The Villa at Messina Hof Winery
I recently traveled to Bryan, Texas to tour the city with a few other journalists. Messina Hof as a bed and breakfast in the area which 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. It offers a unique and romantic place to stay in order to experience Texas wine country hospitality with the best wines around.
Messina Hof is the premier winemaker in Texas, producing 98 different varieties of wine. They have won many awards. Master winemaker and his wife, Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo, welcomed our group with open arms and shared much about the winemaking 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, our entire group participated in the Harvest Festival where we got to pick and stomp grapes. We were lucky enough to try 11 of the Messina Hof signature wines. With Paul and Merrill’s passionate and happy personalities, I can see why Messina Hof is so successful.
The Bed and Breakfast
The Villa at Messina Hof’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 was surrounded by comfy chairs, 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
Villa at Messina Hof offers 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 loved it!
The room was adorned with tasteful antiques, lovely tapestries, and gorgeous linens. A beautiful Queen Anne dresser with a curved mirror and a Presidential hand-carved eagle bed were the key furniture pieces. A small private patio with two rocking chairs overlooked the lake and tasting room, located on 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 a desirable room, the Villas at Messina Hof also provided a coffee maker with specialty coffee and tea selections. I arrived in my room to find chocolates in the shape of grape clusters waiting for me. My room was also equipped with a large closet, in room safe, and mini-fridge. But o course, there was free Wi-Fi.
A Palate-Pleasing Breakfast
Overnight stays at the Villas at Messina Hof come 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 to 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.
A Wine Event
As I mentioned earlier, be sure to make time for wine tasting. Messina Hof chose a comfort foods menu and paired the food samplings with some of their most popular wines for our event. It was interesting to learn Paul’s wine drinking tips for impressing your friends.
The best tip I heard 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.
Our experience at the Messina Hof food and wine pairing was one I will treasure. I even brought home a Vineyard Cuisine cookbook as a souvenir. All of the book’s recipes were written and used by the Messina Hof restaurant.
The Vintage House Restaurant
The Vintage House Restaurant has a tasty menu of upscale dishes to choose from. I recommend trying the Panko Crusted Brie Wedge and Champagne Cranberry Salad, tossed with a signature Messina Hof Pinot Grigio vinaigrette. It was so delicious!
The Winemaker’s Selection Stuffed Gorgonzola Chicken was hands down the best dish that I tasted. It was even Paul’s favorite dish. Be sure to save room for dessert of either Cherries Flambé or Bananas Foster, both prepared tableside. A weekend brunch is offered on both Saturday and Sunday and wine flights are available at any time.
Messina Hof: A Texas Name to Remember
I would choose the Villa at Messina Hof again if ever in the area. For those of you who live nearby or are visiting College Station, the AAA Four Diamond Messina Hof bed and breakfast is worth a visit. Scads of wine, a beautiful room in a country-like setting, and delicious food make a recipe for a memorable stay in this pocket of Texas.
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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.
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