The Hill Top Café and Becker Vinyards will be presenting a vintner’s dinner on Jan. 26, The four-course meal kicks off with a wine reception beginning at 5 p.m. Johnny and Brenda Nicholas, Hill Top Café proprietors, and Nichole Bendele, Becker Vineyards, will be present to meet and greet guests. The dinner is $75 per person plus tax and gratuity. Seating is limited. Please make reservations at the Hill Top Café by calling 830-997-8922 or contact them through their website www.hilltopcafe.com. Directions: Hill Top Café is located 10 miles north of Fredericksburg on U.S. Hwy 87, the road to Mason. Brenda Nicholas – who is also the culinary director – and chef Marvin Hobson, created the menu (see below) around the Becker Vineyards wines:
While Becker Vineyards owns three different vineyards, they also purchase additional grapes from several grape growers. Three of the five wines being served at the vintner dinner – the Provencal (rosé made with mourvedre), Prairie Rotie (a Rhone-style blend of mourvedre, grenache, and syrah), and Raven (malbec and petit verdot blend) – are made with grapes grown by Drew and Laura Tallent of Tallent Vineyards in Mason, and some from grapes grown at the Becker’s vineyard in Stonewall. The albarino and zinfandel is grown at the Becker’s Mason Vineyard, formerly the Peter’s Prairie Vineyard owned by Beverly Cartwright.Reception: Becker Vineyards Provencal Tallent Vineyard 2012 First Course: Braised Oxtail Soup with Parsnips, Kale and Potato Dumplings paired with Becker Vineyards Albarino Peter’s Prairie Vineyard 2012 Second Course: Locally Grown Roasted Rainbow and Golden Beets with Native Spiced Pecans, Texas Chevre and Hearts of Palm in a Prickly Pear Cactus Vinaigrette paired with Becker Vineyards Prairie Rotie 2012 Third Course: Mixed Entrée Menard County Lamb Ravioli seared in Browned Butter, topped with Truffle Cream Sauce and Toasted Pistachio Crumbles paired with Becker Vineyards Raven 2012 (75% Malbec, 25% Petit Verdot) Gulf Ling Cod Filet baked in Papillote with Wasabi Beurre Blanc, Julienned Winter Vegetables and Peppered Sesame Oil Glaze paired with Becker Vineyards Zinfandel 2012 Fourth Course: Port Poached Winter Pear Slices layered with Crispy Pancetta Ham, shaved Spanish Manchego Cheese and Lemon Quince Jam paired with Becker Vineyards Vintage Port 2012.