Monday, July 13, 2015

Texas Wine Country

A couple of weekends ago we drove out 290 west towards Hye, TX for some wine tasting. Hank and I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate my mom's birthday, and no one knows wine quite like my parents. Texas wine often leaves much to be desired, but we have a few favorites, and stumbled upon a new one on this most recent trip.

Our day started at Grape Creek Vineyards. It's one of the larger operations, and they have a beautiful property. There is a huge patio, live music on the weekends, and a menu with substantial food to help get you through a day of drinking. We lucked out with really nice weather, and enjoyed sitting outside eating lunch before our tasting. The wine was ok- not really memorable. But this was a great stop to kick off our afternoon.

On the patio at Grape Creek.

Next stop was a smaller operation called Hilmy Cellars. A friend has recently been to visit and raved about their Rosé. My mom and I both loved the fact that it was a working farm, complete with pea fowl, goats, and a giant Great Pyrenees who kept all the other animals safe. The property was really pretty, and I couldn't have been more excited to see Simon the dog sleeping on the cold concrete when we got there. He is up all night guarding the animals, and gets to sleep wherever he wants during the day. When he's not sleeping, he's begging for ear scratches from anyone who will indulge  him.

The Holland House: Hilmy Cellars
Hilmy Cellars

The Holland House: Hilmy Cellars

Our tasting experience was a lot of fun. The guy who was pouring really likes what he does, and the people he works for. He even gave us a little tour. The Rosé was delicious, as well as most of their white wines. The reds were a little rough- but it's hard to make a good red with Texas grapes. We did join their wine club The Flock, and I'm looking forward to getting a shipment this fall. They also have a tasting event on July 17th at Oasis Brewing, (conveniently located minutes from our house) and we'll make an appearance there. I do highly recommend making a stop there. It's the perfect place to cool off with a glass of white, and maybe eat a few snacks on their patio. Just be sure to give Simon some attention.

Me and my beautiful mother.

Next stop was Kuhlman Cellars. We hadn't necessarily planned on going there, but decided to give it a try when we drove by it. Little did we know that you really need to make reservations ahead of time, as they do a food/wine pairing. Luckily they were able to squeeze us in, and I'm so glad they did. This ended up being our favorite stop, and by far the best wines of the day. The winemaker is a French woman who has also spent time in California. Both the whites and reds were really sophisticated, making use of Texas and California grapes. We also joined their wine club, and will make a return visit soon to try out their new pairing menu. If you head this way, definitely make a stop at Kuhlman (and make a reservation ahead of time!)

The Holland House: Kuhlman Cellars Wine and Food Pairing

What are your favorite stops for Texas Wineries? There are several regions to go to, and this area is really the only place that we have gone. Would be curious to hear about other "can't miss" locations.

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