Vineyards to nurture,
passion that fashions grapes
lovingly into wine.
Each one, a place all its own,
but together, community.
Back in late May, Sean and I took a drive north of Highway 290 to see the four wineries in the Dripping Springs area. Our jam-packed day gave us four separate experiences: no one winery was like the other. Along this stretch of highway between Johnson City and West Austin, we were treated to a diverse tour of Texas as we visited McReynold's Wines, Westcave Cellars, Solaro Estates, and Bell Springs.
A Wine CommunityWhat this group of wineries proves is a thought I wrote about in a previous post: community. So how are these four wineries a community? First, they are a group that works together. Texas Wine Lover, Jeff Cope, recently mentioned this concept in a post of his when describing how many wineries treat one another: they share equipment, help each other out, etc. These wineries live up to this idea.
Helping One Another OutAt every stop along the trip, we were asked where we were headed or where we had been. If we didn't respond quick enough, the place we were currently visiting would quickly suggest the next winery we planned to visit. Most of the time, we were quick to answer. This prompted a similarly positive reply: we were told something special or complimentary about the next stop on our tour. We welcomed these recommendations. In fact, we were convinced to make an unplanned stop at the Texas Olive Oil Company, the olive oil showroom, after many recommendations from every winery.
A Unique TakeThese wineries also complement the concept of community being discussed by the Texas wine bloggers. Everyone seems to agree that each blogger brings something unique to the greater community, each provides their individual perspective. In the end, one visit or one event leads to a number of diverse blogs without any distinctive repetition (for an example, see the collection of blogs pertaining to the William Chris Watermelon Thump). The same goes for these wineries; they all presented their own perspective on the wine-going experience.
|Gerald "Mac" McReynold's and his tasting room|
|Westcave Cellars' tasting room|
We then went to Westcave Cellars. What they have going for them is unique wines. The folks here are crafting strong representatives of the favored Texas varietals (the different Viogniers were a treat), but they are also offering a diversity and selection I have yet to see. The number of sweet wines, as well as less common ones like their White Merlot, are fun. I normally don't drink sweet wines, but the balance Westcave brings to these wines makes them drinkable even for dry-loving palates. And, though we didn't get a chance to experience it, they love to have pig roasts. I am eager to get a chance to enjoy one in the future, and I have a feeling their wines pair well with roast pork.
|In back of the tasting room|
|A look into the vineyards from the patio (where we had lunch)|
|The view from the porch at Bell Springs|
One long day later, we found ourselves driving into Austin. We started the day at a winery that made us feel like we were enjoying a morning with family. We moved on to a modern feel with fun wines and then off to a horse ranch. Finally, we slipped away into a Texas forest. Not once did we find ourselves drinking the same old thing. As the environments changed, so did the wine. I guess the only constant was the knowledge and friendliness of the people we met.
*NOTE: I hope to write more about these great wineries in the future. Look for future posts.