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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.



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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.



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Becker Wines, Hill Top Cafe Vintner Dinner

The Hill Top Café and Becker Vineyards invite you to join them at a vintner dinner Sunday, January 27.  The four-course dinner, created by Hill Top chef Martin Hobson and  Brenda Nicholas, owner and culinary director, kicks off with a wine reception beginning at 5 p.m.  Johnny and Brenda Nicholas, Hill Top Café proprietors, and Dr. Richard and Bunny Becker, Becker Vineyards proprietors, will be present to meet and greet guests.

Hill Top Café, 10661 North US Hwy 87, Fredericksburg, Texas: $75 per person, plus tax and tip.  Seating is limited; please make reservations at the Hill Top Café:  830-997-8922. Directions:  Hill Top Café is north of Fredericksburg at 10661 North U.S. Hwy 87.

About Becker wines at Hill Top Vintner Dinner

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 will include the Provencal (a dry rose’ made from Mourvedre), Reserve Merlot, and Raven (a blend of 75 percent Malbec and 25 percent Petit Verdot) are made with grapes grown by Drew and Laura Tallent of Tallent Vineyards in Mason, Texas.

The Hill Top Cafe presents the following dinner, prepared around the Becker wines that will be served that night.


Becker Vineyards Provencal 2012


Heart of Winter Roasted Vegetables Bisque

Parsnip, Turnip and Carrots caramelized with a dry Sherry and topped with Chives.

Becker Vineyards Viognier 2012


Warm Crab Louie Salad

Served over grilled Belgian Endive and Avocado Slices.

Becker Vineyards Raven 2010


Niman Ranch Pork Tender Short Loin Wellington

Topped with Duck Liver Pate baked en Croute with Bearnaise Sauce and Brown Butter Asparagus and served with Roasted Red Potatoes and Julienned Winter Vegetables.

Becker Vineyards Reserve Merlot 2011


Heavenly Dark Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse, Crème Anglaise and Raspberries

Becker Vineyards Riesling 2012








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Where to Wine and Dine Along the Wildflower Trail

Can’t get enough of the wildflowers this year? The selection is extraordinary, ranging from vast fields of bluebonnets to swatches of Indian paintbrushes.

If you’re out on the trail, whether you are heading north to the Hill Country or south to Pleasanton, here are a few places we suggest as places to stop for lunch or dinner. The list is far from complete, but the places are listed by area:


Steak night at 11th Street Cowboy Bar
307 11th St.
(830) 796-4849
Every Wednesday from 6 to 10 p.m. Bring your own meat or vegetables to grill. No cover.


Cypress Grille
170 S. Main St.
(830) 248-1353 (reservations suggested)
Sushi Wednesdays, smoky prime rib Thursdays, and now open for lunch.

Limestone Grille, Ye Kendall Inn
128 W. Blanco St.
(830) 249-2138 (reservations suggested)
Award-winning wine list, award-winning fare, including a cowboy rib-eye, Angus prime rib and smoked roasted short ribs.


814-A Texas Bistro
713 High St.
(830) 995-4990 (reservations suggested)
Pan-seared crawfish cakes, a mixed grill with lamb and pork tenderloin, sea scallops with arugula. Any questions?


Steak Night at Waring General Store
Welfare-Waring Road
(830) 749-2332 (reservations suggested)
Dine in the great outdoors each Wednesday on a grilled steak, baked potato bar, salad, appetizers and desserts. Live music. Loads of fun.


Welfare Cafe
223 Welfare-Waring Road
(830) 537-3700 (reservations suggested)
Inventive German fare with a Texas touch served up in the former Welfare General Store.


Hill Top Cafe
10661 N. U.S. 87
(830) 997-8922 (reservations suggested)
From Greek to Cajun fare, this Texas cafe is a constant delight. Save room for pie.

The Nest
607 S. Washington St.
(830) 990-8383 (reservations suggested)
A renovated house is the setting for a special meal featuring fine cuisine and a top-notch wine list.

Rock House Restaurant at Fredericksburg Herb Farm
405 Whitney
(830) 997-8615 (reservations suggested)
Lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch at this rustic treat includes dishes flavored with the herbs grown on the property.


Austin’s at Rose Hill Manor
2614 Upper Albert Road
(877) ROSEHIL (767-3445) (reservations suggested)
A Texas-style Tara is the dramatic setting of a dinner you’ll likely remember for months to come.


Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery
11804 FM 470
(830) 562-3727
A new location now allows you go inside to place your order for first-rate fare, from pork tenderloin and shrimp to the famous cabrito burger.


Cowboy Steak House
416 Main St.
(830) 896-5688
Grilled steaks, seafood and an amazing wine list make this place a Texas treasure.


McBee’s Bar-B-Que
309 2nd St.
(830) 569-2602
Barbecue without the frills but with plenty of flavor.


McBee’s Bar-B-Que
129 W. San Antonio St.
(830) 420-3118
Check out the daily specials and sink your teeth into some good ‘cue.


Texas Pride Barbecue
2980 E. Loop 1604 S.
(210) 649-3730
From the fish fry on Fridays to the concerts featuring Texas legends, this barbecue joint knows how to keep you entertained.

New Braunfels

Cooper’s Old-Time Pit Bar-B-Que
1125 Loop 337
(830) 627-0627
The home of the Big Chop (a pork chop that weighs in at more than 1 pound) is well worth a visit. The berry cobbler is killer.

Liberty Bistro
200 N. Seguin Ave.
(830) 624-7876
The inventive fare, the extensive wine list and the intimate atmosphere. To quote a movie from the 1940s: “Just go – and God bless America!”

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse
136 N. Castell Ave.
(830) 624-1024 (reservations suggested)
Prime steaks grilled to order, a fine wine list and a warm setting in a renovated movie theater make this place a winner.

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