Tuesday, May 1, 2012

16. A toast to new co-conspirators -- Updated with picture May 14, 2012

16. A toast to new co-conspirators

It only takes a drink,
a sip of wine, to cross the span
between two people.

Break the seal and pour: we form
new acquaintances each time.

I don't know what it is about wine, but somehow, I always find myself meeting and enjoying the company of new people when I am out somewhere wine related. Case in point: The Hill Country Wine and Music Festival. This past Saturday, I enjoyed several hours of trying new wines, learning about a few new wineries, and chatting with new people. It is nice to know that this interest of mine, this hobby, is one that builds bridges.

Wagon Train just south of Fredericksburg
Before I get to the wineries I wanted to share a crazy moment enroute. As we drove up 87, just before Fredericksburg, we saw a wagon train. This is what the area is all about to me: surprises. It is not uncommon to be surprised, in a good way. This was that Saturday morning's surprise.

First I'll talk about the new wineries. I was introduced to CapRock Winery in Lubbock, TX. This was a winery I was unfamiliar with. I got to their table early, so I had a chance to actually have a conversation with their representative. We chatted about their expansion, how they were getting into new markets like mine. We also talked about their wine, specifically their Tempranillo. This tangy wine is one they want to focus on; it seems Texas wineries are totally on the Tempranillo bandwagon.

Then we moved on to Sandstone Cellars in Mason, TX. The guys here were friendly and very informative. We found out that they use some of the oldest soil in Texas to grow a wide variety of less common -- like Touriga -- and more interesting varietals -- like Tempranillo. On top of great soil, they are also daring, as they are willing to make incredible blends.One of the most interesting was their new XI, a blend of  Syrah, Mourvedre, Touriga, and a hint of Voignier. This wine had complexity in its flavor; any red with a hint of Viognier will do that. They also made a great pitch for visiting. Though they aren't too far from Fredericksburg, they gave good reasons to opt for a real state and not a day trip: museums, historical sites, natural areas, and Sandstone's new wine bar. So of course, I am planning my first visit.

We finished up at Duchman Family Winery from Driftwood, TX. Now, I have visited there once before -- an odd Superbowl Sunday that was cold and rainy. When I was there, I didn't learn too much. I think the horrible weather had worn on the staff, so they weren't particularly friendly. Well, that wasn't the case on Saturday. I learned a little more about their new Vermentino; a white wine that will be quite the refreshing treat during the dog days of summer. I was also encouraged to come back out and really see the place. They have a great set-up, so I a more proper visit is on the horizon.

Wild Seed Farms
Besides wine folks, there were the other attendees. It is easy to just start chatting when wine flows. While sitting at a table enjoying a glass of wine and some Kerby Lane chips and queso, a group of middle-aged ladies joined us. We started sharing our wine experiences and other trivia. I even found out that one of the ladies' daughters lived only a few minute from me; it is such a small world. We shared some of our favorite wine notes as well, especially great places to visit. What I came to realize is that wine brings people together. And I shouldn't forget the wildflowers. Since this event was at Wildseed Farms, I had to take time to smell the flowers.

Courtyard at 4.0
Wild Seed Farms
This may seem normal to most people, but not for me. Honestly, me husband and I are relatively shy. We have to force ourselves to talk and meet new people. I'll admit I can turn it on when necessary, like at work, but it isn't easy. Now, when there is just a bit of wine around, everything changes. It just takes one sip to provide access. It seems that one drop is liquid inspiration. It provides a foundation for strangers to talk to one another. And let me say, we have started making friends of those strangers. My last two stops after the festival -- a second visit to Hilmy Cellars for the recently released Persephone and a first visit to the brand new 4.0 Cellars -- reminded me of what happens when you let wine bridge the gap. Upon my arrival at Hilmy, they welcomed me like a friend, asking about how things were and how the blog was going. At 4.0, I ran into my favorite wine guide; after a hug, we started sharing our newest wine stories. This is what wine does; it brings people together. How great is that.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome as always, hon. The joy of wine brings out the best in you.