A Fredericksburg Weekend

The Get Away

The lady and I decide a few weeks back that a return to Fredericksburg was in order. The last time we visited the little city was in October of last year, and we quite enjoyed ourselves. As is the Fredericksburg tradition, we stayed at a B&B. On our last trip, we lodged in a wonderful little log cabin, complete with a wrap-around porch, that was about 15 minutes away from the city. Trying something different, this time we choose one that was inside the city, specifically this one.  So how was it?

The Let Down

As the heading implies, the room was a bit of a let down. The first problem is that the pictures give the appearance of a larger space while the actual room was fairly small. If you take a gander at picture above, you can see that we had access to this lovely patio. You can’t tell from here but to the left of The Lady is the patio door. It was locked and unavailable to us. You see, our little room was on the far left of this house so we had to walk around to the front to get into out room. It would have made far more sense to allow the guest to enter from both the front and rear. The second problem was the lack of a real sink. What we stayed in was basically a master bedroom with an attached bathroom. Thus we had not sink to wash our dishes in outside of the bathroom sink, which is not exactly designed for cleaning. Our final dislike was the bathtub. It was a nice enough little bathtub with jets that swooshed water around, but the lack of a show head was perplexing. It had one of those shower hose on the side that you could pull out but there wasn’t a latch to hang it on the wall. An odd omission considering the cost to have a mount there is measured in dollars.  

But I will comment on the bed. Ohh man was this bed nice. You just sank right into it, yet somehow, it still have decent back support. Ohh and the number of supplied pillows… Excellent. So was it a letdown? Yes, but it was still nice.

I made hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled Broccoli, Bell Peppers, and Pineapple

The Wineries

Our main purpose for this visit to Fredericksburg was to enjoy the Texas hill country wins. I should mention that The Lady and I enjoy a much more quite and personalized experience. I’m not knocking the larger places as I’m sure the crowd they cater too enjoys them, but it’s not for us. Keeping that in mind, my review! Ohh, the places we went too where more of less chosen randomly on google maps…

Hilmy

We drove up to this little spot and were delighted to see that mobs of people were not swarming all over the place. Before we went inside, we wondered over to a nearby windmill to snap a few photos.

Pictures snapped, we headed inside to the tasting room. 

You can see here that the place is fairly small, which I’ll say again is something The Lady and I prefer. Two huge dogs, of the friendly variety, laid about on the floor and happily accepted a good belly rub.. The 10$ tasting fee bought us 6 different choices of wine. The winery specialized in dry wine and opened in 2012. On to the wines!

 In no real order we tried the 2013 Viognier(White SemiSweet), The Tusk(50/50 Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese), Robin(60/40 Zinfandel and Touriga Nacional), Doo Zwa Zo( 75/25 Ugni Blanc and Chenin Blanc), Temp(Temparanillo) and finally the Rosé. The short of it is that none of these met with any desire. They were not bad so to speak, they just… faded away into memory the moment we left. So while I don’t have anything negative to say, I don’t have anything positive either. It was more of a “Not our taste” kind of place, but if you like dry wines this could be a place for you!

The Lady with one of the pooches. 

Checking out the view.

 

Terre di Pietra

We drove up with a series of tree flanking both the left and the right. The parking lot, while huge, had only a handful of cars. The walkway to the tasting room was equally pretty as the driveway.

Tasting room. Bad light with cell phone equals Grainy picture

The lady at the front desk greeted us enthusiastically with a huge smile and warm hello. We chatted with her for a few minutes and paid our 15$ which let us sample 6 of their wines. What The Lady and I particular enjoyed about this place was that the taste room had around 7 small bars were you would go and get a one on one experience with your wine pourer person. Our guy had tattoos all over and a slightly off centered hat made him look like he belonged in downtown Austin. This guy was very friendly. He told us about the wines we selected and offered his opinion, which was spot on, on which ones we should try. Again in no order we tried the, Blanc du Bois, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dirty Girl, Prada, Red Flirt and Riesling. 

I wish I would have had more money because I would have bought multiple bottles of each of them. As it was I bought the Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Lady purchased the Chairo de Luna, which I’ll get into in a little bit. 

When we first arrived, the women who greeted us said that a tour of the Vineyard was taking place in about 30 minutes, so after our wine tasting we stayed around for the tour. Our tour guide ended up being the owner of the place and he was clearly passionate about what he does, if not a bit too soft-spoken to hear clearly. He talked about the various flowers and trees that dotted the landscape before showing us some of the vines.

Flowers and Vines

Here’s a little guy that joined our tour

After a short walk through the different vines he lead us inside to were the barrels are stored. He spoke a little about the barreling process and how the type of wood the barrel is made out of can have a drastic effect on the final taste of the wine.

In the next room, he showed us how the grapes were de-stemmed via a machine and them spoke briefly on the vats.

Lastly, he showed us the bottling/labeling machine. We spent a good 30 minutes here as he passed around the different cork tops they use. He taught us the ‘proper’ way to taste a wine and what wine pairs with what. The secret to that last bit is to use whatever wine you think taste good! Super simple. He also told us about how a few of the labels got their design. One particular label that feature a pair of lips was in fact his sons. The story was that he had each of his family members, including himself, put on red lipstick and kiss a piece of paper. Apparently, his son had the most visual attractive paper kiss. 🙂

You can see the lips in the center near the bottom.

The tour over, The Lady and I were lend back to the tasting room where we proceed to buy our wine. The Lady had her eye on the Chiaro de Luna simply because she liked the art work. The lady who greeted when we first walked in us was kind enough to let us have a taste of the Luna for free, and to reward that, and because it tasted amazing, the Lady bought a bottle. 

Finally, The Lady and I sat outside under a large roof made of wood while a couple sang some Allman Brothers. I would highly recommend this place!!!

Grade Creek Vineyards

This was one of the more “commercialized” winery that we went too and as a reminder, not our usual taste. But I don’t criticize the place on that aspect, what I do however was on the treatment. 

We walked inside the main building and found the counter. The lady was nice and told us it be 15$ for 6 tasting. We paid and she handed us a menu of about 20 different wines/. Finding ourselves a spot at the end of the bar I started to read the front of the menu. It had some local history about how the place was made. I say I made it 1/3 through when the barista came over and snatched it from my hand. I gave her a not so nice look and without apologizing she waved it off saying that she needed the menu open to mark off the 3 wines that they didn’t available. I guess I didn’t realize that she was the queen of this here bar. Next as we sampled some of the wines, of which she spoke nothing about them and basically snubbed us in favor of 3 women standing next to us, I was chatting with one of the girls about the little bread bites that sat in jar on the counter. Tasty little things that were meant to, in wine speak, cleanse the palate. I grabbed 2 of them, one from The Lady and one for me when the barista looked at me and said that they were not for lunch…

To be honest, the place might very well be awesome and we just got the barista from hell, but we didn’t care. We shall not be going back.

Rancho Ponte

Our favorite place. You can see from the picture above that it’s pretty quite. The building and outdoor area is pretty small in comparison to other places which may detract some people. The wine however is excellent. The Lady and I sampled the 2012 Max Merlot, 2012 Syrah, 2013 Muscat Canelli, 2013 Tempranillo French Oak, 2013 Zinfandel/Petite Sirah Blend, Ranchers Reserve, and the Renegade Zinfandel Port. We even got to have a free taste because the bartender pour us a glass by mistake! I have a special place for the Merlot while the lady loves her Renegade Zinfandel Port, probably because it’s the most expensive and contains Brandy!

They even had the same tasty bread bits!

After the tasting, The Lady and I bought a two glasses of their homemade Sangria and went to sit outside.

We listened to these two sing while we sipped our drinks. The mother and father of the women singing were sitting across from us on the bench. You can see her leg to the far right. When the two singers took a break, we ended up chatting with all 4 of them for a good 2 hours. Lovely people. Around 4:30, the call of a pair of rumbling stomachs started to draw us toward the town in search for food, so we reluctantly left. I can’t explain how much I love this place.

So we went to what has become our “go to” spot for dinner, The Fredericksburg Brewing Company. After a hardy meal, we retired back to our room for the evening.

Oddly enough, they don’t make their own Root Beer.

Day 2

We didn’t really do that much on the second day. The Lady’s knee wasn’t doing to great and neither of us were in the shopping mood. So we puttered around for about an hour, looking into a few of the shops. One shop did have this little singing toys…

Ya I know, Vertical Video. 🙁

This guy sung, Bad to the Bone

Nothing else was really grabbing our attention so we headed back home. 

Fin

Well, that’s that. Thanks for reading!

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