Tag Archive | "Becker Vineyards"

Becker Vineyards Reaps Medals at San Francisco Wine Competition

Becker Vineyards harvested a heap of medals during the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition, which was held June 12–14. The judges tasted more than 4,900 wines from around the world, and they gave the Hill Country winery medals in the following categories:

Some of Becker Vineyards' wines

Some of Becker Vineyards’ wines


Gold Medal, 90 pts, Becker Vineyards 2012 La Qualtro Stagioni, Primavera

Gold Medal, 92 pts, Becker Vineyards 2013 Tempranillo, Reserve, Texas High Plains


Silver Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 La Qualtro Stagioni, Inverno, Texas High Plains

Silver Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Vintage Port

Silver Medal Becker Vineyards 2014 Mourvèdre Rosé, Provençal , Tallent Vineyards, Texas Hill Country

Silver Medal Becker Vineyards 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, White Wing (Estate), Texas Hill Country


Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 La Qualtro Stagioni, Barbera/ Merlot

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 La Qualtro Stagioni, Autunno

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Zinfandel

Becker-Vineyards-logoBronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Newsom Vineyard, Texas High Plains

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2013 Prairie Rotie, Texas Hill Country

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Reserve, Canada Family Vineyard, Texas High Plains

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wilmeth Family, Reserve, Texas High Plains

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2014 Pinot Grigio, Texas Hill Country

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2013 Raven, Texas Hill Country

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2014 Viognier, Reserve, Texas High Plains

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Chenin Blanc

The San Francisco Wine Competition will post the results on their website the first week of July at

Posted in DrinksComments Off on Becker Vineyards Reaps Medals at San Francisco Wine Competition

Tasty Events: Wine, Chocolate, KLRN’s TV Celebrity Chef

Passport to Greece at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard’s Passport Adventure Series is a bimonthly dinner series that focuses on areas of the world that produce olive oil and table olives.

Each dinner features an authentic menu featuring olives and oil from the country being highlighted as well as pairing the cuisine with wine from that region.

The next dinner is a culinary trip to Greece, and happens on Feb. 13. The reception is at 6:30 and dinner is at 7.  Greek wines will be paired with each course.

The price is $75 per persoon, with an 18 percent tip. You can call Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, which is on 25195 Mathis road in Elmendorf, a 25-minute drive from downtown San Antonio. Or, check the website here to make reservations. The menu is below.

Sandy Oaks passport to Greece logo1st Course: Greek Olives
Greek cheese, homemade pita bread,
Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)

2nd Course:
  Greek Stuffed Tomato
Stuffed with orzo, herbs, citrus, and feta over warm greens

3rd Course: Moussaka
Made with ground beef, eggplant, tomatoes, with a Greek cheese bechamel and fresh garden greens

4th Course: Grilled Lamb Steak
With roasted red potatoes and roasted zucchini; Classic tzatziki sauce

5th Course: Ouzo Spiced Pear Tartlet
With a Chocolate honey sauce
Olive mint sorbet

Mary Ann Esposito chefMary Ann Esposito of “Ciao Italia” appears in San Antonio in March

Join KLRN and Luce Ristorante e Enoteca for a multi-course Italian dinner, wine and fun with Mary Ann Esposito, host of “Ciao Italia,” the longest-running cooking program in America. You’ll also receive an autographed cookbook.

Esposito will be the featured chef at KLRN’s Chef Series on March 22.  Since 1989, PBS Chef Mary Ann Esposito has entertained and enlightened while offering valuable cooking tips. She crafts classic creations that food fans can easily recreate at home.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. The cost is $150 per person. Luce Ristorante e Enoteca is at 11255 Huebner Road.  For tickets, which are limited, click here.

 Little Gretel’s Denise Mazel named 2014 Businesswoman of the Year

The Boerne Chamber’s 2014 Businesswoman of the Year has been announced as Denise Mazel, chef and owner of Boerne’s Little Gretel restaurant. Mazel’s vision began more than 30 years ago when she spotted a little house for sale on River Road that became her first business in Boerne and the first commercial business established on River Road.

Denise Mazel and daughter Veronica Mazel-Brown

Chef Denise Mazel and daughter Veronica Mazel-Brown

When she first opened her shop, she offered knitting and needlepoint classes and sold yarn. Her long-time dream of owning a restaurant that would depict Boerne’s heritage came true six years ago when she opened Little Gretel.

She was recently nominated as a member of “Best Chefs America” and the only woman awarded that recognition in the San Antonio area.  In 2014, she was invited to compete in the Food Network television program “Beat Bobby Flay.”  She was also featured in an article titled Lone Star Kolaches published in Cook’s Country, a national publication, where her kolaches were praised as the best and most traditional.

During her travels back to her native Czech Republic, she was awarded the Honorary Certificate of Nobility for preparing and serving food to the heads of state. Mazel also is dedicated to linking youth to her profession by offering apprenticeships and sharing her knowledge and skills with Boerne ISD culinary arts students.

Little Gretel Restaurant is at 518 River Road in Boerne. It is open every day for breakfast and lunch, and open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner.   (830) 331-1368

Becker Vineyards Offers Wine, Music and Book Signing

From romantic wine and chocolate tastings to book signings and the annual Bluebonnets, Bluegrass and BBQ, Becker Vineyards in Stonewall provides lots of reasons to make them a destination. For more information on these and other happenings at Becker, please visit their website here.

Red_wine_closeup_in_glassFeb. 7, 8, 14, & 15 Annual Merlot & Chocolate Tasting (Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sundays, Noon – 6 p.m.)  Delysia Chocolatiers will have samples of ganache and bark as well as product for sale.  Al’s Gourmet Nuts will have gourmet nuts (spicy, savory, or sweet), too.  And Chef Ross Burtwell of The Cabernet Grill will have a cookbook signing (“Texas Hill Country Cuisine, Flavors from The Cabernet Grill”) on Feb. 7 only.

Feb. 21 Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 “Ragin’ Cajun & Texas Shrimp  Visitors will go at their own pace to the wineries on the wine road to sample a Cajun Shrimp concoction to pair with a wine.  Complimentary event; no reservations required.  Time:  11:30 a.m. until out.

March 14 & 15 Annual Bluebonnets, Bluegrass, & BBQ.  Dr. Becker’s brother Robert Becker and the Woodstreet Bloodhounds will play Bluegrass music.  No cover charge.  Chef Jayson Cox will be making BBQ to serve and sell to the public.  BBQ from 11:30 a.m. until out.  Music:  1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Posted in EventsComments Off on Tasty Events: Wine, Chocolate, KLRN’s TV Celebrity Chef

Becker Wines: Hilltop Cafe Vintner Dinner; TX Winery Picks

Another dinner, with fine food, fun and great wine is scheduled in the Texas Hill Country, at the Hill Top Cafe outside of Fredericksburg on U.S. 87.

This Hill Top Café Vintner Dinner with Becker Vineyards will be Sunday, Jan. 25 beginning with a 5 p.m. reception.

Hill Top Neon SignProprietors Johnny and Brenda Nicholas will be welcoming guests during the reception before starting the several course dinner. Along with being co‐proprietor of the Hill Top Cafe, Brenda Nicholas is also the culinary director. She is creating the seasonal menu to pair with Becker wines. Also attending will be Johnny Nicholas and Drew and Laura Tallent.

Richard and Bunny Becker, proprietors of Becker Vineyards, and Nichole Bendele, public relations and Tasting Room coordinator for Becker Vineyards will also attend.

The dinner will be $75 plus tax and gratuity. The reception is at 5 p.m., dinner is at 5:30  p.m. For reservations, please contact the Hill Top Café at 830‐997‐8922. Or, email at

Menu and wines follow.

Reception:  Becker Vineyards’ 2013 Provenςal

First Course: Duck Confit Spring Rolls served with C-4 Ranch Beet Greens with Becker Vineyards’ 2012 Autumno (60 percent Merlot, 40 percent Cabernet Sauvignon)

Second Course:  Sunshine Honey Bee Farms Mixed Greens with C-4 Ranch Beets, Texas Rio Star Grapefruit, Texas Chevre, Lightly Toasted Native Pecans and Prickly Pear Vinaigrette with Becker Vineyards’ 2012 (50 percent Barbera, 50 percent Merlot)

Third Course: Bandera Semi Boneless Quail stuffed with Louisiana Crawfish Dressing and served with C-4 ranch Roasted Winter Vegetables with Becker Vineyards’ 2012 Raven (75 percent Malbec, 25 percent Petite Verdot)

Grilled Gulf Catch of the day with Sweet Ginger Chimichurri with Becker Vineyards’ 2013 White Wing (Sauvignon Blanc)

Fourth Course: Brenda’s Dark Chocolate Valrhona Cake and Chantilly Cream with Becker Vineyards’ 2012 Primavera (70 percent Merlot, 30 percent Syrah)


Becker, McPherson make top 101 winery list from

Becker Vineyards 2013 Provencal croppedTwo Texas wineries made the “101 Best Wineries in America” list released by Microsoft’s

At No. 87 was McPherson Cellars, in Lubbock. Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, was No. 93.

Check out the rest of the list here.



Posted in Daily Dish, EventsComments Off on Becker Wines: Hilltop Cafe Vintner Dinner; TX Winery Picks

‘Tall in Texas’ Award Goes to Proprietors of Becker Vineyards

GRAPEVINE, Texas — The 28th annual Grape Fest kicked off with the Texas Wine Tribute, a black-tie gala and one of the most prestigious annual Texas wine industry events.  The Texas wine tribute presented the much anticipated “Tall in Texas” award to Dr. Richard and Bunny Becker of Becker Vineyards on Sept. 6.

The “Tall in Texas” award is bestowed to a Texas winery in recognition of the winery’s leadership role in the dedication to, support of and promotion of the Texas wine industry.

Becker Vineyards is one of the largest wineries in Texas, as well as one of the largest contractors of Texas grapes and fruits.  As tireless supporters of the Texas wine industry, Becker Vineyards is one of the leading advocates for Texas wines being produced from Texas-grown grapes.

“Bunny and I are very honored at the recognition,” said Richard Becker upon receiving the award.

Bunny and Dr. Richard Becker, proprietors, Becker Vineyards

Bunny and Dr. Richard Becker, proprietors, Becker Vineyards. (Photo courtesy of Becker Vineyards)

“It was very exciting.  There were other people in the Texas wine industry in attendance like Gene Estes of Lone Oak Winery and Jim Evans, president of the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association.  It was a lot of fun!” Becker said.

Wines served for the Texas Wine Tribute Dinner included Becker Vineyards Viognier 2012, Reserve Grenache 2012, Reserve Cabernet Franc 2012, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Canada Family 2012, and The Clementine (late harvested Viognier) 2012.

For 20 years, the Beckers’ approach to winemaking has been to produce premium wines and to share their winemaking knowledge with others within the industry.  Known for taking a classically French approach to winemaking, Becker Vineyards ensures that during the winemaking process, all the necessary steps are taken to produce the highest-level premium product possible.  Becker Vineyards is credited with the being one of the earliest proponents of premium Texas wines.

From the winery’s earliest beginnings, Becker Vineyards has been a strong supporter of the Texas Wine & Grape Grower Association, joining the organization just after the Beckers began producing wine.  Dr. Becker served as the organization’s president in 1998 and has held consistent membership for 20 years.  Dr. Becker has also been a leader in the research of Pierce’s disease, working in conjunction with and financially supporting the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for 19 years.

Becker Vineyards 2013 Provencal cropped

Becker Provencal, a French-style dry rose’ that won double-gold medal for Becker Vineyards in 2014.

As a leader in the mentorship of other winemakers throughout the state of Texas, Becker Vineyards has hosted a variety of events and training sessions focused on their production methods, helping to educate other winemakers and to raise the awareness of premium wines.  In February 2014, Becker Vineyards hosted the Texas A&M AgriLife Grower Field Day and Benefit Dinner.

The event provided education for existing, new and future Texas grape growers and Texas wineries, Becker Vineyards has also been a continuous supporter of education through many collegiate programs, including those at Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University, as well as the Texas Center for Wine & Culinary Arts.

“Dr. Becker is one of the founders of the Buffalo Gap Wine & Food Summit and in 2011, Dr. Becker suggested that the Viticulture and Enology Program at Texas Tech be the beneficiary of their annual event,” said Dr. Ed Hellman, professor of Viticulture, Texas Tech University.

Becker-Vineyards-logo“Since that year, the non-profit has supported the Buffalo Gap Wine & Food Summit Graduate Fellowship with $2,500 each year, which is dedicated to supporting a graduate student studying viticulture and enology in the Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech.  The fellowship achieves two important goals:  one, training tomorrow’s leaders of the grape and wine industry, and two, supporting research to enhance grape production in Texas,” said Hellman.

Posted in NewsComments Off on ‘Tall in Texas’ Award Goes to Proprietors of Becker Vineyards

Griffin to Go: Get Your Pink On

This coming Saturday is one of my favorite days of the year.


Think pink on Saturday.

That’s when Culinaria presents Rambling Rosé at Becker Vineyards, 464 Becker Farms Road, Stonewall.

During the two panels, set for 1 and 3 p.m., a roomful of wine lovers get together to discuss one of the most maligned yet resilient wines produced.

When the event began more than 10 years ago, rosé was not taken seriously by too many American wine writers, at least the pompous overgrown boys who drink only Cabernet no matter what the temperature is outside. Back then, pink wine was also thought to be white Zinfandel, that cloyingly sweet concoction that tastes more like soda than wine.

We would ask the audience how many people drank rosé, which is dry, not sweet, and very few outside of the panelists answered yes.

But something funny happened on the way to the winery. Year after year, the number of people who drank rosé began to grow. The number of wineries in America making serious pink wine took off. Wine shops began devoting more shelf space to these beauties, and sales increased steadily.

Rosé comes in many shades of pink.

Rosé comes in many shades of pink.

Most importantly, people began to realize how enjoyable a dry rosé can be. It’s the perfect summer wine, fresh and refreshing, youthful and vibrant. It’s great with a whole array of foods or just by itself. And that may be why it’s now my go-to style of wine for the 10 months of the year when the thermometer shows a bit of red.

Plus, they’re often affordable, though Chateau d’Esclans from Provence makes a rosé that sells for more than $100 a bottle.

So, come join us to learn more about all of the styles, flavors and colors that can be considered a rosé. Winery owner Richard Becker, sommelier Steven Kreuger, Bonnie Walker and I will all be part of the panel, which has also included winemakers, wine educators and rosé aficionados. We’ll taste a number of pink wines from around the world along with food from chef John Brand of the upcoming Hotel Emma at the Pearl.

The price is $25, which includes the wines, the food and some summer fun at Becker Vineyards. For tickets, click here.

Posted in Drinks, Griffin to GoComments (1)

Vines, Grapes, Harvest and Press: It’s Time at Becker Vineyards

Becker vineyards harvester cropped 2014

STONEWALL:  The rumbling of diesel engines is heard in an otherwise quiet, pastoral setting of vines and ripe bunches of grapes.  A blue Braud harvester rolls down a row of grapevines, shaking green grapes off as it goes along.  Yellow picking bins on a flatbed trailer pulled by a John Deere tractor are being filled with the ripe fruit and brought to the winery for processing.

Becker grape harvester 2014 croppedThe 2014 harvest has begun for Becker Vineyards.

This week, Sauvignon Blanc grapes were being harvested in the vineyard in front of the winery.

This past Saturday, grape growers Cap and Diane Holland harvested their Chardonnay grapes from their vineyard located between Bronte and Miles, outside of San Angelo, making them the first of Becker Vineyards contract growers to harvest grapes.

“This will be our 18th grape harvest, “ said Bunny Becker, co-proprietor with her husband Dr. Richard Becker. “Harvest is an exciting time of the year for us.”

The Beckers planted their vineyard in 1992 with the first harvest taking place in 1995.  They began selling wine to the public when they opened their winery tasting room in May of 1996.  Along with the vineyard at Stonewall, they own another vineyard at Ballinger and a third one in Mason. Becker Vineyards also purchases fruit from grape growers.

“We have the largest amount of contracts on Texas-grown grapes in the state,” said Bret Perrenoud, general manager, dumping a bin of grapes into the destemmer-crusher with a forklift.

The winery crush pad is a bee hive of activity. The destemmer-crusher is… destemming and crushing. The white grape varietals are then going – via hoses and pumps – to the press to separate the juice from the skins. The air is aromatic with the scent of fresh, ripe fruit. The juice will then head for a stainless steel tank to be inoculated with yeast.  If it is to be a dry white, the fermenting juice will then go to White Oak barrels and finish fermentation there.  If it is to be off-dry (sweeter-style wines), it will stay in stainless steel.

Winemaker Jonathan Leahy is looking forward to the harvest and said, “It’s been a cooler than normal summer. We have phenolic ripeness without the spiking of sugars. This will make full bodied, well developed and more complex wines.”

“We are all looking forward to the end results,” said Richard Becker, with a smile.

Becker Vineyards is located 11 miles east of Fredericksburg, 3 miles west of Stonewall, off U.S. Hwy 290 at Jenschke Lane.

Photographs, article courtesy Nichole Bendele, Becker Vineyards


And, let the grape stomps begin!

Grape Stomp t-shirtAugust is the month for stomping grapes, one of the Texas Hill Country’s favorite, crowd-pleasing times.  Becker Vineyards’ Grape Stomp is Aug. 23-24 and Aug. 30-31.

Here are more fun places to get your feet into some ripe, fresh fruit. Check out the wineries’ websites for hours and directions.

  • August 2-3 & 9-10 at Dry Comal Creek Vineyards
  • August 8-10, 15-17 & 22-24 at Pedernales Cellars
  • August 9 at Texas Legato
  • August 9-10 & 16-17 at William Chris Vineyards
  • August 16 at Westcave Cellars Winery
  • August 16-17 & 23-24 at Texas Hills Vineyard
  • August 16 & 23 at Fall Creek Vineyards
  • August 30 at Messina Hof Hill Country
  • August 30 & September 6 at Chisholm Trail Winery


Posted in Events, In Season, NewsComments Off on Vines, Grapes, Harvest and Press: It’s Time at Becker Vineyards

Becker Provençal Rosé Wins Double Gold at SF Int’l Competiton

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.:  In its 34th year, the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition was held June 20th thru 22nd at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco.

After more than 4,500 wines from around the world were judges, the results have been announced.  Becker Vineyards won Best Rosé, Double Gold Medal 95 points with the 2013 Becker Vineyards Provençal (Mourvedre), Tallent Vineyard.

Becker Vineyards 2013 Provencal croppedRichard and Bunny Becker, proprietors of Becker Vineyards, own three vineyards but also purchase grapes from several grape growers, including the Mourvedre grapes from Drew and Laura Tallent of Tallent Vineyards, Mason, Texas.  The Mourvedre grapes were fermented into wine by Jonathan Leahy, winemaker, and Rachel Fanning, oenologist, and the winery team.  There was limited skin contact with the juice, creating a pale salmon color.  It was also fermented completely dry.

The Beckers were inspired to make a dry rosé after a trip to the Provence region of France.  “We were at an outdoor café in Tavel sipping on a dry rosé.  It was so delightful.  I told Richard, ‘I wish we could make a dry rose’ and he said, ‘I’ll make you one.’  And, although we’ve been making this wine for several years, it is a limited production.”

She also added, “It is also a food-friendly wine.  It pairs well with deli meats and is a great bottle to bring on a picnic or to sip on a hot, Texas day.”

Four silvers and six bronze medals were also awarded to the following Becker Vineyards wines:

Silver Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Culinaria;  Silver Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Reserve Cabernet Franc Bingham Vineyards; Silver Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Barbera-Merlot; Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Raven (75% Malbec, 25% Petit Verdot); Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2013 Prairie Rotie (Rhone-style blend); Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Claret; Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Newsom Vineyard Reserve; and Bronze Medal Becker Vineyards 2012 Fleur Sauvage (and off-dry white wine blend).

Becker Vineyards is located 11 miles east of Fredericksburg, off US Hwy 290 at Jenschke Lane.  Business hours are Monday thru Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday thru Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Noon – 6 p.m.

Posted in Daily Dish, NewsComments Off on Becker Provençal Rosé Wins Double Gold at SF Int’l Competiton

Becker Vineyards Lavender Festival This Weekend!

Lavender, a good addition to a summery herb blend. (Photo courtesy Becker Vineyards)

Lavender, a good addition to a summery herb blend. (Photo courtesy Becker Vineyards)

STONEWALL – Plowed red earth contrasts with long rows of purple-blue flowers under the brilliant Texas sun.  A lavender-fragranced breeze blows gently over the winery’s limestone veranda.

It is time again for Becker Vineyards to host its annual Lavender Festival, May 3 and 4.

This is the 16th year for this event and it will feature speakers and vendors promoting lavender education as well as herb-related products.  There will also be gardening tips, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting and luncheons.

Business hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.  The event is complimentary; parking is $5.

On Saturday and Sunday there will also be Lavender Luncheons  catered by Alfred’s of Austin.  Saturday is sold out but there is availability on Sunday.  Both luncheons begin at 12:30 a.m. and are $75 plus tax, per person.  Reservations required, purchase on-line here or by calling the vineyards at 830-644-2681 x 230.

Becker Vineyards will also have concessions (Clear River Pecan, Primat Catering, and Stout Pizza).  There will also be more than vendors selling lavender products, gardening related items, and unique gifts.

Chris Perrenoud is the Lavender Manager for Becker Vineyards.  She creates and produces various lavender products which will be for sale to the public during the festival.  She makes beautiful lavender sachets, scented wands, lavender bundles, soaps, potpourris, lotions and more.

For more information please visit or 830-644-2681.

Posted in EventsComments Off on Becker Vineyards Lavender Festival This Weekend!

Spring Warm-up: Openings, Events, Tastings, Fun

Rosario's new Panela cheese, grilled and topped with two salsas.

Rosario’s new queso Panela, grilled and topped with two salsas.

Three much-anticipated restaurants open soon.

First, Rosario’s, at 3715 San Pedro Ave., will open Monday (March 31) for lunch and dinner. Enjoy the dishes and drinks you love at the downtown Rosario’s on Alamo Street, plus some new items. We sampled some favorites and the new grilled panela cheese with two salsas, seviche, a Rosario’s burger (complete with chalupa inside and some real good fries) and more at a soft opening Thursday night.

Hot Joy, opening at the former location of China Latina, will open April 3. The restaurant is at 1014 S. Alamo St.

Aldaco’s Dominion will also be opening in April, but toward the end of the month.

Conger’s Smoke Shack food truck announced they will move to a brick-and-mortar location. This will be at 3714 Broadway. A skip and a jump near the Pearl, and across the street from the Witte Museum. Will they still be setting up shop at Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market?  No, says Heather Hunter, but they will be there this coming Saturday for one last round of great barbecue.  Chela’s Tacos, which has been there the past couple of weeks, will be taking over that post.

Travis Park and St. Anthony Hotel

St. Anthony Hotel garden.

St. Anthony Hotel garden.

Join The St. Anthony Hotel Monday (March 31) to celebrate the Grand Reopening of the historic Travis Park. The vibrant greens of spring and the new visions and plans for Travis Park will be honored for a full day.  At 9:30 a.m. the hotel participates with Southwest Airlines President and CEO Gary Kelly and other contributors to restore the park and invite you to join them.

This will be followed in the evening (6 p.m.) by farm-fresh foods crafted by  St. Anthony chef, Mike Mata, paired with wines from Becker Vineyards, and the soft sounds of Brent Watkins’ live jazz for Twilight on the Plaza.

Crawfish at Lüke

Celebrate crawfish season in true style this Sunday (March 30) at Lüke San Antonio downtown. From  3 p.m to 6 p.m at the restaurant at 125 E. Houston St., it will be not just lots of crawfish crawfish1but also savory sides such as crawfish boil potato salad, boiled “corn in a cup,” and Poteet strawberry shortcake for dessert. St. Arnold Brewery will be the featured beer for washing down those crawfish.

The event is all you can eat and drink, for $48 per person.  Call them at (210) 227-5853. See their event page at


King and Queen Anchovy Poker Run

Michael Westheimer and Elaine Wolffe have a party planned and you’re invited. Saturday, April 5, is the King and Queen Anchovy Poker Run.

Poker handHere are the attractions: Five restaurants, five bites, five drinks and (most important) five cards.

The best hands will win prizes, including tickets to Cornyation and gift certificates to the participating restaurants: Bite, The Monterey, The Brooklynite, Cured and Minnie’s.

The fun starts at  1 p.m. at Bite. The cost is $50; chefs are donating their hospitality so proceeds go to support Fiesta Cornyation.

Check out the Facebook page here and make reservations soon.

Baby grapesSummer events coming up at Becker Vineyards

The new outdoor pavillion is open now at Becker Vineyards, in the Texas Hill Country. The pavillion oversees the lavender field, plus new outdoor restroom facilities are available, too. Don’t forget the winery’s 16th annual Lavender Festival, with lavender luncheons, vendors selling lavender and gardening-related items, lavender cooking demos and more. Plus there will be, of course, wine tastings. The event is May 3 and 4. Go to their website here for more information.

April means Hornitos tequila at La Fogata

Aldaco MargaritaLa Fogata knows tequila — and mixes no fewer than 300 gallons of their tequila concoctions each week. La Fogata features monthly tequila tastings to allow its guests to explore different tequila flavors and enjoy special cocktails crafted by their experienced bar staff.

April’s featured tequila is Hornitos. On Saturday, April 19,  before you head to your table, stop by the tequila tasting table to learn more about Hornitos tequila. The free tasting table will feature the tequila served both straight up and mixed in margaritas. The tasting table will be open on La Fogata’s main patio from 6-8 p.m. La Fogata is at 2427 Vance Jackson Road.

If you can’t make the tequila tasting, don’t worry:  La Fogata is featuring Hornitos throughout the month of April, so you have the opportunity to try the tequila by ordering it in your favorite drink at La Fogata.






Posted in News, Restaurant Notes & QuotesComments Off on Spring Warm-up: Openings, Events, Tastings, Fun

Becker Vineyards, Hill Top Café Present Wine Dinner

Hill Top Neon SignThe 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

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:

wine bottleWhile 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.



Posted in Events, RestaurantsComments Off on Becker Vineyards, Hill Top Café Present Wine Dinner