If you are a lover of Texas wine and have visited Fredericksburg, no doubt you have discovered Pontotoc Vineyard’s Weingarten in downtown Fredericksburg on Main Street. After the move from Pontotoc, Texas, the Weingarten has been serving wonderful Texas wines for over 10 years from D. Carl and Frances Money.
Visitors to Hill Country wineries who arrive from east of Fredericksburg on U.S. 290 probably come through Johnson City. Heading further west, visitors used to pass what looked to be a run-down garage and a Camp Wanderlust sign with a No Vacancy lit up, and undoubtedly wondered what it was. This occurred for a long time and recently new signs of Pontotoc Vineyard and Picnic Table appeared.
I contacted Carl Money to inquire about the new location. He said it was a second tasting room for Pontotoc Vineyard called Picnic Table. It would be managed by his wife Frances who for years had made wonderful picnic baskets and of course, they would be available at Picnic Table. All of Pontotoc’s wines would be available at the tasting room including food options such as sandwiches, pastries, vegetables, peaches, watermelons when in season. It would be family friendly and there would be horseshoes, dominoes, and fittingly, a number of picnic tables. The location would be able to accommodate 150-200 people in the space there. The goal is to make the tasting room location have a roadside park feel similar to Oakdale Morning Market in California.
The couple has eventual goals of opening a distillery at the location in 2024. The following year there are plans to open another winery/distillery in another town. Eventually, they would like to open the original Pontotoc location again to the public.
The last time I was in the Hill Country, I had to visit to see the Picnic Table since the Grand Opening for the tasting room was October 6, 2023. The building is indeed an old 1940s gas station that has been remodeled to be a tasting room and Camp Wanderlust is a 1940s rock cottage that has been converted into an Airbnb.
Here’s a tip. Pull into the gate farthest to the right of the Picnic Table tasting room and follow the driveway in front of Camp Wanderlust to a parking spot near the tasting room.
The interior of the tasting room has maintained some of the concrete block feel of the old garage and I wonder what people from back then would think of the space today. I met Frances Money again and as Carl Money had mentioned, all of Pontotoc Vineyard wines are available at the location. They are available with a wine flight or by the glass.
- 2022 Valley Spring Rosé – 100% Estate Tempranillo in Pontotoc)
- 2021 Scout – 100% Estate Tempranillo in Pontotoc
- 2020 Smoothing Iron Mountain – 100% Monastrell (Mourvèdre)
- 2020 San Fernando Academy – 31% Petite Sirah, 16% Tannat, 15% Tempranillo, 12% Graciano, 11% Syrah, 9% Grenache, 6% Petit Verdot
- 2020 Spy Rock – 100% Touriga Nacional
Besides these wines, there is the famous Pontotoc Vineyard Sangria which is made from their Tempranillo and served in a mason jar. This is what I sipped on while learning more about the tasting room.
Now it’s time to talk about the food – we are at the Picnic Table, right? There are two picnic baskets available, the Pontotoc and Hye Picnic Baskets. They both have a different mixture of foods such as garlic sausage, curry chicken salad, brownie, and cookie with a common local sourdough bread. More snacks and sweets can be purchased separately.
There is no need to wonder what this building is now alongside U.S. 290 in Hye, so stop by, grab some food and fill up on Pontotoc Vineyard wine.