Hey y’all. In an effort to show more love to the wine peeps in my own backyard, I would like to do a monthly post that covers the happenings in Texas wine. This may also include sharing a wine or two that I really enjoyed. Time is precious and I’m always trying to prioritize, so fingers crossed I can keep this up. I’m always struck by people I meet from my own state who have no clue about the state of the Texas wine industry or think it still looks like it did 20 years ago. So here’s a little of what’s happening now in Texas wine.
Texas Hill Country Passport Event
Tickets are now on sale for the Wine & Wildflower Journey, which will be happening this year from March 28th through April 22nd at over 40 wineries in the picturesque Texas Hill Country.
This event is the second of four self-guided passport events Texas Hill Country Wineries hosts throughout the year, allowing consumers to experience a world of wine at a variety of participating wineries.
With the purchase of a digital Event Passport, consumers can taste at up to four wineries per day over the course of each event, as well as receive exclusive discounts on bottle purchases.
Passport tickets are $100/couple or $65/individual and are valid for the duration of the celebration. (With the average winery tasting fee being $25/person, the total value of the passport is over $950!) You’ll have 26 days to discover Texas wine and take in the colorful Hill Country wildflowers.
Wine + Yoga with Vino Vinyasa
Vino Vinyasa is launching its 1st wine and yoga retreat this spring! The weekend experience will take place from April 8-10th in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. More information can be found through their link.
The experience includes two nights of premium accommodations at a new luxury property, daily Vino Vinyasa yoga classes, professional wine education, and all meals including gourmet dining with wine at Fredericksburg’s top restaurants. Daytime itineraries include exclusive vineyard access and immersive wine experiences not available to the general public, such as the chance to meet a female winemaker. What’s not to love?!
It’s that time of year! Rodeo Season. If you’re not from a round these parts, you may not get it, but rest assure that this is a great time of year in the state. I mean if you can get me to drop $$$$ on cowboy boots and hats (and of course bags to go with them) that I only wear once a year, then you must be doing something right.
Many people don’t realize how big a part of the rodeo that wine has become. But at the end of the day, wine is an agricultural product and agriculture is at the heart of what the rodeo supports. For more on the charitable endeavors of the Houston rodeo, you can read here. Several Texas wineries recently scored some hardware, including gold and double gold awards at both the 2022 Houston and San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Competitions. In fact, Texas Hill Country wineries took home over 430 awards at these two competitions. And even “Fiddy” aka 50 Cent got in on the action scoring a $125,000 bottle of the 2017 Booom Red Blend from Hye Meadow Winery, which was the 2022 Top Texas Wine at the Rodeo Uncorked! Wine Auction.
And if you visit the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, then a visit to the Champion Wine Garden is a must. There’s live music as well wine classes and tastings. Or you can just grab a seat and enjoy a glass or bottle. Every fall when I participate in the Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, (link) I always know in the back of my mind that in a few months, we’ll get to enjoy some of the winning wines in the wine garden.
Texas Fine Wine Tastings
The Texas Fine Wine series, Talk and Tastes, where they feature favorite and new wines from their four wineries, is back at it in April. Texas Fine Wine represents Bending Branch Winery, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars and Spicewood Vineyards and the growers that they work with and uses the series to not only introduce folks to the featured wines, but as well as keep folks abreast of other goings-on in the Texas wine industry.
The virtual Talk and Taste events are bi-monthly on the second Thursday of the month. On April 14, where they will feature single vineyard wines – 2018 Bending Branch Tannat from Newsom Vineyards, 2020 Duchman 2020 Roussanne from Oswald Vineyard, 2019 Pedernales Petite Sirah from Farmhouse Vineyards, and 2019 Spicewood Tempranillo (black label) from Dutton Vineyards.
Kuhlman Cellars Tasting Options
Kuhlman Cellars just released 3 new wine flight options – Library Flight, Reserve Flight, and their Current Release Flight – at their estate in Stonewall, just outside of Fredericksburg.
And this time of year is perfect to enjoy their multiple outdoor spaces. Of course, their wine and food experience is one of my favorites in Texas wine country.
Kerrville Hills New Tasting Room
Kerrville Hills Winery has just opened its second tasting room, The Hill at Hye, in you guessed it, Hye, TX, which is just down the road from Fredericksburg. This move provides the winery a location in the heart of the Texas Hill Country main tourist area. The Hill at Hye offers the same award-winning wines that are served in the original Kerrville Hills Winery tasting room, but with a different tasting experience. While the original tasting room offers classic tastings and the opportunity for behind the scenes production tours, The Hill at Hye is dedicated to seated tastings by appointment only in a relaxed environment in the heart of the Texas wine country. And if it’s available, make sure you try their Tannat wine.
Pedernales Cellars 2022 Wine and Wildflower Dinner
Pedernales Cellars will host its Wine and Wildflower dinner on April 9, featuring both current releases as well a couple of library wines including the 2014 Tempranillo Reserve and 2014 Family Reserve. The menu hasn’t been posted yet but it’s coming soon! Dinner begins at 6pm and runs until around 8:30-9pm. And if the weather cooperates, they have the dinner in the fabulous deck so guests can enjoy the sunset and view.
Wine Spotlight – 2018 Pedernales Cellars Newseaux ($50 from Winery)
And speaking of Pedernales Cellars, most of us know them for their Spanish and Rhône style wines. They are best known for their award winning Viognier and Tempranillo, and lucky me, I’ve had many opportunities to taste several wines in their portfolio. But this was something a little different.
I popped open the Pedernales Cellars Newseaux on Texas Independence Day which was March 2. This red blend was a bit out of the norm and definitely a surprise for me. It’s a Bordeaux-style blend comprised of 31% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 13% Petit Verdot, and 6% Merlot. The name “Newseaux” is a bit of a play on words as a nod to Newsom Vineyard, one of the best vineyards in the state to source Bordeaux varieties. And wow, it’s a fantastic wine! Unfined with ripe and cooked red and black fruits, some mocha, with a structured backbone. We had it with a turkey chili (recipe from NYT Cooking) and loved the pairing.
Well, that’s it for this edition. Hope to see y’all next month for more happenings in Texas wine.