Summer comes and it seems that’s when the road trips to wineries really start with the nicer weather. Robin English-Bircher had previously written about the Fredericksburg Wine Walk and the business is starting a Comfort Wine Walk. Texas Wine Lover (TWL) was invited to attend the first wine walk and give opinions of the walk especially since Robin had attended the Fredericksburg walk. We were not going to Comfort just for a wine walk, so we made plans on what other wineries to visit.
Our first stop on the way to Comfort was Sister Creek Vineyards. It had been a number of years since we had last visited Sister Creek so we were looking forward to a return visit. We enjoyed a tasting of Sister Creek’s wines and of course their fabulous Muscat Canelli. We had the chance to meet winemaker Danny Hernandez who has worked at Sister Creek for 30 years. The barrel rooms have expanded since our last visit and he said the winery also expanded on the other side of the building for more space too. We had time and would have enjoyed a glass of wine, but they do not sell by the glass since there really is not a patio or other area for people to sit.
Heading toward Comfort, we went by Hill Country Pottery and Gloria wanted to stop. We have tried a couple other times to visit, but it was always on the wrong day or time, and since they were open now, we had to stop. Hill Country Pottery’s pottery is offered at some wineries which is where we first learned about them. There was a large selection of pottery in the gallery and potter Brian Burckhardt offered to give us a short tour of their pottery facilities if we were interested. Of course we would!
In the adjacent room, glazing was taking place on some pieces. In the back of the building are three kilns where the pottery is fired before and after glazing. All of their pottery is food safe and safe to use in a microwave, dishwasher, oven, and freezer. We looked at a wine bottle holder that keeps the wine bottle chilled. Since it is safe for the freezer, Brian suggested it first be put in the freezer and then it will keep the chill during your use. It had been an interesting and educational visit to Hill Country Pottery.
The Comfort Wine Walk ran from 1-3 p.m. so we had time for some lunch to build up our strength beforehand. I had to introduce Gloria to Comfort Pizza because we both enjoy wood fired pizza. I thought we would have to bring leftovers home, but none were to be found after lunch.
At the arranged meeting place, we met tour guide Carol Borcheding along with Robin and her husband/TWL photographer Sean Bircher. Carol has lived in Comfort since the 1980’s so she has knowledge of the town. The five of us then went on the Comfort Wine Walk, which Robin wrote about in her post.
The wines we tasted at Branch on High were:
- 2015 Comfortage (Hoover Valley Vineyards)
- 2015 Viognier (Riven Rock Vineyard)
- Souzão (Silvaspoons Vineyards)
- 2012 Texas Tannat
At the end of the Comfort Wine Walk, we ran into Nolan Newsom of Newsom Vineyards. He and his wife have moved to Comfort and are in the process of remodeling a building which will become the Newsom Vineyards tasting room. Wines offered of course will be from Newsom Vineyards and he is working hard to have an opening of the tasting room September, 2016. Once he opens, the tasting room will most likely be part of the Comfort Wine Walk.
Robin and Sean had not had the chance to visit Scimitar Hill Vineyards so we all headed the short distance to the winery from Comfort. Co-owner Tom Hendrix said they just started offering their 2014 wines so we enjoyed the four estate wines: Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. We then got a chance to sample a Rosé of Malbec which is Tom’s first rosé. They have also planted Albariño recently, so in a few years they will have a white wine to add to their portfolio. We enjoyed the view again from the tasting room overlooking the two vineyards and the scimitar oryx which we learned is now extinct in the wild. It had been another great visit to Scimitar Hill Vineyards.
Back into Comfort, we all headed to Bending Branch Winery. They knew we had done the wine walk and stopped at Branch on High in town, so they had a special menu for us at the winery. These are the wines we tasted at the winery:
- 2015 High Plains Rosé (Cinsaut)
- Souzão (Zentner Vineyards). The Souzão we had at Branch on High was from Silvaspoons Vineyards so this was a great comparison.
- 2012 Charbono (Zentner Vineyards)
- 2012 Estate Cuvée (Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo)
The wines as usual held up to the standard of excellence that Bending Branch Winery produces.
Robin then told us she had acquired a bottle of Farmhouse Vineyards House Wife Malvasia Bianca in a 375 ml bottle so she couldn’t share it with too many people. The dilemma was where to taste it. We knew we couldn’t legally bring other wines into a winery and we were heading to nearby Singing Water Vineyards. What to do? There certainly wasn’t a rest area or anything between the two wineries, so we did what young kids did. We pulled alongside the road, got a corkscrew, had some plastic wine glasses, and enjoyed the Malvasia Bianca. Yes, it was indeed good and we look forward to future Farmhouse Vineyards wines.
We then went to Singing Water Vineyards because we knew it was marketing director Lauren Conklin’s last day before embarking on another journey. We said hello to Lauren, bought a bottle of Freedom, and went to the patio tables by the now running stream to enjoy it. A food truck was still serving so we enjoyed our dinner while sipping on the Singing Waters wine.
It was time to say goodbye and we bid farewell to Robin and Sean and headed to our hotel which was in Boerne. Gloria had not had the chance to visit the The Boerne Wine Company, so I tried to take her there. Surprisingly, the wine bar (that’s wine bar on a Saturday night) closed at 8 p.m. and we had arrived soon thereafter. Oh well, on to the nearby hotel and it was a finish to a fantastic weekend.