My main goal as I began planning for our annual long weekend to the beautiful wine trail of Hwy 290 in the Hill Country was to relax. I noticed as other friends posted their plans and traveled along 290 they kept saying the same thing. Relaxing on a patio. Relaxing with friends. So, relaxing seemed to definitely be the key theme among us.
I knew the Wine Road would be busy as this was a holiday weekend and there would be many more people with the same idea as me. So, for Saturday I took advantage of the reservation system that many of the wineries have implemented especially on weekends and made some appointments far enough apart to still allow for some flexibility.
CALAIS Winery at 11:00 a.m., then a private wine and cheese pairing at 4.0 Cellars at 3:00 p.m., followed by Kuhlman Cellars at 5:00 p.m., and finally a private dinner party at Bryan’s on 290 in Johnson City at 7:30. If that wasn’t a full enough day, during our “flexible” time we squeezed in a visit to Taste Wine+Art in Johnson City and a tasting at Hye Meadow Winery where we are wine club members. What a day!! Oh, and I was definitely “relaxed” by the end of it to be sure!!
Sunday was a day of walk-ins in Fredericksburg before a dinner party at some dear friend’s house where we would be the inaugural group on their newly finished outdoor kitchen/patio. We began the day at Narrow Path Winery where I wanted to purchase two bottles of their Rosé. John remembered us from a visit earlier this spring and was glad that we enjoyed his wines.
We left there and went in search of Pontotoc Vineyard. We had been out to the town of Pontotoc a few years before where Don Pullum gave our small group a personal tour of his winery and production facility, and we were excited to see what he had to offer in town. While we were at the Weingarten, friends and fellow Texas Wine Lover (TWL) writer Jim Rector and his lovely wife Carole joined up with us. We enjoyed sharing time with them and told them about our earlier visit to Narrow Path. They had not been there yet so we offered to take them. John laughed as we walked in again so soon and with friends in tow. I told him I was helping him by bringing in friends as I found them. I knew Jim would like the wines and he certainly did.
Our next stop we shared was Lost Draw Cellars where CJ was busy pouring for a couple we kept running into at a few of the wineries along the way.
We took the Rectors back to their car and parted ways. Our final stop before our dinner was to the new Wedding Oak Winery at Wildseed Farms. Wedding Oak’s tasting room in San Saba is a member of the Way Out Wineries wine trail and I wanted to be sure and see their new digs on 290. It was truly a great match and the tasting room was bustling. I had known that owner Mike McHenry would be working that day, but it was a special treat to see his wife Lynn pouring behind the bar as well. After our tasting, a brief visit, and a quick walk through of the rest of the store, we were off and down the road to enjoy our dinner with friends.
As if our day visiting wineries with friends wasn’t relaxing enough, it was time to kick back and sit with a glass (or several) of some amazing wines, visit with wonderful friends, and enjoy a scrumptious meal in a very warm and comfortable setting overlooking the rumbling Pedernales River.
As I reflect back on this weekend’s trip of wine, friends, and food, I’m pretty sure I accomplished my goal to relax. So much so, I’m already planning our next trip!!