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It’s October and November, and that’s when the Texas Renaissance Festival comes to town in Todd Mission, Texas. Haak Vineyards & Winery is the official wine sponsor of the Texas Renaissance Festival, so I was fortunate to receive two tickets to attend the festival for writing this post. By reading our previous post about the festival, I knew I had to attend the special wine tasting from Haak, and I needed to make advance reservations to save 20%!
Gloria and I arrived at the Texas Renaissance Festival 30 minutes after it opened. Unless you plan on staying late at night, it is always a good idea to avoid traffic and arrive earlier. The other advantage is you get a closer parking spot. As we walked to the entrance with the other attendees, most dressed in some form of Renaissance costume, we passed the stars of The Mud Show. That show is required viewing every time I go to the Renaissance Festival.
Our pre-reserved tasting at Odin’s Table was at 11 a.m. so we had some time to visit the shops and watch parts of various shows. And of course, people watch.
We arrived at Odin’s Table five minutes before our tasting time, and it was already full. When you go, I would suggest arriving at least 10-15 minutes before your tasting time. Haak Vineyards & Winery co-owner Kyle Johnston was near the tasting bar as we checked in and he told me that we were going to experience the most unique wine tasting we have done. I have done a lot of wine tastings over the years having visited almost 500 Texas wineries plus wineries in other states and countries, but you know, he was right!
If you have been to a Renaissance Festival before and watched some of the shows, they are always entertaining with their certain style of humor. But now it was time for the wine tasting.
Kyle Johnston took center stage in complete costume, along with the typical medieval speak, and he began to tell the story how he learned to make mead and wine as a character back in medieval times. That’s when I realized I wasn’t doing a wine tasting; I was involved in a show! And it was also an audience participation show too. Tip: listen carefully to the presentation and get ready to answer questions.
The first wine poured was the Haak Mjod. This was a Riesling but made in a mead-style. For anyone that likes mead, you will be very pleased with this wine.
Then the tasting became even more of a show with an electronic display that I was still trying to determine how it was done until the very end. This part of the show included an explanation of each wine being tasted plus more. Very cool.
Kyle continued explaining his journey into wine when the second wine was poured, a specially made wine for the festival called Muninn White. It was a semi-dry white blend of Orange Muscat and Riesling. This was Gloria’s favorite.
As Kyle previously explained to Amie Nemec, “Odin was also called Raven-God because of his connection with two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. These ravens played a vital role in Odin’s rule by keeping him well-informed on the endeavors of Mankind. Each morning, Odin released his loyal servants to descend onto the realm of men, where they would look, listen, and gather information before returning to Odin with any new knowledge they gleamed. The two dry wines, one red and one wine, were created in honor of the tale of Huginn and Muninn.”
The third wine was the Huginn Red which was a Cabernet Sauvignon. This was made with neutral barrels, so it’s very fruit forward without having oak hide the flavor of the grapes. This was my personal favorite.
Next up was the famous Haak Vineyards & Winery Blanc du Bois Madeira. As Kyle explained, it was made in an estufa including how they can call it Maderia as one of the few wineries outside the region of Madeira can do. It was paired with a brownie, and we were told to save some for the next wine.
The last wine was the 2020 Renaissance Jacquez Madeira that was a Maderia using the Jacquez grapes (also known as Lenoir or Black Spanish).
The wine tasting was definitely the most unique I have participated in, and Kyle Johnston and the entire Haak Vineyards & Winery team did a fantastic job. We learned that Haak Vineyards & Winery first poured their wines at the Texas Renaissance Festival in 2021. The opening for the wine sponsor came in 2022 and Haak became the wine sponsor and continued this year.
I tried not to give too many secrets away here of the show, but there is no doubt if you are a fan of wine, you will want to attend this wine tasting. Having it at the Texas Renaissance Festival is a bonus!
Tickets for a tasting are $30, but pre-sale discounts are available at 20% off. Be sure to reserve your tasting tickets at Odin’s Table to experience the most unique wine tasting ever! For details on each weekend and day-of pricing, visit texrenfest.com/tickets.