Central Texas has another winery added to their arsenal! Silver Spur Winery opened June 24th in downtown Hico. Hico, you ask?? Yes, Hico!! They have the famous Texas State Steak Cookoff every May. You know…Hico!! The Koffee Kup Kafe with the great pies. Hico? The home of the Wiseman Chocolates. Hico? The home of the Billy the Kid Museum. Oh Yes!! Hico!! Hico is more than just a way to get from north Texas on Hwy 67 to the Hill Country on Hwy 281.
You now have another reason to add a stop to your itinerary. Silver Spur Winery on south Pecan Street is a wonderful place to stop and catch your breath and maybe let some of the traffic get on down the road as you relax and enjoy a glass of wine.
My husband and I attended their grand opening on Saturday, June 24th with a great crowd of wine enjoyers. As we made our way to the tasting bar, a lovely young lady was busily pouring wine and taking care of other people. We found an open spot and stepped up. She quickly acknowledged us and welcomed us to Silver Spur introducing herself as Anne Maloney, the owner’s girlfriend. She presented their tasting menu and explained there is a tasting fee for the wines on the list, but is waived with a bottle purchase, and you can also buy a glass of wine.
She introduced us to the gentleman taking care of customers at the end of the bar who turned out to be Phil Lopez, the owner of the winery and her boyfriend. We were eager to have wine in our glass so we started with the first white, Viognier.
Phil turned his attention to us and explained that even though he’s from Texas, he has lived in California for the past 25 years and his grapes are currently sourced from Sonoma County. I really enjoyed this Viognier. It was grown high up on a ridge out of the reach of the coastal fog. It stayed clean with ripe stone fruit flavors and a light touch of honeysuckle.
Phil poured the other white which was a Chardonnay. We like our whites to be more on the acidic side with minimal oak. He said this one was about three weeks on French oak ends. The grapes hailed from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. We liked how this one had the very lightest touch of butter at the end. Definitely not a butter bomb California Chardonnay!
As we made the transition to the reds on the list, Phil explained that he was leasing a 10 year old vineyard in Comanche County. Of the 12 acres, 7 acres are under vine and are having to be brought back under control as they had been sorely ignored for a few years. His vineyard manager and his crew have worked hard and are making headway to make the Viognier, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon the best it can be again.
His first red on the list was a 2013 Pinot Noir that had a luscious smoky nose with bright cherry fruit notes. The name on the label was Chabolla, which he explained was his grandmother’s maiden name and he wanted to pay homage to her family.
The next red was an old and new vine Zinfandel. As he doesn’t have any sweet wines on his list, I thought the very mild fruity Pinot Noir would maybe make some sweet wine drinkers a little happy. But that was before I tasted the Zin. The nose was beautiful! When I tasted it, I would have sworn I’d just taken a mouthful of Zinfandel jelly!! This wine was extremely fruity, but not sugar sweet. I quickly changed my mind that this would easily make a sweet wine drinker AND dry wine drinker happy! I liked how it ended with a light white pepper spice. Phil called it his wine for beer drinkers. Its label said J.W. so I asked who that was. He said it’s his mother’s father who is 97 years old and lives in Hillsboro.
The final wine was his classic Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon. These grapes hail from Alexander Valley and was right up my alley. The name on the label is Donaciano and honors Phil’s paternal grandfather.
I asked about his hours and he said he thinks he’d like to be open Thursday through Monday noon to 6, but later on Fridays. They’ll have occasional special barrel tastings as well as release parties. He’ll have musicians playing in a back room as the front room’s acoustics are not very good yet. As far as food goes, he’ll have crackers and custom made popcorn especially made for them by the Hico Popcorn Works that is coincidentally located next door.
Stay tuned for news of a wine club. His winemakers are in California, but will be making their way to Texas sometime this year.
If your travels take you anywhere near the normally sleepy little town of Hico, find some time to stop at Silver Spur Winery on South Pecan Street.