Amongst the rolling hills outside of Huntsville lies the one and only winery in Walker County.
Knox Circle Winery is run by husband and wife Debbie and Richard Henrickson, where the couple produces their wine brand, Froggy Wines.
The couple moved to Huntsville nine years ago and opened their winery in January 2014. Both are employed at Sam Houston State University: Debbie Henrickson is an administrative associate in the department of agricultural science and engineering technology while Richard Henrickson is a professor in the department of counselor education.
“Debbie and I began making wine 12 years ago in Silvis, Illinois,” Richard Henrickson said. “It started as a hobby and, after many years of our friends enjoying the wines we made, we decided that we should become a commercial winery.”
“We live right here in Walker County – about 10 miles outside the city of Huntsville – and with all the friendly people around who enjoy wine, we [knew] that this would be the right place to build and open our winery specially since there was not another one around,” Richard Henrickson said.
Wine making is a process that takes education and training, and the Henricksons went through a lengthy certification process before beginning.
“We went to Grayson County College in Dennison, Texas and earned a certificate with honors in enology, the science of making wine,” Richard Henrickson said. “From there we began a two-year process of developing, building and opening our winery.”
Froggy Wines does face a few challenges as a boutique-style winery as opposed to larger venues.
“The most difficult challenge we face is getting grapes,” Richard Henrickson explained. “Since we are [a winery] and only have a demonstration vineyard, we have to really [be] on growers to get our grapes and being a small boutique winery we do not buy large quantities. That has made it difficult to find growers willing to supply us be they do.”
Even with the difficulties the couple said the end result is worth it.
“The most rewarding part of making wine is the look on the faces of our customers when they taste our wines,” Richard Henrickson said. “They are always pleased and surprised that good wine is made here locally. It’s why we love this business. Meeting new people each week who have a positive experience is what makes us Froggy Wines.”
Richard Henrickson said one of the main draws of the winery is the country atmosphere.
“People love to come and visit and just hang out,” Henrickson explained. “It is really great being the first winery in the county and people come from all over Texas and other states to visit us. We just love having that good ole country charm.”
The winery is located near the SHSU Observatory at 104-A Knox Circle, Huntsville, Texas.
For more information about the Knox Circle Winery, visit their website at KnoxCircleWinery.com or call at 936-293-8855.