood, TX

By Carrie Elle A Lifestyle Blog
July 4, 2019

My Texas small town tour continues (so many small Texas towns to explore!) in a town called Brownwood. I’m sharing some of the best things to do in Brownwood, Texas, with y’all today. From restaurants to outdoor activities to where to stay, I’ve got lots of info that will help you plan your trip to Brownwood!

Spirit of Texas Winery – Just a short drive outside of Brownwood, the Spirit of Texas Winery is located in nearby Early, TX, and the second I entered the building I loved it. The tasting room is full of personality and filled with items found on the property when the owners bought it (a boat makes for a shelving unit, a truck bed a booth, an old bus a photo op). The owners are SO nice, and the wine was on point. I wish I could pick this winery up and put it in my town! Also – there are games available and a nice outdoor space, making this a family-friendly winery. READ MORE


North of the Texas Hill Country Road Trip

FEBRUARY 16, 2019

The last time I was at Spirit of Texas Winery was a day after it had poured! In fact, after my long drive there, I was told they mentioned on Facebook they would close for the day because the parking lot was too muddy because of the previous rain. Thankfully that day, owners Brian and Moira McCue, were at the winery and accepted me in for a tasting, in addition to other people who arrived later. This time though, the parking lot was dry, and a new parking lot had been built to prevent against any future problems.

We all greeted each other and sat down at the tasting bar. Some of us decided to have a glass of wine and others did a tasting. I opted for the latter. We had a great conversation and more customers arrived with eventually the night entertainment arriving to play live music for the attendees. The music was playing, the wine was flowing, but unfortunately it was getting dark too. Laurinda and Irene had to head home, and I needed to get something to eat for dinner and find the bed and breakfast I was staying at. We said goodbye to Brian and Moira, but I am definite we will all meet again soon. READ MORE


Spirit of Texas Winery builds off success to create original, unique product

By Jimmy Potts / Brownwood Bulletin
Posted Aug 4, 2018 at 10:09 PM

EARLY — After more than a year in business, the Spirit of Texas Winery in Early seems less like a business and more like an area convention center.

Since opening last April the Spirit of Texas Winery has done much more than be the area’s top voted winery/wine bar, according to the recent Best of Brown County results, and has daily events ranging from yoga classes to welcoming new teachers as part of its upcoming Back to School Brunch.

“Our biggest thing is getting the community involved,” said Miora McCue, who founded Brown County’s first winery alongside her husband Brian in April of 2017. “We find things people enjoy doing. We want people to come out here and enjoy the people that they’re with and have fun doing it.”

McCue said she and Brian looked at other areas to base their business, but as soon as they saw the 11-acre plot of land running along Highway 183 from Early to Zephyr they knew they were in the right place.  READ MORE


After A Year in Business, Local Winery Spirit of Texas Is Still Growing

Posted by Ben Cox
May 30, 2018

Local entrepreneurs Moira and Brian McCue are celebrating a year in business with Spirit of Texas Winery, and are celebrating with a new wine.

Located just a mile from the railroad bridge on the road to Zephyr, Spirit of Texas Winery is more than just a place for wine buffs to sit and talk about wine. Moira says “Sometimes people are afraid to come into a winery because they don’t know what to expect. I think that this is a good place to start. We’re small enough that we can sit and talk to you about it.”

Decorated with items found exclusively on their property, the winery has a warm, friendly, homey quality to it. “Everything, even the boat behind the bar was found here” says Brian. READ MORE

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