A rainy spring delayed the Sipping on the Edge 2021 event to June 26th, but it was definitely worth the wait, and the summer temps and delicious wines paired beautifully out in Lometa at Stoneledge Winery and Vineyard. Your guest ticket treated you to 10 tastings from 9 wineries, and there were vendors, live music, and food trucks to boot. We had such a great time here last year that we were happy to patiently wait for a great weather weekend for this event. Stoneledge offers plenty of space, beautiful views, and gracious hospitality. Here are the wineries we enjoyed in order:
Co-owner Rick Naber brought his “A” game with these beautiful wines:
- 2019 Sangiovese Rose
- 2019 Pinot Grigio
- 2017 Super Texan (a dry red Tuscan-style blend)
- 2016 Montepulciano
Also, for sale was his new eco-friendly 1.5L bagged wine, ImPRESSive in white, red, and rosé choices, a perfect non-breakable solution for traveling! It’s been ages since we last visited Flat Creek, so it was good to catch up. Three levels of wine club are offered, and the estate features a disc golf course, food and wine experiences, and tastings by reservation. An activity we are looking forward to is the Outdoor Self-guided Tasting Experience at the beautiful vineyard and winery in Marble Falls – perfect for tasting and strolling at your own pace. And every summer Sunday they host a Mimosa Stroll & Picnic Brunch – fun!
It’s always nice to see TNL wine steward Sherry Brown – and she brought hubby Wes to pour wine! Did you catch the photo of the view from the TNL patio on the cover of the ’20-’21 Texas Wine Trail Guide? It is perfect for enjoying:
- 2018 Afternoon Delight, a Dolcetto and Orange Muscat blend (Farmhouse Vineyards)
- 2018 Malvasia Bianca, winner of the Grand Star at Lone Star International and Texas Class Champion at Houston Uncorked Rodeo (Kudos to owners Karen and Blake DeBerry!)
Full disclosure: Afternoon Delight is one of our favorite wines to sip chilled on a summer afternoon, so of course, we bought a bottle of it to enjoy with our tacos under shady oaks. Combine it with one of their cheese trays, the perfect view of Inks and Buchanan lakes, and live music most Saturdays. Three levels of wine club are offered at TNL, and a hilltop cairn that seats 12 is available to rent as a wine club member perk.
7 Creeks Vineyard
A trip to 7 Creeks Vineyard should be on your summer bucket list – sit and sip under their amazing grove of oaks, enjoying the breezes and occasional live music while you sip. Co-owner Briggs Horne brought our favorite wine steward, Ashton Katusak, and poured:
- 2019 Malvasia Bianca
- 2018 Robin’s Cuvee Texas High Plains Rosé (named after a loyal wine club member!)
- 2019 Mourvèdre (Texas High Plains, soon to be released)
7 Creeks Vineyard’s fledgling vines have had a hard time with some of the crazy Texas weather we’ve been seeing this year, but the upbeat and tenacious Horne family, led by Jerry and Janis Horne, will not be slowed down. Their next event is the 2nd Annual Shrimp Boil on July 17th (get your tickets now) featuring blues guitarist, Bryan Anders. In fact, live music is a regular thing – July 4th weekend features a winery favorite, Spicy Loops!
A happy discovery for us was Blue Duck, owned by Austin Chamness, Stacey Wardrup, and Adrian and Sheila Allen. Their 6-acre Cottonwood Spring vineyard grows Viognier and Tempranillo. The winery proper is now located in historic Cisco, Texas, just west of Fort Worth. Having never ventured up there, we were happily surprised at the selection of wines being poured by Sheila Allen which included:
- Prairie Land Peach
- Sweet White (white blend)
Sheila was also serving an icy strawberry sangria and selling Blue Duck embossed insulated wine tumblers. Blue Duck has a 4-bottle wine club that offers discounts on wines and a free glass and appetizer for members and guests when visiting. The wines we tasted were all delightful, the prices were reasonable, and Sheila was so gracious! Win, win, win. An hour and a half from Stoneledge, or just three hours from Austin, this one is a future day trip we’re looking forward to.
Having tried Fly Gap wines before, we were pleased to meet winemaker Brock Estes in person to chat about the progress in getting his new tasting room in Mason completed – target is October. He offered two choices for tastings:
- 2018 Sagrannat (Texas High Plains Sagrantino and Tannat blend)
- Dank 10 Mile Pet-Nat (sparkling Alicante Bouschet)
(The art on his wine labels is the coolest!) Until construction on the tasting room is complete, you can find his wines at various other locations. Previously we had seen Fly Gap wines at the Esperanza Winery tasting room in Blanco, but he has also sold them at Vintners Hideaway in Fredericksburg, The French Co. Grocer in Marathon, and Vino Veritas in San Angelo. He has guest poured at the Hye Dance Hall and Kerrville Hills Winery, as well. Follow Fly Gap on Facebook to get up to date info on where to find Brock’s wines, as well as see the progress on the new tasting room.
The afternoon was heating up despite many fans going under the tent, but Gail and Kenny Fowler from KFire kept their cool with chilled wines and insulated wine tumblers! A retired firefighter, Kenny served up:
- Texas Brigade (sweet red blend)
- Engine 12 (Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne blend)
- Rescue Rose (Cinsault)
- Spotted Dog (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot blend)
KFire is limiting guests to six people inside their Bertram tasting room (it’s very small!), but there is more than ample seating on their outside covered patio overlooking the vines. Kenny is also managing the vines at the now-shuttered Pilot Knob Vineyard, just next door. They offer a wine club with some fun perks and have events such as the Winetastic Affair Food and Wine Pairing coming up in September. If you are a firefighter, bring your department patch by for a free glass of wine. This boutique winery is off the beaten path and very casual with some of Kenny’s firefighting gear adorning the walls – can’t wait to visit this one again soon.
Co-owner and winemaker Bill Bledsoe of Texas Legato (the self-described “better looking twin” of brother Gil Bledsoe of Pillar Bluff Vineyards) was keeping busy pouring some great wines. We loved everything we tried from his choices of:
- Family Reunion (a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Aglianico – WOW!)
- 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon (Hoover Vineyard)
- 2017 Eyes of Texas Pinot Grigio
- 2017 Eyes of Texas Rosé (Merlot)
One of the friendliest wineries we’ve ever visited, Texas Legato is legendary to wine club members in Lampasas for their annual April crawfish boil (13 years running), a family-friendly event with live Cajun music and plenty o’ mudbugs. Legato wine club members enjoy discounts on wine and special events as well as advance notice of special releases and enjoy pick-up parties three times a year with live music and food. Legato is family and fur baby-friendly, and you’ll feel right at home on their big porch overlooking the vines. And you don’t have to be a club member to enjoy their $5 wine-a-ritas all summer long!
In the historic William Reed House on Main St. in Salado, Axis Winery has both a beautiful and rustic tasting room which we are adding to our “visit list.” Owned by Steve and Kim Springer, the winery participates in the Stagecoach Wine Trail. We were almost to the end of the long tasting tent and our choices were:
- Almond (sparkling sweet white, Hubby’s favorite)
- Sweet Duo (sweet red wine blend)
- Back Road (Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon blend)
…and maybe one more, though we did not try them all. They have a three-bottle wine club with generous discounts, and live music at the winery on Saturday afternoons, $4 wine-a-ritas on Sunday, and are having a Corn Hole tournament to benefit a local family on July 3rd. We’re going to have to plan a visit there soon to explore the historic site and enjoy more of their wines!
We saved our hosts for last as we could see a line forming at their tasting table in the distance! Winemaker Meghan Brasington and tasting room manager Vanessa Conger did a fine job of pouring several wines for their eager tasters including:
- 2020 Estate Alvarinho
- 2018 Reserve Roussanne
- 2020 Estate Rosé (Mourvèdre)
- 2019 Montepulciano
- NV Dalla Nostra Famiglia
- 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
Owned by Deborah and Greg Gissler, Stoneledge regularly hits it out of the park with their award-winning wines, beautiful location in Lometa, and friendly staff. The heat wasn’t slowing down the enthusiastic winemaker, Meghan, who explained how she crafted a Montepulciano that is a must-try! It’s not listed for sale on their website, so you’ll just have to enjoy a bottle of it in person. Three levels of wine club are available, with a wine club member’s only patio, but the winery looks out over farmland and big sky, with plenty of shady places to sit and sip. A pavilion for rainy days has space for live music with room for guests to spread out. Join them in July for sunset Saturdays, on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.
The Sipping on the Edge event also featured live music by Courtney Reed and Charly Sardo under the pavilion and several food trucks offering everything from shwarma to tacos to burgers, as well as sweets. Several vendors were in attendance including Heather’s Homemade Pickles and Jewelry Designs by VHouston, as well as homemade soaps and dipping olive oils. Event attendees could buy wine from any of the wineries and enjoy it on-site. Heather Brock of Stoneledge did a knock-out job coordinating this event and we look forward to attending it again next year! If you have only previously explored the 290 Wine Trail in Central Texas, then you owe it to yourself to make a road trip north to discover these wineries on the “Edge of the Hill Country!”