Texas Wine Lover was invited for this coverage. All opinions, experiences, and photographs are entirely our own.
Every June, William Chris Vineyards welcomes a small group of people to a day of good food, good music, and great wine: the Annual Hog and Goat Roast. I attended one a few years back. I remember sitting in the Oak Grove, eating goat for the first time, and chatting with friends we happened to run into. I had the chance to return this year for Texas Wine Lover.
The Hog and Goat Roast is a more intimate affair—at least for William Chris Vineyards. This year, they sold out their allotted 300 tickets. In addition to that 300 were children under 10 (no ticket required), members of staff and their families, and press. A live band played throughout the day while guests enjoyed the afternoon. Lawn games and goat roping provided additional entertainment. A buffet style meal of roasted pork and goat along with sides was served, and guests could purchase wine by the glass or bottle.
This year, new chef Josh Tye along with Chris Brundrett, Andrew Sides (of Lost Draw Cellars), and members of the William Chris family cooked all the food. They served 18 goats, one full roast hog, and 70 additional pounds of pork; overall, Chris estimated they cooked 200 pounds of meat. The cooking started well before the event and continued throughout the three hours of the event. Sides included tortillas, coleslaw, beans, and fresh cut watermelon. By the time I left at 3:40—only 20 more minutes to go—a bit more meat was yet to be put out.
Guests could choose between pork, goat, or both. The meats are chopped up and can be eaten as is with a fork or as a taco (the reason why they had tortillas). I had both meats. My worry the first time I had goat was that it would be gamey and tough. The goat available this Sunday was moist and had no hint of gaminess. The pork was the stand-out though; it was juicy and flavorful. I paired this with a glass of the La Pradera Vineyards Mourvèdre.
This year had some changes from years past. First, the food was served at one of the new buildings. The large open, roofed space had plenty of room for the food and a check-in desk. The building also had easy access toilets. Upon arrival, the staff provided a tasting of a rosé. While I was in line for food—I waited until nearly 3:00—I got a second tasting. Guests could also get a look inside the new building which includes event space, a commercial kitchen, and offices. This year also included cooler temperatures as the day started with cloud cover.
The band played throughout the afternoon. Though deep in the Oak Grove, the music could be heard throughout the entire space. The first year I attended, lots of people took a chance to rope a goat, but this time, I did not see any. In fact, few people came out to see the goats, except for the children who came by the area regularly to pet some of them. I think the lack of attendance occurred due to location. The goat pen was tucked away behind the vineyards and the Oak Grove. If a person did not go deep into the Oak Grove, they would not have known it was there.
At first glance, the event seems all about the food, but it is not. The Hog and Goat Roast is about family and friendship. Large groups attend every year spending most of the day with one another. Eating takes up only the slimmest bit of time, and most people stay for the entire event. Even though I went solo, I still spent time with friends. Most of my day not taking pictures and getting info included chatting with friends and meeting new ones.