A couple of years ago I decided to write a magazine feature on Texas wine. Nobody assigned it; I just researched it for 18 months and pitched it to several magazines, not knowing whether or not it would ultimately fly.
Fortunately, it did. Texas Co-op Power ended up publishing it, which turned out to be the best fit for the story. Texas Co-op Power is mailed automatically to anyone who lives in an electrical co-op, which is, at last count, about three million households. It was the perfect audience, because many of these folks live near wineries but had never visited any of them. If you'd like to read the entire article, which presents a general overview of Texas wine, click here. I can't really describe it here any better here than I did in the article.
The magazine published quite a few of my photos, but there were still some I wanted to share.
Alamosa Wine Cellars, San Saba, Texas
This isn't a winery that you'll spontaneously visit as you're driving by on your way to somewhere else. It's kind of out in the middle of nowhere, so you'll have to be intentional about going. But it's totally worth the drive. I featured owner Jim Johnson in the magazine article, and he's got quite a story.
Bending Branch Winery, Comfort, Texas
I wandered into Bending Branch for the first time without letting them know I was coming. Co-owner John Rivenburgh was kind enough to spend an hour talking with me and showing me around. This is a great winery with wonderful wines. Small world moment: we discovered that John had ties to a vineyard less than a mile from my brother's house in California. My brother (also named John) owns a restaurant/wine cellar, and the two Johns and their crews had dinner together when Texas John was in California on business.
This is what a hail-damaged grapevine looks like.
This photo was taken in Bending Branch's supplementary tasting room. The winery itself also has a tasting room, but it's not in the center of town.
Dry Comal Creek, New Braunfels, Texas
This was the first grape stomp I attended, in the summer of 2012. I loved the event, but I had no idea how much the stomping photos would look like a bloodbath. (I learned from the experience and later got some "prettier" ones.)
The Order of The Purple Foot has been going on for awhile; you can see five repeat offenders lined up in their "vintage" purple foot t-shirts. There was a band, and some folks even wear costumes (Lucille Ball, anyone?)
Pedernales Cellars, Stonewall, Texas
I didn't spend a lot of time at Pedernales because I missed the winemaker by about 30 minutes. We got a quick tour and sampled a little wine, which was wonderful. Pedernales has received high honors in numerous wine competitions, but the biggest "win" to date is probably their 2012 Viognier Grand Gold at the Lyon International Wine Competition in France.
Spicewood Vineyards, Spicewood, Texas
Spicewood is a lovely place to visit. I've been there several times, and will probably go back next weekend with friends. Great wines, lovely setting, good people. What's not to love?
William Chris, Hye, Texas
I didn't spend much time at William Chris as I did the others, but I did really like the place. Headed back there again this weekend with friends.
Here are a few various shots from different places. Other than the "stomping" photo (which took place at Chisholm Trail Winery) I don't remember where these were taken. Yes, I could go through my archives and look it up, but I'm too busy. Just enjoy the beauty!