Saturday was off to an early start. The house was nice and quiet so I watched a recorded HGTV show with a cup of coffee for inspiration. Being duly inspired, I hit the road for some solo garage sale scouting. Yes, I have an affinity for junk.
I enjoy the hunt. On occasion I will find something useful or a piece of furniture I can bring back to life. Mostly I just enjoy the drive and chatting with a few friendly people along the way. On this trip, I did score an old wood frame that I added to my “projects to finish someday” section of the garage. Darn you Pinterest!
Upon arriving home, the boys were all awake. Brian and I brainstormed some ideas for the day, usually revolving around which winery should we try. We made a plan to visit Pilot Knob Vineyard in Bertram, TX. We heard great things about Pilot Knob, so it had been on our list for a long time.
Since my life basically revolves around my next meal, before we go, I had to research Yelp to find a good place to eat on the way to Pilot Knob. HWY 29 BBQ in Bertram was on the way and it had great reviews – score!
Next step, call Grandma. Grandma enjoys a weekend drive and seeing the grandkids of course. She’s in! Now we had to break it to the boys. The usual responses: “Noooooooooo!” and “Whyyyyyyyyy!” and “Again?!”. And our usual replies: “It will be fun!” and “Someday you will thank us.”
With snacks packed and a couple DVD’s in hand, we piled into the van and headed out to pick up Grandma. And of course Grandma brought her own bag of treats for the boys.
From Cedar Park, Bertram is an easy drive up 183 North and left on Hwy 29 into Bertram. From downtown Bertram, take the scenic drive through the countryside on TX 243. A faster route to Pilot Knob would be 183 N past Hwy 29 and then left on TX 243, coming from the other direction. This route didn’t involve food, so for me, I’d rather go the long way.
Just before Bertram on the left I spotted a mecca of junk that was calling my name. Being in the mood for vintage finds, I made Brian make a U-turn – to the sounds of our back seat drivers “Nooooo!” and “Whyyyyyyy?”. Once we were there and looking around, the kids actually enjoyed it. It’s like a treasure hunt. My youngest has even started a Dr. Pepper collection. The Legacy Vintage Shop was amazing! Great prices and unique finds from rustic salvage yard art to collectibles to antiques. I will definitely be back!
We have driven through the tiny town of Bertram many times on the way to Perissos and Inks Lake. I have always admired the cool old buildings ripe for a revival. Bertram has so much potential for tourism. Hopefully more antique stores and wineries will spread in that direction to draw more people. There are some amazing old buildings for sale.
HWY 29 BBQ is certainly bringing new life to this sleepy little town. The smell of smokey BBQ as you drive into town really gets your taste buds going. The restaurant is very casual with cement floors, rustic décor, and picnic style tables. The cool architecture of the old building with tall ceilings and exposed beams adds to the charm. We ordered a whole slew of BBQ and some fixins’ so we could sample a bit of everything. It was ALL delicious! Some things were a tad spicy for one of our kids. The chicken and brisket were their favorites.
Feeling stuffed to the gills, we wandered around the tiny downtown to walk off a little food. We peeked in the windows of the old buildings for sale and talked about how the town must have been back in the days. I could just imagine reviving one of these buildings for a wedding venue, a wine bar, antique store, or a cool loft style home.
In downtown Bertram there is also an old restored Train Depot where the Austin Steam Train’s Bertram Flyer (departing from Cedar Park) returns from its 44 mile round trip journey through the scenic Texas countryside. There is also a monthly Wine Flyer where you can take a relaxing train ride and enjoy Texas wine and food pairings. This is definitely on our list of adult things to do.
Next, we loaded up and headed to Pilot Knob Vineyards. TX 243 is a beautiful stretch of rolling hills with grand vistas dotted by small old homesteads and sprawling ranches. We tried to get the boys to look out the window and admire the views. But in their mind, you’ve seen one cow and one windmill, you’ve seen ’em all.
The day was getting pretty hot and dry as you can imagine in late July in Texas. As we drove up the long driveway, passing by the vineyard, it was clear the grapes were ripe for harvest. The Pilot Knob Vineyard facilities are beautifully designed with classic Texas limestone, rustic wood accents, and a large welcoming front porch.
As we entered, we were warmly greeted by a cute fluffy white dog named Bo along with the winery owners Beth and Craig Pinkley. They immediately make you feel at home with their friendly hospitality. That is one of the main things we love about Texas wineries, and Beth and Craig certainly live up to Texas hospitality and more.
Seeing that we were there with an entourage, Beth immediately went to work making sure the kids knew they could play and have fun. She introduced them to her two kids and even brought out a Frisbee and a football. They were mostly interested in taking pictures of the dog.
We found Grandma a nice spot near the window overlooking namesake Pilot Knob, also called Gabrielle Mountain, where she could work on her crossword puzzle. We settled into our spot at the tasting bar next to some other fun couples, including local artist Jean Porras who was there delivering one of her beautiful glass creations to Beth. We really enjoyed all the wines we tried and enjoyed even more talking to Beth and Craig about how they became winery owners. It’s always an interesting and inspiring journey how people follow their dreams.
Like many wineries in Texas, it’s a true family affair. We learned that we are practically neighbors in Cedar Park and they drive out to the winery daily. Now that’s dedication! It’s a beautiful location and they are working hard to make it an inviting family friendly atmosphere.
Take the family and go enjoy one of their many upcoming events or just take a nice weekend drive. It is definitely worth the trip!
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