Last weekend, Julie and I had the pleasure and privilege to attend a gathering of Texas food and wine writers at William Chris Vineyards. The timing for the event was perfect as we really needed a weekend away to relax and recharge, and we are grateful to have been invited by Bill and Chris. Continue reading
We hadn’t even intended to visit any wineries on Sunday, but we had, surprisingly, gotten up early considering it was the Daylight Saving Time switch day, and weren’t quite ready to head home. We looked in the App for a winery we haven’t seen, and not too far. Valley Mills Vineyard.
When Julie found Valley Mills while researching for Texas Wine Traveller, she was pretty excited. She had worked for one of the owners, Dr. Peper for a while before moving to Houston. We thought that was pretty cool. Continue reading
I know this is a sad admission, but I really didn’t want to go. Julie and I had driven to Hye on Saturday for the William Chris 2nd anniversary dinner and even though they were going to open up their “library” to wine club members Sunday afternoon, I just wanted to go home. I really enjoy driving to wineries and spending time with winemakers, but it was just one of those days.
I also have this “thing” about driving the same roads over and over, so I will often take side roads just for the change in scenery, so when we got to Dripping Springs, I turned right and headed south on TX 12. What was I thinking… Continue reading
Every winemaker has a different story, just like every wine they make. What impresses us most about the winemakers that we meet is the passion that they have for the land, the grapes, and the wine. I can’t remember a winemaker that we have met that doesn’t grow or hasn’t grown their own fruit, so their care for wine covers the entire lifecycle.
We have known Don Pullum for several months through Twitter and the #TxWine Twitter Tuesdays, but I haven’t really paid much attention or connected all the dots to understand his impact on Texas wine. His Twitter “handle” is @akashicvineyard, but I hadn’t heard of the vineyard, and he never mentioned owning a winery – but he sure talked a lot about Sandstone Cellars wines. Yes, I can be pretty dense sometimes. Continue reading
Julie and I are at Hilmy Cellars for day 2 of their Grand Opening, and today they are hosting Russ Kane, well-known Texas wine writer and author of The Wineslinger Chronicles. The doors are open and customers are enjoying tastings while Russ sets up – he will be signing his book and talking about Texas wine, of course.
Even on opening day, there is a wonderfuly laid-back atmosphere! Gorgeous tasting room! Continue reading
When we dropped in at Solaro Estate Vineyard and Winery, we didn’t expect to see very many people there; It was rainy and chilly, and their parking lot was mud. The tasting room is situated with a drop-off spot, but no parking places close enough to avoid getting drenched if it’s raining hard at all. I dropped Julie off in the least muddy spot I could find close to the entrance then drove to the parking lot. This isn’t a complaint; it’s a preface.
Solaro’s tasting room was hopping. When I walked in the door, Julie was already chatting with the owner, Barbara Haderlein, who started pouring tastings for us right away. Continue reading
When I talk about the market for Texas wines, I divide the potential customers into three categories: The Connoisseurs, The Texas-buying California wine drinker, and the Barbecue bunch. An evening with Allan and Margaret Fetty at their Westcave Cellars Winery tasting room proved me, once again, wrong. They are cultivating, successfully in my opinion, the “local” customer – those people who have fallen in love with the wines they produce and join their wine club as loyal customers… and friends. (I keep bringing the friendship aspect of Texas wine up, don’t I?)
When we arrived at the tasting room, they weren’t very busy, so Margaret was able to spend a little bit of time serving us their whites, starting with their semi-sweet 2010 Muscat Blanc. Most wineries start off their tastings with their bone-dry white wines, then dry reds or semi-sweet whites. Margaret told us later in the evening that she likes to serve a star wine first, and she makes really good sense. The Muscat Blanc was more than refreshing. With just the right amount of citrus and sweet, it had me thinking about sunny days on our deck (the one to be built, of course). Continue reading
Julie and I had passed Rosemary’s Vineyard & Winery many times on our road trips to the Hill Country of Texas and said as many times to each other that we should stop there some day. Today was that day…
We were on a mission to visit a brand-spanking-new winery in the 290 / Fredericksburg area, but were notified that they would be out of pocket all day, so we had the option to head back home or come up with a new plan. OK, that sounds strange, the word “plan”. Continue reading
I blogged just a little about our Sunday trip to William Chris Vineyards for the Malbec release party and Planting show-and-tell. We really went for the “plantlings” that we were going to get since we’re not pleased with the selection at Home Depot. Not that it matters much because I’m quite confident in my ability to torture a plant from a commercial grower as much as a retail nursery. Continue reading