Even on opening day, there is a wonderfuly laid-back atmosphere! Gorgeous tasting room!
It”s been busy! Julie & I got a tour of the cold room with Erik.
3/18 12:00 am
It”s really 9:00 am, but the pictures are from around midnight this morning…
Erik and Neldie invited family and friends to their house for barbacoa and barbecue (talk about awesome food) crafted by different family members and constituting a feast. We were honored to meet many of them and enjoyed the nearly pitch-black country night. Their house is located a reasonable distance from the winery, but still next to the vineyard.
I had asked Erik before we left Houston on Friday if he was a cigar smoker, so we swapped good cigars and shared our cache with uncles, cousins, and good friends on the back patio, and talked about darned near everything, including (of course) wine and Texas wine.
One thing that I really like about Erik is that he is a bit of a geek, like me – not so much a computer geek, like I am, but a true wine geek, like I strive to be. When we toured his cold room earlier yesterday, he explained much of the science behind winemaking – at greater detail than most winemakers care to. Last night was no difference. We had mentioned never having tasted lichi fruit, so we couldn”t identify it in a wine as other reviewers do. Erik brought some lichi fruit (soaking in vodka, which really helps release the aromatics) so we could add that to our palette of comparative aromas online slots and flavors. He then explained which chemicals were actually responsible for the smell of lichi and how it can occur in wine – more fascinating information.
Around midnight, Erik, Julie, two of his close friends, and I were sitting and chatting around the fire pit. Erik asked if we had taken the opportunity to walk through the vineyard yet and hearing that we hadn”t, offered to take us on a nighttime tour. We accepted his offer, naturally.
A great advantage of having class at night is the removal of distraction and focusing power of light. We were able to see the grape vines, stems, buds, and leaves in unmatched detail because there was no background or peripheral activity to draw our attention. And again, we learned more about the whole process, both art and science, of growing grapes that will produce the best possible juice for wine.
Here are photos of the Hilmy Cellars Midnight Grape Vine Growing and Pruning Workshop…