Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Catching Up Part 2: A Love Letter to Hye Market

May ended up giving me a few opportunities to travel up to the Texas Hill Country. In mid-May, we headed up to the farther side of the 290 trail. After a visit to Pedernales Cellars -- to pick-up the Double Gold Viognier Reserve -- we made a stop at William Chris Vineyards' most recent neighbors, the Hye Market. I had been following the Market on Facebook for awhile and found myself constantly eager to visit. Every week they showcase some incredible Texas wines, and I wanted to try many of those wines. Sean and I chose a great day to visit, as we tasted three great wineries: FlyGap, Hye Meadow, and Compass Rose.

Fly Gap Winery

I had been curious about Fly Gap's wines since our visit to Mason last November. Scott Haupert from Sandstone Cellars told Sean and I a little about Brock Estes and his dream. We didn't get a chance to buy any of the wine at that time -- we are always on a budget and stuck to Sandstone wines and one from Pontotoc Vineyards. Then earlier in the month, Texas Wine Drinkers -- a group on Facebook -- had a label contest; Fly Gap's Dank label competed. That reminded me that I needed to try this wine. When I noticed that they were at Hye Market, we headed in.

Brock Estes, owner and wine maker, greeted us as we walked up. We quickly hit it off and started talking about wine, especially the wines we love. He, Sean, and I all have an appreciation for Portuguese wine -- Brock informed us he will be headed to Portugal to gain some more wine making experience. So of course, we were blown away by his Mason County grown Tempranillo and Touriga blend -- Dank - Vox Populi. It hinted at the blends at Sandstone, but it was as if I was immersed in it. There was a strong sense of all the work and love that went into this wine.

If you are interested, check out their website and their Facebook page.

Hye Meadow

For awhile now, I  have been following the progress of Hye Meadow Winery on Facebook. They are not only creating a great winery, but a unique space for wine tourism (for more on that, check out the recent post on Hye Meadow from the Grapes Around Texas). When we finished tasting with Brock, we shuffled over a few steps to be greeted by a friendly face, Chris Black. We met Chris over a year ago when we was with Cap*Rock. I was glad to see him at a winery close to home.

Right now, the wines from Hye Meadow are made from grapes from the Pacific Northwest. Texas grapes are making themselves into Texas wines as we speak, and they will find their way to all of the picky Texas wine drinkers in the future. The three wines we tasted presented a diverse range, from dry red (Sangiovese), a slightly sweet white (50/50 Riesling & Gewurztraminer) and a slightly sweet blush (mainly Gewurztraminer with a bit of Cab). Normally, I am not a sweet person, but the sweet wines had a hint of crispness that made them possible summer favorites. I am eager to see what they are doing with Tempranillo and other popular pro-Texas grapes.

They are working furiously to open the doors to their winery, next to Hye Market. Keep an eye out by visiting their Facebook page.

Compass Rose

Honestly, I didn't know much about Compass Rose when we got to Hye Market; however, I was eager to know more. We met Mark Watson, the winery's president. He expressed their goal to make great wine for those who wanted to enjoy it -- a sentiment I hear throughout the Texas wine industry. This winery takes great care in their wines.

This boutique winery out of nearby Mason is drafting some strong Texas wine. We were lucky enough to try the Merlot -- which was nearly sold out at the time and is now sold out -- and the Papillon (a Pinot Grigo).

Both dry wines provided great contrasts. Sean and I were in love with the Merlot and had to make sure to leave with a bottle (a promise to post pics once we opened it). But before then, we wanted to make sure that everyone knew this little winery has a lot to offer.

Check them out on Facebook and at their website. Try Papillon at Hye Market.

A Love Letter To Hye

Age shows through the paint, creases
like wrinkles are badges from years
of the Texas sun beating down
and wild winds wiping by.

At the heart, life
beats on, invigorated by a spirit
of what has come before
and what has yet to come.

Here, there are whispers
of long grown children's letters to santa,
of pronouncements of future weddings, births,
and even of debts that snatch every dollar earned.

Here, voices ring out
with greetings to a friend not yet met ,
jokes told anew, again and again,
and of new memories being made at the old post office.

We left Hye Market satisfied and grinning from ear-to-ear. The handmade Texas Gelato was the ice cream on the cake (we skipped on the other great foods). A visit to the Market will leave anyone well hydrated -- between the great wine and the wonderful libations from Garrison Brothers -- and well fed.

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