Texas Hill Country Wine Tasting Weekend


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Let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas with Waylon, Willie and the boys. This successful life we ​​lead has made us quarrel like the Hatfields and the McCoys.

I’ve had the lyrics to that old Waylon Jennings song in my head for a few weeks now.

Until recently, Luckenbach was just a song that played in the car while traveling with my dad. Now it’s real, haunting me with the memory of shady oaks and a melody plucked on a steel guitar.

But Luckenbach was just the coda of a three-day song, an ode to Texas Hill Country.

A dry rose at William Chris Vineyards in Hye, TX was the perfect way to start our Hill Country tasting adventure.

“Go to Fredericksburg in October, ”said my sister Pat Anderson this summer. A high school teacher, she had discovered that she had a four-day weekend on the calendar and couldn’t wait to use it for something fun.

We had visited Fredericksburg when we were kids, although I barely remembered it was German and far from our home in Louisiana.

Pat, who has lived in Texas for 30 years, does not recall the trip. She knows Fredericksburg for its surrounding vineyards.

We took our time on the drive from Fort Worth, stopping for Tex-Mex at Jersey Lilly’s in Hico. This is where we found out that Billy the kid may not have really died in Sumner, New Mexico in 1881. According to local legend, he escaped the shooting and moved to Hico, where he died in 1950, just before his 91st birthday.

Suzy Fleming Leonard, Pat Anderson, Gary Anderson and Steve Leonard admire the wine and the view at Torr Na Lochs Winery in Burnet, Texas.

From there we made a detour via the Torr Na Lochs Vineyard in Burnet, where we enjoyed a tasting that included Fion Geal, Fion Dearg, Sangiovese and MADS, an acronym blend of Montepulciano, Aglianico, Dolcetto and Sangiovese.

The cellar tasting room sits on top of a hill with a wide porch and an even larger patio overlooking Inks and Buchanan Lakes. As we sipped our wine, the breeze carried the slightest hint of fall freshness. I couldn’t help but think: Wow, this is not what I expected from Texas.

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The next two days were a blur, in part only due to the large amounts of wine we tasted. The Fredericksburg area has over 50 wineries and tasting rooms. There were four of us.

We arrived at William Chris Vineyards at Hye at 10:30 am and found a picnic table on the lawn, where we shared a bottle of red and a bottle of rosé.

The next stop was Becker vineyards in Stonewall for a flight of wines and photos in an endless field of zinnias.

Steve and Suzy Leonard pose in a field of zinnias at Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas.

My nephew is a member of Grape Creek Vineyards in Fredericksburg, so he booked us a table on the members-only patio for a light lunch and a flight of Heath sparkling wines.

We ended our visit with a tasting at Hilmy Cellars in Fredericksburg, where we had rented a house for the weekend.

The rest of the trip included a German dinner and some shopping in the city center, but the best part was sitting on the deck of the house, sipping a Hilmy red, watching the night sky and listening to the wind rustling the mountains. vines.

Texas is known for its great outdoors. When these spaces are planted with grapes and strewn with stars, it is impossible to resist.

We were exhausted, but satisfied, when we left Fredericksburg the next day. Luckenbach was a quick little detour. There isn’t much there. A former post office, a dance hall, a few food huts and an outdoor stage with picnic tables scattered out front.

On a Sunday afternoon, visitors are calm and find seats under the oak trees to eat pulled pork sandwiches and cheese-covered spiral fries, drizzled with cherry lime.

Glen Collins and the Alibis, a band from Austin took the stage and performed some of the classics – “Green Snakes on the Ceiling”, “Big City” – with perfect country sound, backed by a steel violin and guitar.

Pat and I talked about how much dad would have loved it.

We finished our sandwiches, then got in the car for the drive back to town.

And now, a few weeks later, the song continues to play in my head.

I can’t wait to go back, maybe for a visit that is not so quick, a visit where we can spend a little more time enjoying the peace, the wine, the company.

In Luckenbach, Texas, no one feels any pain.

Suzy Fleming Leonard and her sister Pat Anderson enjoy the fall weather and country music in Luckenbach, Texas.

E-mail [email protected].

Facebook: @SuzyFlemingLeonard

Instagram: @SuzyLeonard

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