Win Two Free Tickets to the Texas Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail – February 6-8 & 13-15, 2009
Post your Romantic Texas Wine Moments to VintageTexas.com using the comments field (bottom of page) at: https://vintagetexas.com/?p=408 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. This will enter you to win two free tickets good for 4 people, to the Texas Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail compliments of http://www.texaswinetrail.com. The Lovers Wine Trail details are given below.
The deadline for posting your comment to VintageTexas.com is Friday, January 23, 2009.
The winning entry will be selected and notified by email by Wednesday, January 28, 2009.
Note: Your email address will be withheld from the posting and will not be used for any purpose. Information contained in postings may be used by www.vintagetexas.com or http://www.texaswinetrail.com, but the names will be withheld unless permission is provided by the parties involved.
Texas Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail – Feb 6-8 & 13-15, 2009: Description
Venture through sleeping vineyards and cozy wineries while enjoying complimentary chocolates, enchanting pairings and new wine releases along the way. This trail is held Friday thru Sunday the weekend before and during Valentine’s Day! Your ticket includes wine flight trios and/or a tasting at each winery – that’s right, all 24 of them! Wine is not just for lovers. Friends, neighbors, enthusiasts and newcomers alike are welcome. Who knows, you might just find your kindred spirit in the Texas Hill Country.
For more information, online ticket sales: http://www.texaswinetrail.com/events.html
What is the Texas Hill Country? The Texas Wine Country Experience
For all its undeniable charm, the Texas Hill Country is a “slice” of heaven just on the outskirts of Austin and San Antonio, and a just bit over 3 hours from either Houston or Dallas. In a blink of time, just over a decade, it has been transformed into the Texas Wine Country, the epicenter of the fifth largest wine producing state in the USA.
Texas grape growers and winemakers are learning to use the climate and produce quality, award winning wines and, in the process created a major new tourist and culinary destination that rivals the ambiance and draw to California. The distinctive Texas wines combined with southern hospitality has vaulted the Texas Hill Country to the #2 spot by the Orbitz Insider Index for the fastest-growing destination for wine and cuisine, only behind Napa Valley.
The Hill Country includes an ample variety of old and new vineyards and wineries implementing new growing and winemaking techniques to fit the Texas terroir. There are new plantings of Mediterranean varietals such as Viognier, Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo and Sangiovese, warm weather hybrids like Blanc DuBois, Black Spanish and Ruby Cabernet, and nurtured classics such as Chenin Blanc, Merlot and the quintessential Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines have depth and variety that will titillate your taste buds.
The Texas wine heritage is something in which we can all be proud and need to experience first hand. It was born over 400 years ago when Tejas was part of Mexico where the Franciscans produced sacramental wines from “Mission” grapes. They were followed by French settlers with vineyards in east Texas, and in the mid-1800’s, German immigrants came to the Texas Hill Country bringing with them their winemaking birthright using wild and hybrid grapes in settlements with names like Grapetown and Grape Creek, which were naturally favorable grape growing sites. We also have Italian families that have brought their flare with food and native Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio and Vermentino to the Texas, as well.
The nucleus of a Texas wine industry numbered over 20 wineries by the 1920’s. However, that all ended with prohibition. Only one winery – Val Verde Winery in Del Rio, Texas – survived. It took over 50 years to rediscover this winemaking heritage and re-establish the Texas wine experience. Texas currently has over 160 wineries all around the state and nearly half of them are in the Texas Hill Country and surrounding areas.
The Texas Hill Country is much more than wine…..it is the complete wine country experience that, in its own way, rivals much more common names like Napa and Sonoma. You can experience the way it was in Napa when you could actually meet and share a taste with the winemakers in their tasting rooms. The Texas Hill Country is joining other new wine producing regions such as Washington State’s Colombia Valley, the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Long Island offering fine wine country experiences fused with regional cuisines, interesting folklore and historical venues.
Whether it’s a short weekend getaway or an extended week long vacation, you can find an ample supply of wineries, fine dinning, down-home cafés, quaint B&B’s, historical sites, state parks and wildlife areas, bike and limo tours, and generally a slower, laidback approach to life that can soothe your psyche and stir up your senses. For more information on Texas Hill Country B&Bs and activities,, go to: http://www.texaswinetrail.com/links.html.
We’re both in our 50’s (imagine that–our 50’s and we’re both romantic). We met through a dating website while both of us were going through divorces. We talked for about 4 months before we actually met in person. I was nervous. He was nervous. But when we actually met for the first time in person the chemistry was there. I’m not sure where our romantic journey is headed, but it’s been great so far and I would really like to surprise him with weekend along the Texas Hill Country Wine Lovers Trail. After all, isn’t tha what Valentine’s Month is all about?
I met my husband in Llano,TX 10 years ago. He was not a wine drinker but failed to reveal that on our first date. He was pulling out all the stops to “woo” me so when we went to dinner and he asked me if I wanted some wine, I ordered cabernet. He likes to tell the story that he cut his teeth on the big boy cab because he didn’t want to look like a wimp in front of me! We have been to Napa and Sonoma twice now and really enjoy traveling to Fredericksburg for wine, food and fun. He’s a really “grape” guy and I think I’ll keep him around! 🙂
We live in Granbury which I think has always been a romantic Texas town. Our recent romantic Texas wine moment was at Stringfellow’s restaurant on the town square — where we enjoyed a bottle of Barking Rocks “Little Red Wine in the Hood” (as in Hood County).
Over the past 32 years, my wife and I have had a great number of adventures all over the world… but, none better than our first venture to the Texas Hill Country and the wine trail. As a surprise for her on one anniversary, I booked a condo outside of Wimberly and stole her away on a Friday to drive down from DFW. It was dark when we arrived, so we had a glass of wine (we have “wine at 9” each evening) and retired for the evening. The next morning, we woke up to an absolutely beautiful morning on our balcony overlooking a 10 mile vista with humming birds, deer and rabbits joining us for breakfast. It was such a memorable time and the wine trail so enjoyable, we’ve been back a number of times. An incredible experience for us and something my bride deserves for putting up with my travel, my job and all the rest.
My husband was stationed at Ft. Hood, and right before his deployment, we decided to do something romantic. Being from Louisiana, we of course had to stop at the information center for a few ideas. We found the wine trail and decided to give it a try. We spent 3 of the most romantic days of our life touring and tasting. It made his pending deployment a little easier for us both, knowing we enjoyed a stress free, romantic getaway together before a long absence.
Most of us imagine “romantic” as a way to describe a wonderful moment shared by people “in love” but friends and family who love eachother can also share romantic moments. According to Merriam-Webster On-line, romantic is “marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized” so I recall a romantic moment on the Texas wine trail with two of my friends. One ideal spring Saturday two friends and I spontaneously took a a basket full of cheese and fruit to drive in the hill country and find a winery. To our pleasant surprise we found Texas Hills Vineyard. My friends and I sat under the sunny, clear blue Texas sky on the porch at the Texas Hills Vineyard. We accompanied our little picnic with a Texas Hills Vineyard Pinot Grigio while sharing good conversation and laughter. This beautiful Texas day and the Texas wine trail provided an ideal adventure for my friends and I.
Romantic Texas Wine Moment
My husband and I began our relationship as high school sweethearts some 30 years ago and this year will be celebrating 27 years of marriage. We live in Texas and decided to visit places in our home state that we’ve not had the chance to see. Last year we chose the Texas Hill Country as our “sweetheart” get-a-way. We booked a stay at one of Fredericksburg’s finest accommodations, and ordered our tickets for the “Texas Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail”. The weekend was cold and rainy but that didn’t put a damper on the most romantic weekend ever. It all started with the most amazing massage experience ever, setting just the right mood for the remainder of the weekend. We toured museums, did some shopping, found some great restaurants and thoroughly enjoyed the amazingly beautiful hill country views as we journeyed on our “Texas Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail”. During the trail we enjoyed great wines, chocolates, desserts, complimentary wine glasses, and most significant, rekindled romance!
My friends and I like to get out to visit the Hill Country vinyards at least one a year. Last year we made our last stop at the Torre di Pietra winery. The main estate is breathtakingly beautiful and that day there was a light fog in the valley, the sun was breaking through wispy clouds and the wind was perfectly still. It was one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever encountered in the Hill Country. We all just stood there on the back patio gazing at this painting-like scenery for what seemed like an eternity.
This is the place to be with your Valentine or special friend!
The Texas Hill Country Wineries are outstanding, and the tours are excellent.
After touring the wineries during the day and having dinner, my husband and I retired to our room at the Gillespie House Bed and Breakfast.
My husband brought candles from home and surprised me with a room that had a jacuzzi for two! We sipped wine and relaxed by candlelight…….so romantic!
I’m ready to go back!
I’ve went to the Hill Country recently with my best friend and had so much fun! Wine is a fun experience for lovers as well as friends…now that I have a new special friend in my life, I would like to experience the Hill Country tour with him. What better way then to experience it together during Valentine’s Day! Happy Valentine’s Day to all lovers, families, and friends 🙂
It is hard to narrow not only the wine moments my husband and I have shared but the wonderful moments together – that somehow involved our love of wine !
This is where it all started and is one of the many reasons I am still happily married for 23 years to this wonderful man.
Back in 1991 I found out I was pregnant with our first child and unfortunately was one of the unlucky ones that was ill for the first trimester. I came home from work on February 23rd ( our anniversary) not feeling well and immediately fell asleep. I awoke to a knocking on the front door and jumped up to see who it was. My husband Rusty had this worried look on his face and asked if I was okay because he had knocked for almost 10 minutes – he could not open the door because his hands were full. He was standing there with a bouquet of roses and a bottle of wine ( Well the bottle was actually sparkling apple juice since I was pregnant) but it was labeled with a handwritten label as “ Anniversary WINE”. He knew how much I loved trying new wines and he was always bringing a new bottle home for us to try.
He had purchased the bottle for us to toast our new baby and our 6th anniversary knowing how much I enjoyed wine but could not have it for months he decided to improvise and create his own label on the bottle of apple juice !
His thoughtfulness is something that gets me through each day – he is so romantic and loving and always puts a fun twist on the many things he does for our family.
He is the best husband, friend and lover anyone woman could ask for and I was the lucky one to get him many years ago !
With all my love,
My soulmate and I took almost half a century to find one another. After many years in a miserable relationship I decided to live life for myself and set off on my own. Shortly thereafter Wayne crossed my path. We both started off as friends and enjoyed many things together. One weekend several months later I decided to surprise him with a trip. We headed off to the Texas hill country to view wildflowers and taste wines. We visited several wineries, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the Wildseed Farm. Towards the end of the trip Wayne had a surprise for me. In the middle of a field of beautiful bluebonnets he asked me if I knew how much he loved me and presented me a beautiful ring. Needless to say I accepted. Now every time we enjoy one of our favorite wines from the hill country, we salute the happiness we have discovered together.
I have recently reunited with a high school boyfriend after 24 years. We both love to drink wine. He lives in NY and I in New Braunfels. He showed me around some NY wineries this summer and I have been bragging about TX wine. I hope that this can afford us the opportunity to visit and prove it!
I recently went to the Gruene Music & Wine Fest with a beautiful Iranian woman from the Shiraz region of Iran. She is dark and petite, much like the Shiraz grape, and this was her first visit to the lovely Gruene area. We tried several of the local wines offered at the Fest, but none of them competed with her almond eyes for my attention. The weather was perfect, the people were mellow, and the music and wine were all Texan. I\’ll treasure these Shirazian memories forever.
My husband and myself cherish our wine week-ends in Fredricksburg, spent with our dear cousins. It is the ultimate in couples week-ends! We always choose a wonderful place to stay, enjoy the surpurb cuisine, and then a day of visiting our favorite vineyards and tasting and buying wine. Among the best of the best are Texas Hills, Lost Creek, Grape Creek, Becker and Bell Mountain. We feel like we are family because we are so well received and treated like royalty. Thanks to all in the area for making these memorable weeks ends full of fun, food, wine and shopping! What could be better?
My wife of 33 years and I both love wine and the Texas Hill Country. We spend a long weekend in and around Fredericksburg 8 to 12 times a year. While there we vist the wineries and sight see in the area. It is our goal to someday retire to the area. While we enjoy being in the area for several of the holidays each year, Valentines has always been the most important day of the year for us. I always make arrangements to take her to our favorite hotel in Frederickburg for a long weekend. I take along a small surprise gift she is not expecting, a bottle of her favorite Texas wine and candles for the room. Each year I treat the time as hers and take her to her favorite places, order her favorite foods and do what she wants for a weekend. And believe it or not, I think I enjoy the time more than she does. We will be there this year as always. I have reservations made and her gift wrapped already.
PS Valentines is also the birthday of our oldest son.
I compare thee to my wine…
I grew up in Texas. I had my first sip of champagne at 18. It was my senior prom. It was dry and bubbly, like soda, but not as sweet as I thought champagne should be. I was not a big fan. Such a novice, I did not touch wine again for several years. I did not know why, but maybe it’s because it gave me such a headache.
I went away for college, but still in Texas. When I legally old enough to drink, I sipped on a merlot. I grew to like this. It was juicy and spicy. Well aged, seemed rich, and easy. It quickly became a favorite and something comfortable, but something was missing after a few years of this routine.
I ventured out, moved away from Texas to figure myself out. As I traveled, I tried other wines. I was nostalgic to go back to whites, maybe not champagne, but something not red. I tried the Chardonnay. It was smooth and refreshing. Sometimes too fruity, maybe too earthy. While traveling to Toronto every week, I tasted some ice wines. It was fresh, but sometimes almost too sweet. It lacked a certain oomph I could not explain. Here and there, I would sample sips of Shiraz, Cabs, even White Z. While there were some that I liked, I liked them as sips, and not much more than that.
I moved back to Texas because I was homesick and tired of not having a sense of home because I was moving around so much. And, it was not until my 28th birthday that I found my soulmate. Ten years had accumulated learning to appreciate all wines, for their differences, their varieties, and their uniqueness. The Gerwurtztraminer. Fresh, mild, and sweet but not lingeringly sweet as the icewines. After two years, my heart still beat for the Gerwurtztraminer. I knew it was my perfect match.
He proposed on a beach after two and a half years. We shared a glass of wine at that dinner. There is nothing like a fine wine. It is something that we will always share together and one of the memories I will always remember. Nowadays, we share bottles with our friends and reminisce in the stories of our first wine tasting adventures. We toast to life’s successes, new careers, new babies, new marriages. We toast because we love.
My Husband of 5 years has just recently been able to get me to explore on different wines, I was strickly a white wine drinker, but after a few nice red wines…well I’m sold. We would love to be apart of this adventure to explore all of the beautiful wines that are out there offered by Texas Hill Country..
In June of 2007 I surprised my wife on a romantic weekend in order to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. We dropped the kids off at the in-laws and I explained to my bride that I would not tell her where we were going. The look on her face was priceless when I made the exit for Fredericksburg, Tx. We spent a romantic evening at Eden’s Gate, which I highly recommend. The next day we ate delicious german pastries and viewed the beautiful flowers at Wild Seed Farms. We ended the day at a simple yet welcoming winery named Becker Farms. We instantly fell in love with the different wines and we have always cherished each Becker bottle we open since our incredible romatic weekend.
Like a lot of couples, my husband and I started exploring wine during our courtship. He was more of a “beer guy,” but I had been flirting with chardonnays and cabernets for a couple of years before I met him. I took him to a wine festival; I had earned free tickets by volunteering and we spent the day at San Gabriel Park. We both spent our childhoods in central Texas and he told me about skipping rocks on the San Gabriel River when he was a boy. We started using our precious free time to visit local wineries in the hill country, and we drank whites and reds while learning about the winemakers’ passions and challenges. We sampled montepulcianos and pinot noirs before our trip to Italy and France, and we frequented wine bars for dates. Now we are married, and the best finish to a day apart is sharing a bottle of wine with my husband over dinner. Luckily our friends and family recognize our passion and have supplied us with numerous bottles, wine glasses, and even a wine cooler in which to cherish our vino together. Like a lot of wines, the flavor and substance of our relationship gets even deeper over time.
High School sweethearts married 23 years, we’ve went through a lot of ’empy’ liquor before settling on our favorite – red wine. We love wine so much that when we sold our newspaper a couple of years ago we decided that our next business would be a Texas wine store with live music. We’re working toward that dream, slowly but surely, enjoying every minute with our boys and wine. Gotta love that wine!
I’m sending pictures to be entered in the Texas Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail Contest. Me and my husband live in Austin TX and we love Texas wines and trying new cuisines. I’m attaching some pictures from our second anniversary which we spend in Fredricksburg TX in the beautiful Wine country of Texas at Beckars Vinyard and Rose Hill Manor.
My wife of five years and I live in extreme South Texas right on the US/Mexico border. We visit the Texas Hill Country as often as possible and visit the vineyards and wineries of the Hill Country Wine Trail! It all started when we were dating and thought to impress her by showing her my knowledge of wine. We were visiting Fredericksburg and were tasting wine at the Fredericksburg Winery. I didnt know that vineyards were nearby and we were given a map. This is really when the adventures started and the romance. Taking long hill country drives through winding roads and knowing you are going to end up at a cozy vineyard just adds to the senses. Add to that the winery tours, walks along the vineyards, and memories of our favorite year and vintage is what has created such a loving bond between my wife and I. I remember needing to use the wine trail map to get to where we were going, now I know where all the vineyards are and my wife gets excited when we plan weekends in the Hill Country. Our favorite strip is what we call the “290 Run” beginning from Texas Hills Vineyard and ending up in Fredricksburg at the Winery. We tell all of our friends not to bother with crowded malls and chain restaurants but rather marriages made in heaven begin in the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail!
Four years ago my girlfriend planned a weekend of the Texas Wine Trail. We had the most wonderful time. Culminating the event we attended the Star of Texas Wine and Food event at the Hilton. The wine and food were spectacular! She made sure the entire weekend was perfect – stress free, relaxing and adventurous. (Even the weather was glorious!) Since then, we have taken another trip to various Hill Country Wineries. I had no idea that Texas had such great wines. Now, I look for Texas wines to surprise my new bride of four months whenever we shop. We look forward to doing the wine trail again this Spring and attending more of the scheduled events.
Our first trip away from Austin together was to San Francisco, city of great food and great wine. We spent an entire day biking through the city and planning all the while to sit down in a park to enjoy a tasty meal with a bottle of wine before continuing the rest of our afternoon. We bought a bottle the evening before. We rode along The Embarcadero, across the Golden Gate bridge, through Presidio Park and very much more with that bottle lying peacefully in our picnic basket. Who says enjoying the day on a bike with the one you love isn’t romantic. It was perfectly romantic, we took so many pictures that day to capture every stop. We stayed a few more days in town and realized while packing to come back home that we never did drink that bottle of wine. It flew back home with us and we enjoyed it that evening in bed together. There’s nothing like a little bit of home and little bit of wine shared between two romantics.
Wine has been a part of our romance since it began. We discovered the joys of visiting Texas wineries together! However, last month we set out on the road to start our first wine trail weekend and had an amazing time! Driving through the hill country at sunset in our Jeep was breathtaking!
We just returned to Texas after three years in Europe, and we have to say…the Hill Country vineyards are still better than any French wine region we visited!
My boyfriend and I just returned yesterday from a very spontaneous two days in the Texas wine country. We began our day in Brenham and Bryan, then at 9:30 p.m, we decided to drive to Fredericksburg because we just love it so much. After arriving around 1:00 a.m., we quickly found a hotel, slept just a few hours, then headed out to the many wonderful wineries Fredericksburg has to offer, including Becker, Torre di Pietra, Woodrose, Pedernales (new and great!), Grape Creek and Texas Hills (Johnson City), then headed over to Spicewood for a visit to the Spicewood and Stonehouse wineries. Met some wonderful people and drank some fabulous wine, then headed back to Houston that night with some fantastic memories! We will be back again soon!!!!
A sunny afternoon with a magnificient view at Flat Creek Estate winery, the smell of the bar-b-que, the faint sounds of the music, my best friend and a dynamite glass of Super Texan.
My husband of 9 months and I have spent many weekends visiting the wineries and we look forward to the Wine Lovers trail every year. We live in San Antonio so we usually start in Comfort and then make our way to Fredericksberg and across 290 to Johnson City. But I always remember the first time as my favorite.
We got to Driftwood Vineyard last after a long day of driving we were trying to get there before sunset. They view that we got as we were driving up the road to their place was amazing. You can look out across the vineyard and it makes you forget that your still in Texas!! We sampled many wines there but settled on two glasses of the Armadillo Red. They had chairs outside so we could sit out over the bluff and watch the sunset. I always look forward to going back evey year but this year will be the most special. We will attend the wine trail as a married couple for the first time and there is no other person I would rather spend my life with then this wonderful man that I love so much.
Well, I have a little bit of a different story; but it was my BEST Valentine’s present ever. Last year my husband was fishing around wondering what to get me for Valentine’s Day and I told him all that I wanted was for my niece and her husband (who had just returned from his 3rd tour in Iraq) to have a great Valentine’s Day and that I wanted to plan it all as a surprise…. I arranged for my parents to go to Killeen and babysit the two little ones AND to bring their special package I had prepared, which included Valentine’s “stuff” in a basket and the instructions on their Surprise Valentine’s Trip. We arranged for a B&B in San Antonio, then a night at the Marriott Rivercenter, extra money to spend AND a couple bottles of wine….. When they arrived at the Marriott, they told them their story of what my husband and I had done for them and the Marriott gave them breakfast-in-bed!! It was a very special time for them, which they thanked us over-and-over-again; but I felt like it was the least I could do to help create a special time for someone that has had to spend so much time away from his family defending our country — they both gave up a lot and I felt honored to give them something back! It was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done – and I had so much giddy fun doing it!!!!
Entry 32 – Part 1
A FUTURE OF TEXAS SUNSETS
We are building a custom home west of Austin. When it is complete, there will no bottle of Champaign broken and no crystal flutes clinked; in fact, there will be no bubbly at all. We will stand on our front porch at dusk as the sun enters its most alluring stage, backlighting a vista of hills and canyons dotted with mesquite, live oak and cypress, and we will raise glasses of Texas cabernet. The wine, mellow, yet very alive, will speak of achievement, of arrival at a perfect time and of the benefits of age, like the beauty and stability of the ancient stones in the walls of our new house. The toast will be identical to the one we shared on our wedding night, December 31, 2008. The wedding night that came 40 years late!
We met in a smoky steel town in Western Pennsylvania on New Year’s Eve, 1961. We were 16 and 15. Our teenage romance and dreams of the finer things in life were not garnished with fine wine. Back then, our wine tasting experience was limited to an adult-monitored sip of Mogen David at Christmas dinner. Our world had no official sounding regional labels or lyrical French varietal names; the wine we knew wine went by monikers like Thunderbird and Golden Spur and Wild Irish Rose.
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My tale begins a short time before my boyfriend’s birthday. We had been dating for a few months, and we always have a fabulous time together. Since we hadn’t been dating for too long, I really wasn’t sure what to get him for his birthday, and he was going to be out of the country for his actual birthday. I decided to surprise him with a weekend getaway. It was the middle of May, and the lavender festival was happening. Perfect timing. I had actually looked at different places all over the country to take him, the Texas Wine Country just seemed the perfect place. I only told him that we weren’t leaving the country, and he had to be ready to go by 2 pm on Friday. I picked him up at his house and we were off. He still didn’t know where we were going. We had to be at our B&B by 4:30, because we were having in room couples massages. We barely made it with traffic coming out of Austin. The massages were fabulous! The B&B owner also had put together special baskets for my boyfriend for his birthday. It was already relaxing! We decided to head to Luckenbach for a bit on Friday night, since he hadn’t been there either. It was a fun evening. The next morning we got up to breakfast and got ready for our day of wine tasting. We headed first to Becker Vineyards for the Lavendar Luncheon which was spectacular! We walked around the lavendar fields and checked out all the vendors after. Then we headed to Woodrose and it had started to rain. We went inside and found a table and stayed for a while, tasting different wines and playing cards while the rain continued. Once it stopped we headed to Grape Creek. We ended the afternoon at Torre di Pietra where we not only enjoyed tasting, we found some beautiful wine glasses to bring home with us a souvenir of our weekend along with some fabulous wine. We headed back to our B&B which was just north of Fredericksburg. It was wonderful, we had our own cabin with our own private hot tub that had a great view of the countryside. After a bit of relaxing we headed to dinner in Fredericksburg, which we both really enjoyed. The next day we headed into town for a while, had breakfast and coffee and shopped around a bit. Then we went to Enchanted Rock and hiked! It was so beautiful! It was a great weekend and he was thoroughly surprised! Since we had such a great time then, I can’t think of a better way to spend Valentine’s day than in the wine country!
Country Contrast….My husband, Jim, and I are fortunate people. We’ve toured and tasted wine in Italy, Cyprus, France, Spain, Germany and more. And going domestic, we’ve toasted with New York labels when our son graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, as well as celebrated our anniversary by cycling around the Santa Ynez region where we drank in our life of two decades past along with the new vintages.
Still, last Valentine’s Day, Jim and I lost our hearts and hassles in the gemutlichheit getaway of Fredricksburg. Maybe, we fell for it because the wine and food were so yummy and so indulgent. Maybe, because the trip was so easy – we just tooled on down the road. Maybe….
Maybe though, it was the consistent contrast that caused these Houstonians to ‘heart’ the Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail.
The trip dared Jim and me. Leave the cosmopolitan chaos and pull up to a pasture. Slow down, take a walk, pop into a bakery for a pretzel. Leave the sleek chic of a contemporary home and nestle amongst antiques with stories to tell. Leave the flat, concrete landscape and motor up roller coaster rises where the view expands like your imagination.
The contrasts played out for us in the weather, too. Gloom and chilly rain threatened to dampen our spirits on the Saturday, but fireplaces flanked by musicians created an affectionate atmosphere in which to nose our reds. And each other. Lingering came naturally. Which naturally led us to take more than the minutes our hectic world usually spares us to recapture what matters more. Romance isn’t bought, it’s born of the moment.
Sunday glowed – as did Jim and I – like a brand new opportunity. To cap off our time well-spent, we planned a picnic. As we munched our sandwiches and tipped back our bubbly, the ripples on the lake winked at us in the sun. Jim winked at me.
Reluctantly we returned to reality, but in our trunk, we hauled a case of wine whose bottles crept out at odd moments to replace the here and now with that other place and time. Valentine romance – forced with frills and flowers – is short-lived in contrast to the freewheeling feeling we toted home. And our chance to replay those days with a fragrant sip.
My girlfriend and I have been together since our senior year of high school back in 2001. This Valentine’s Day will mark our 8th year anniversary and I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate it than by taking her on another tour through the Texas Hill Country Lovers Wine Trail. Although we have been together for a long time, most of the time we have had to endure a long distance relationship due to both school and career commitments so I truly value when we have a romantic weekend to spend together in the same place.
We have had the pleasure of attending this event for the last two years. Each year we have gone, we were able to learn so much about wine while also learning about ourselves on those long drives from winery to winery with the guidance of my GPS. The experience of visiting the wineries and also driving through the magnificent scenery of the hill country is romantic in and of itself, but there are a few highlights of our past trips that stand out.
Visiting Lost Creek Vineyard was special because we got a chance to sit for awhile on the edge of their tranquil lake and gaze at a beautiful white swan that inhabited it. I also remember taking a picture of my girlfriend sitting by that lake holding a complimentary gift they gave us of one of their wine bottles serving as a vase for a single stem white rose. Another romantic memory was at Woodrose Winery where we were able to sit outside on their patio and make S’mores over one of their firepits to go along with our wine tastings. Finally, we also enjoyed visiting Singing Water Vineyards in the quiet town of Comfort. We were able to pick up a picnic lunch from a local deli in the town and enjoy it on top of a treehouse behind the vineyard which was overlooking a small creek.
These are just a couple of the many romantic memories which we made out in the Texas Hill Country. The best part of it all was really just being able to spend some quality time with the love of my life. We both were able to discover a newfound passion for wine and a rekindled passion in our relationship thanks to this wonderful event. I hope to be back there again with her this year to show her that I can still be that romantic guy she fell in love with 8 years ago in high school.
My sweetheart and I are both recently divorced and both felt little hope for new love after previous marriages that left us feeling dead inside. Our new relationship is so deep and fulfilling that it has surprised us and we see it as an answer to our prayers. We enjoy cooking together while we sip on a dark red, malbec or merlot or her favorite, a Beaujolais. For Christmas she surprised me with a case of Texas wines, one for each ‘day of Christmas. She has planned 12 memorable evenings together to go with each bottle. She is so beautiful inside and out. I can’t help but love her!
Two friends and I, all from Spring Branch, have anniversaries in August. We thought it would be fun and romantic to leave the kids for a whole Saturday and all three couples go on a hill country wine tour tour together. We planned to end the day with a nice dinner at a restaurant in Bergheim. We lucked out with beautiful weather (not too hot for August), and hit at least five wineries. We found many local wines we just loved, and our take home box became bigger and bigger. We enjoyed sitting out on the patios and enjoying the views and the company. We finally got back into the car before dark and headed for the restaurant. We had an hour and a half drive, and by the time we got to the restaurant, it was 9:05. Hungry after our fun day out, we were surprised when we were unable to be seated because the restaurant closed at 9:00! We were disappointed, but decided to try a couple of the restaurants closer to our Spring Branch homes. Well, of course, everything was closed. I suppose our big city roots were still hidden in our Spring Branch bodies, and we just never thought restaurants would be closed so early on a Saturday. So, after our fun, romantic anniversary wine get away, we topped it off with a romantic dinner at the local Taco Bell. And, not just any Taco Bell, but one attached to a gas station.
It just goes to show you, it’s not WHERE you are but WHO you are with that really counts.
My Texas Wine Romantic Moment
It was Friday, September 22nd. I was told by my boyfriend to take the day off as he had special plans for us all day. He picked me up before lunch time and we were off. He told me he had purchased a piece of land for us. He also told me a very far fetched story about it having pigs on it, etc. I was quite leery! We were definitely heading to the hill country. He finally gave in and told me we were going wine tasting. We went to Grape Creek and then Torre Di Peitra. Both wonderful places. And then he took me to Becker, one of our favorite wineries in the hill country. We love everything about it, including the “frenchman”. Since this was the last winery on our stop, my boyfriend suggested we get a bottle of wine and some cheese and sit outside and enjoy the afternoon. I didn’t need any arm twisting. We noticed people were getting ready for a wedding and I asked about where they host a wedding there. The frenchman asked me” Why would you want to know, you are already married!” I politely laughed and showed him my hand and said “I don’t even have an engagement ring much less a wedding ring”. Then we went to the patio outside. We had a little wine and then all of a sudden, my boyfriend stood up and got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so suprised! Somehow he had hidden the ring all day from me! Of course I said yes! And also showed the frenchman the ring. We were married in May of 2007. We did our first toast with the Becker wine he proposed over. And we served Becker wine for our guests. The Texas Hill Country Wine Trail will always have a special place in our hearts. It’s a story I love telling.