So your girl had to take some time off and settle into back to school, Thing 2’s surgery, not to mention all of the projects on my desk at the office (all that #LawyerLife stuff). Hence, no September roundup of events in Texas Wine Country. But given that October is Texas Wine Month, I most certainly had to share some of the great events that will be happening to celebrate our great wine region. Even better that the temps have cooled off some, which makes it a fabulous time to visit. I was so over the 100+ degree days and sometimes wondered if I’d moved to the dessert southwest and wasn’t aware. At any rate, get out there and support our Texas winemakers.
Solar Eclipse Events
Over the next year, the Texas Hill Country will be the epicenter for 2 amazing astronomical experiences and there are tons of events at the wineries. Like how cool is this?! On Saturday October 14, 2023, we will experience an annular solar eclipse known as the “Ring of Fire” where the moon covers most of the sun, leaving only a brilliant ring-like corona visible around the edges. I love Thing 1, but I am bummed that she has a whole homecoming thing that weekend. Like, shouldn’t they postpone HoCo?! But what a way to celebrate Texas Wine Month and the eclipse all in one. These are just an handful of the events that are going on. There is no shortage of winery lawns provide that will proved a great viewing area! So take advantage and enjoy.
And on Monday April 8, 2024, we will experience a very rare total solar eclipse. This is such a huge event for the Texas Hill Country and lots places are planning events for these experiences. Many hotels and Airbnbs are already fully booked for these events, so if you plan on coming to experience these rare occurrences, you need to plan far in advance.
2023 Eclipse Party at Sandy Road Vineyards
One place that is having a great eclipse event is Sandy Road Vineyards, whose wine I just love. It will be quite cool to witness the mesmerizing eclipse phenomenon in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The party happens on Saturday, October 14, 2023, starting at 11:00 AM.
You’ll be able to immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of their picturesque vineyard while savoring exquisite wines and indulging in delectable bites.
Their event includes:
- Live music from local musicians
- Complementary glass of wine
- Solar glasses to protect your eyes
- Food for purchase from local vendors
- Space on the lawn or in the vineyard for viewing blanket
- A unique opportunity to experience this rare astronomical event
Tickets are $30. Additional food and wine by the glass and bottle may be purchased at the event. You can also bring along the kiddos and leashed pooches.
Eclipse Party at Farmhouse Vineyards
The folks at Farmhouse Vineyards will truly be in a sweet spot for the eclipse as they are in the path of totality. 103 years in the making, this is a once in a lifetime event that has not been seen in Texas since 1919!
Their Whitehouse Parker location will be opening an hour early at 11:00am to allow onlookers a beautiful backdrop to the “Ring of Fire.” There will be live music, open seating on front and back lawn (bring your own lawn chair), a food truck, and specialty wines for just this occasion.
Solar Eclipse Brunch at Kuhlman Cellars
Another great eclipse event is happening at Kuhlman Cellars. Their estate is perfectly positioned to see the 90% complete Solar Eclipse on October 14, 2023. So why not go and escape the crowds and enjoy a jazz brunch while you’re at it? Your $100pp ticket includes admission to the estate, a glass of wine, a single-pass Eclipse Brunch service (at selected time), safety glasses, eclipse sticker and glass keepsake.
Texas Heritage Vineyard Eclipse Party + Wine Release
Texas Heritage Vineyard is releasing new wines in celebration of Texas Wine Month and celebrating the eclipse all in one. Guests at the release party will enjoy 2022 Viognier and 2019 Carmenere while observing the solar eclipse. Food will be available and live music will be performed by Texas artists Jeff Posey, John Greenberg and Mike Blakely.
The party is Saturday, October 14 from 1-5pm at Texas Heritage in Fredericksburg.
Ring of Fire Over Duchman Market Day + Eclipse Viewing
Join Duchman Family Winery on October 14th for their Market Day under the Annular Eclipse. The kitchen will open early at 11:00 AM and the lawn will feature local vendors, live music, and an outdoor bar serving wine in free commemorative Eclipse Wine Tumblers. The first 200 people will receive complementary eclipse glasses. Entry is free and open to everyone! Afterwards, there will be more live music to enjoy so stick around and make a full day of it.
Wedding Oak Wine Train to Burnet
I absolutely love the Wedding Oak Wine Train and had an absolute blast when I rode it last summer. Check out my video recap as well as my blog post. There are just 2 more rides this year – October and November, so act fast. Passengers will enjoy a 2-hour train ride from Cedar Park spanning the South San Gabriel River while enjoying an intimate talk and wine tasting with members of the Wedding Oak family. In Burnet, you’re able to spend two hours at the stunning tasting room at Wedding Oak Winery, complete with two-story views, a patio, and a rooftop terrace. Finally, relax and enjoy the ride as the train returns to the Cedar Park Depot in the afternoon.
Where: Wine Train departs from the Cedar Park Depot at 401 E. Whitestone, C-100, Cedar Park, TX 78613
When: Train departs 11:00 a.m. sharp and returns at 5:00 p.m.
Remaining 2023 Dates & Ticket Links:
November 19, 2023 (The LAST Wedding Oak Wine Train Event for this year!): https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/5206087/wedding-oak-wine-train-last-of-2023-cedar-park-cedar-park-depot
Texas Fine Wine Annual Dinner at Duchman Winery
Texas Fine Wine, which features the wines of Bending Branch, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars, and Spicewood Vineyards, is hosting a paired wine dinner to celebrate Texas Wine Month – another event sure to sell out!
Dinner takes place, Saturday, October 7, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood. Tickets are $95 per person.
Carter Creek Vine & Dine Couples Dinner
Join Carter Creek for an intimate couple’s dining experience in their Members’ Lounge! This elevated experience includes a welcome toast of Carter Creek sparkling wine, a five-course meal, and a custom wine pairings! Time to get gussied up as the dress is Texas cocktail attire. And then while you’re there, you may as well make a weekend of it. I had a great time the last time I visited there. (Link)
Dinner takes place Saturday, October 14 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $120 per person, exclusive of taxes & gratuity.
Slate Theory’s Moonlit Masquerade: An Enchanting Paired Wine Dinner
Step into the magical world of Slate Theory Winery on the evening of October 27th at 7pm, where they invite you to an extraordinary event – the Moonlit Masquerade. Taking place within the depths of their cave (it’s so damn cool!) (link) this soirée promises an unforgettable experience under the gentle glow of the moon, phenomenal food and wine. I love the “dark” theme of the menu which includes Enigmatic Wild Mushroom and Black Garlic Soup, Autumn-Spiced Seared Lamb, and Midnight Tiramisu.
Dinner takes place Friday, October 27 (my birthday!!) from 7-9pm. Tickets are $175.
Texas Fine Wine Talk & Taste
Texas Fine Wine will host a virtual Talk and Taste on Tuesday, October 10 at 6 p.m. on Zoom to talk about some great wines for Fall, including a sparkling Picpoul Blanc from Bending Branch and three red blends to pair with our cooler temperatures, including the Duchman Family Winery GSM, Pedernales Cellars Cuvee 1853 and Spicewood Vineyards’ The Independence. Some of these would be perfect for Thanksgiving.
Pedernales Cellars Fall Feast Vintner’s Dinner
Pedernales Cellars rings in the fall season with their annual Fall Feast Vintner’s Dinner featuring wine pairings from the Estate’s library and hosted by winemaker and co-founder, David Kuhlken, and Chef Jared Campbell on Saturday, October 28, 2023. The 5-course menu looks absolutely amazing.
Seasonal Crostini with Dates, Brie, Bacon w/ 2022 Texas High Plains Arcadia
Quali Asada Stuffed Sweet Pepper w/ 2022 Viognier Reserve
Cold Smoked Pork Tenderloin & Earthy Dirty Rice w/ 2022 Daniel Vineyards Joven Tempranillo & 2020 Daniel Vineyards Tempranillo
Seared Beef Burre Rouge & Fondant Sweet Potato w/ 2016 Kuhlken Vineyards Reserve
Blue Cheese & Goat Cheese Tart w/ 2016 Family Reserve
Dinner tickets are $180 per person+tax (gratuity included).
Spicewood Vineyards Tandem Retrospective
Well all love Ron Yates and his devotion to Texas Wine and his ability to get us excited and thoughtful about it. Spicewood Vineyard’s Tandem is such a great Rhône blend. Two different grapes each vintage, changing throughout the years, but always showcasing the same juicy profile.
Join Ron as he takes us through 6 vintages of Tandem. Not only will you taste the differences that rain, sun, and age have on wine, but you will also be treated to some of Ron’s musings on the winemaking process throughout the years. It’s always a party with Ron.
The event takes place on Sat. Oct. 14th at 2pm at Spicewood Vineyards. Tickets are $65.
Spicewood Vineyards Paella Party 2023
I mean as long as we’re talking Spicewood, you may as well out the Paella Party on your calendar too! On Saturday October 21st, join Spicewood for an outdoor event during the best weather of the year! They are cooking up some incredible Paella Mixta and serving up all of your favorite Tempranillo, Sangria, and other fan favorites. There will be some live music, as always.
Arrivals begin at 5 pm for Sangria Happy Hour and dinner is served around 6:30 pm. Tickets are $65.
Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest
The Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest celebrates 30+ years of the best Texas food and wine. With events from Thursday, October 26 through Saturday, October 28, there’s no shortage of events to celebrate Texas Wine. Cooking classes, wine dinners, brunch, and more are part of the celebration.
The Celebration of Texas Food & Wine dinner with delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres prepared by Vivere Catering and wine paired from Becker Vineyards looks particularly delicious. I took a peek at the menu and it looks tasty, particularly the sweet potato croquettas filled with manchego and chorizo with a cilantro dipping sauce. Yum! Sponsored by the City of Fredericksburg, the proceeds from the FF&WF go to the Market Square Improvement Project.
Check here for tickets or the various events.
Fall Creek Vineyards New Vintage Release Party
Fall Creek Vineyards is hosting a tasting party with the new release of five Texas wines in honor of Texas Wine Month. One of the wines to be showcased is the Mission San Antonio de Valero, Alamo Cabernet Sauvignon, a limited-edition wine that celebrates Texas heritage. This new wine captures history in a bottle as some of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes for this special wine were grown at Oxbow Vineyard, the estate vineyard of Fall Creek Vineyards at Driftwood, which is situated on land originally owned by William B. Travis. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle will support the Texas General Land Office’s restoration, operation, and maintenance of the Alamo.
The party takes place Monday, October 30 11am to 7pm at the Driftwood location.
Texas Hill Country Wineries Passport Event
The third of four passport events, this one is extra special because it is Texas Wine Month! The self-guided passport event lets consumers experience a world of wine at a variety of participating wineries. With the purchase of a digital passport, ticket holders can taste at up to four wineries per day over the course of the month, as well as receive exclusive discounts on bottle purchases. The event will go on during the entire month of October.
Unlike past events, the passport tickets can now be used during all regular business hours of the wineries, however reservations are required at most locations.
Passport tickets are $120/couple or $85/individual. $5 from each ticket sold goes directly to the Texas Hill Country Wine Industry Scholarship Fund. In total, more than $55,500 has been awarded to 47 Texas students working towards a degree in Viticulture, Enology or Hospitality. How cool is that?!
And if you’re getting ahead for next month…
The Texas Hill Country Wineries Road Show in headed to Fort Worth on Monday, November 6. Trade can RSVP for a daytime seminar and tasting here, and consumers can join in the evening from 6-8pm (RSVP here). I attend the Houston show last year and had a great time, plus I discovered some delicious, unique wines.