Well, here we are in August and its all about back to school at our house. Tuition has been debited from the bank account, over-priced uniforms have been ordered, and typically unused school supplies have been purchased. All times 2! Thing 1 is headed to high school and we’ve been doing all the “new parent” stuff, not to mention that we’re tripping on the fact that she is in high school! Like wow! But before we hunker down for all the structure that fall brings, we’re still kicking back and traveling and enjoying the last few weeks of our summer season. In fact, I’m fresh off a trip to the Texas Hill Country, where I had a fabulous time. I’m still posting on social – several IG Reels, not to mention coverage of the trip from beginning to end in Highlights, as well as on FB. And be sure to circle back in the coming weeks as I’ll being doing a recap of the entire trip right here.
And I was excited that I was able to enjoy a couple of the experiences featured in last month’s roundup – including the Wedding Oak Wine Train.
The end of summer and the beginning of fall offer up all sorts of events in Texas Wine Country. Heck, I just got back and I’m already planning a return fall outing.
William Chris Vineyards & Vista Brewing Wine Pairing Dinner
After working together on numerous barrel aged beer projects, Vista Brewing and William Chris Vineyards thought it was high time to showcase their beautiful, authentic Texas wines at one of their popular pairing dinner events! Join the fun on Wednesday, August 10 at 6:30pm at Vista Brewing in Driftwood.
Vista’s Executive Chef Kyle Barker has created a farm-to-table menu featuring produce sourced from Vista’s own onsite farm. Things get started with a welcome bite and glass of bubbly before gathering around farmhouse tables (in the cold AC!) for a three course meal with wine pairings. How tasty does this menu look?!
- Pet-Nat Sparkling Rose / Tomato and Watermelon Gazpacho
- Mary Ruth / BBQ Gulf Shrimp, Smoked Gouda Polenta, Braised Okra & Tomato
- Mourvèdre / Cold Smoked & Mesquite Grilled Bavette Steak, Green Olive & Sweet pepper Chimichurri, Blue Lake Beans, Basil Potato Puree
- High Plains Rose / Pure Luck Chevre Cheese cake with East Texas Blueberry Aigre-Doux, Pistachios, Meyer Lemon
Tickets are $85 per person and can be purchased here.
Signor Vineyards DIY Charcuterie Class
Sharpen your knives and skills with a DIY charcuterie class at Signor Vineyards. Laura Velasquez, the winery’s Food & Beverage Coordinator, will guide participants through the steps of crafting your own charcuterie board to take home and enjoy with friends. The experience includes Signor Logo Charcuterie Board (Serves 2-4 people) and a glass of wine. The event takes place in their new Harvest Room on Friday, August 5, 2022 from 10am to noon. Tickets are $150.
Messina Hof Harvest Festival
Messina Hof’s 45th Annual Harvest Festival at the winery in Bryan is on deck every weekend in August. Tickets are selling quick with some likely already sold out, but there is still availabilty for their Daytime Harvest Festivals, Moonlit Harvest Festivals, and Outdoor Gourmet BBQ for you to enjoy!
In September, the harvest party moves to their Fredericksburg location complete with grape picking and stomping. I’ve done grape stomping with them in the past and its always a lot of fun.
William Chris Sunsets at the Vineyard
Enjoy a beautiful Hill Country sunset with William Chris. They are extending their hours at the winery a couple of times during the month and would love for you to join them. Take advantage as most wineries close around 5pm. These evening events will offer current release wines by the bottle as well as food available for purchase. Plus enjoy live music against the backdrop of a breathtaking Hye sunset!
The Sunsets at the Vineyard event series happens Saturday, August 6th and August 27 from 6:30 to 8:30pm. The events are free, but be sure to rsvp.
Becker Vineyards Culinaria: Rambling Rosé
Rambling Rosé is back for another year at Becker Vineyards! The annual tribute to summer wine features a blind tasting of six rosés with a panel of experts as well as a paired bite from Chef John Brand. It’s educational, it’s tasty and so much fun! The event takes place, Saturday, August 13 with a choice of a 1 p.m. session or 3 p.m. session. Tickets are $40 + tax per person.
Southold Farm + Cellar Prologue Tasting Series
Join Southold Farm + Cellar for their “Prologue” tasting which is being featured throughout August and September. The experience features a tasting 4 of wines paired with a set of 4-5 composed dishes.
Think, a beautiful spread of plates made from locally sourced ingredients, and the “prologue” of what is being crafted for their Sunset Suppers, which I’ve previously covered. The experience is 60-90 minutes and held outdoors on their patio (weather permitting). I actually enjoyed the tasting during my trip and it was so well done. Highly recommend. Tickets are $60 per person.
Texas Fine Wine Talk & Taste
The Texas Fine Wine series, Talk and Tastes, where they feature favorite and new wines from their four wineries, is back at it in August. 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 August 11, the theme is “Winemaker/Owner Favorites” and will feature the 2019 Bending Branch Winery Anniversary Blend, Duchman Family Winery Progression 3 from Oswald Vineyard, 2020 Grenache from Pedernales Cellars, and the 2018 Red Blend No 2 Spicewood Vineyards. I’ve actually had the red blend from Spicewood and can attest that its quite tasty with BBQ ribs. The tasting takes place via Zoom.
Grape Stomp at Becker Vineyards
Celebrating the grape harvest season with Becker Vineyards’ annual Grape Stomp! There is no fee and no reservations required to stomp grapes – it’s “first come, first serve”. If you’re not in the know, grape stomping is the old school way of separating the juice from the skins (if making white wine) or separating red wine from the skins.
And all are welcome, so bring bring your friends and family! Children may stomp grapes but must be accompanied by a parent.
Food Options: Lunch Plates ($25) will be created by Chef Michael to enjoy on the lawn; and Charcuterie-Cheeseboards ($25) are also available for sale. Multiple days are available for stomping – August 27 & 28 as well as September 3 & 4. And the September 4 event is extra fun as it is their special Lucy & The Italian Woman Costume Contest, which was inspired by the beloved “I Love Lucy” episode of her stomping grapes. Contestants are judged on costume, stomping ability, and enthusiasm! There is no entry fee to participate.
Grape Stomp at Pedernales Cellars
Join Pedernales Cellars for their Grape Stomp overlooking the beautiful Pedernales River Valley. Hop into a harvest bin full of grapes, stomp around, and drink some wine! You even get to put your juice soaked footprint onto a Grape Stomp t-shirt! After stomping, you’ll be able to enjoy wine by the glass, which will be available for purchase. The event takes place August 27 & 28, 2022 and tickets are $30.
On the Horizon (So You Can Plan Ahead)
I went ahead and included a few events for next month because Labor Day weekend can sometimes require some advance planning.
Texas Wine Jam (Labor Day Weekend)
Join Siboney Cellars, Sandy Road Vineyards, Crowson Wines, and several others on Sunday, September 4 during Labor Day weekend for the Texas Wine Jam. The event is a wine and music festival that’s about shining a light on new and off-the-beaten-path wineries along with a few “oldies, but goodies” and the local music that feeds our soul and drives the “Cool” of Central Texas. It’s also about supporting two very impactful causes around local music and local wine – SIMS Foundation and Texas Wine Community Scholarships. In other words, its a wine and music festival that gives back.
The SIMS Foundation provides mental health and substance use recovery services and supports for musicians, music industry professionals, and their dependent family members. The event takes place at Vinovium in Johnson City and tickets are $55 for VIP/$45 General Admission.
Carter Creek Winery & Resort Shrimp Boil
Join Carter Creek Winery & Resort all Labor Day weekend long, Friday, September 2, 2022 to Sunday, September 4, 2022, for their shrimp boil special. Even better, since its a full scale resort, why not book a room and make a weekend of it?!
Texas Fine Wine Sunset Cruise
Join the wineries of Texas Fine Wine on Friday, Sept. 9 for their annual sunset cruise on Lake Austin, one of their most popular events. Enjoy a two-hour sunset cruise and dinner while enjoying exceptional Texas wines from the Texas Fine Wine group (Bending Branch Winery, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars and Spicewood Vineyards).
The cruise is with Lake Austin Riverboats, which has an air-conditioned room and multiple viewing decks. In addition to a tasty fajita dinner, diners will get to taste 8 different wines while enjoying the beautiful cruise.
Boarding begins at 6:45 p.m. with the cruise departing at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75 each via Eventbrite with deadline to order on Wednesday, Sept. 7 by 5 p.m.
Featured Wine of the Month – 2016 Lost Draw Cellars Mourvèdre
Gasp! I actually forgot to include a wine of the month for last month’s roundup. Well, I didn’t forget this time. There’s been a debate brewing in Texas about what the state’s signature red is. Team Tempranillo is quite vocal as is Team Tannat. But I’m also giving a shoutout to Team Mourvèdre. While we love it in those Rhône and Aussie GSM blends, it makes a fantastic varietal wine in Texas. Unlike when grown in Europe, Mourvèdre in Texas takes on significant richness, depth, and complexity. And it loves the climate here. Even better, given the unpredictable Texas weather, growers love it as it buds late (to avoid frost) and it is the last to ripen and harvest. I legit haven’t had one that I didn’t enjoy immensely. And because it grows so well in Texas, more growers seem to be bringing it online. I say, bring it!
This Lost Draw Cellars Mourvèdre is no exception to delicious Texas Mourvèdre. In fact, it was Andy Timmons of Lost Draw Vineyards, along with Chris Brundrett of William Chris Vineyards that were responsible for the first plantings of Mourvèdre in the the Lost Draw vineyard. So smooth, with rich black fruit, mocha and a touch of cedar.
I do hope y’all are able to get out there and enjoy Texas Wine Country!