I recently traveled to Bryan, Texas to tour the city with other journalists. Messina Hof as a bed and breakfast in the area and we were lucky enough to score an invitation. The Villa at the Messina Hof Winery is situated in a remote part of the city, nestled in the midst of gorgeous nature. The Villa at Messina Hof Winery offers a unique and romantic place to stay in order to experience Texas wine country hospitality with the best wines around.
Messina Hof is a premier winemaker in Texas. They produce 98 different varieties of wine and have won many awards. Master winemaker and his wife, Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo, welcomed our group with open arms and shared much about the wine making process with us.
The Bonarrigo family started making wine in the 1800s in Sicily, Italy. Paul and Merrill treated us to a wine and food pairing our first night. The next day, we participated in the Harvest Festival where we got to pick and stomp grapes. We were lucky enough to try 11 of their signature wines. Just from Paul and Merrill’s contagious passion and fabulous personalities, I can see why the winery is so successful.
The Villa bed and breakfast’s innkeeper was incredibly friendly, showing all of us to our rooms and giving us an overall description of the property. You could tell she really loved her job and the family she worked for. The cozy fireplace with comfy chairs was centered in the lobby, while tables were off to the side for breakfast. A beautiful and ornate chandelier, bookshelves full of interesting knick-knacks, and an intricate front door were my favorite parts of the lobby’s decor.
My Room at The Villa Bed and Breakfast
Messina Hof Winery’s Villa has 11 rooms, all paying homage to either historical figures or romantic icons. I lucked out and got to stay in the Thomas Jefferson suite and it was wonderful! Tasteful antiques, lovely tapestries, gorgeous linens, a beautiful Queen Anne dresser with a curved mirror and nightstands, and a Presidential hand-carved eagle bed decorated the room. A small private patio with two rocking chairs overlooked the lake and tasting room, located across the property.
The most surprising part of my room was the spacious bathroom. It had an oversized bathtub with a contoured bottom, making it perfect for reading a book while relaxing in the bubbles. My toiletries even included a pack of special bath salts so that I could enjoy the tub to its fullest. Across the room was a separate shower.
Besides those luxury offerings, the Villas at Messina Hof also provided a coffee maker with specialty coffee and tea selections. I found chocolates in the shape of adorable grape clusters waiting for me when I arrived. My room was also equipped with a large closet, in room safe, and mini-fridge. Best of all, Messina Hof provides free WIFI.
Breakfast is Served
Your overnight stay at the Villas at Messina Hof comes with a homemade breakfast. You may choose juice, coffee, an egg dish, breakfast meats, pancakes, or other specialty items. Maybe you will get lucky like I did and score the peach crepes; yum! I would recommend anyone in the area to come relax and unwind at this beautiful bed and breakfast. It is a great place for a Staycation, when you are enjoying your own town and all that it offers.
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to save time for wine tasting. This year Messina Hof chose a comfort foods menu and paired the food samplings with some of their most popular wines. It was interesting to learn Paul’s tips and hints for impressing your wine drinking friends. My favorite was to sniff the glass with each side of your nostril. Have you ever seen that done before? It is because only one olfactory gland works at a time. Once you try it, you will see this for yourself. The nostril that actually works (that can smell the wine) changes often though out the day, so that is the reason for turning your head side to side, to assure you are smelling it thoroughly. The food and wine pairing was an experience I will never forget. Bring home a Vineyard Cuisine cookbook as a souvenir of your evening. All of the recipes were written and used by the Messina Hof restaurant.
The Vintage House Restaurant
The Vintage House Restaurant has a wonderful menu with upscale dishes to choose from. I recommend trying the Panko Crusted Brie Wedge and Champagne Cranberry Salad, tossed with their signature Messina Hof Pinot Grigio vinaigrette. Yum, it was so delicious! The Winemaker’s Selection Stuffed Gorgonzola Chicken was hands down the best dish that I tasted. It was even owner Paul’s favorite dish. Be sure to save room for Cherries Flambé or Bananas Foster, both prepared table side. A weekend brunch is offered on both Saturday and Sunday and wine flights are available at any time.
Thanks to The Villa at Messina Hof for the lovely accommodations and making me feel special and welcome throughout my entire stay. Thanks to the Bryan College Station CVB for arranging the travels. I would choose it again if ever in the area. For those of you who live nearby or are visiting College Station, Messina Hof is worth a visit. Scads of wine, a beautiful room in the country, and delicious eats makes a recipe for a memorable stay.
The Villa at Messina Hof Winery: AAA Four Diamond Bed and Breakfast Photo Gallery:
The Villa Bed and Breakfast at Messina Hof Winery
4545 Old Reliance Road
Bryan, Texas 77808