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4.0 Cellars, a New Winery and Tasting Room, Opens in the Hill Country


4.0 Cellars is in the Texas Hill Country.

Three Texas wineries have joined forces to create a new winery and tasting room in the Texas Hill Country. It is called 4.0 Cellars and it showcases the wines of each partner as well as a new lineup under the 4.0 Cellars label.

The wineries are Brennan Vineyards of Comanche, Lost Oak Winery (formerly Lone Oak Winery) of Burleson and McPherson Cellars of Lubbock, and they have built their new home on Highway 290, which is the second most traveled wine trail in the United States.

“Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery and McPherson Cellars have long-established roots in other parts of Texas, but we want to share our wines and passion for Texas wine with travelers and other wine enthusiasts who visit the beautiful Texas Hill Country,” says Pat Brennan of Brennan Vineyards. “We created 4.0 Cellars with a distinctive level of personal service combined with comfort that will give our guests a special Texas wine experience.”

There are plenty of spaces at 4.0 where visitors can enjoy wine.

The new winery and tasting room offers several areas where visitors can relax, enjoy wine and take in the Hill Country scenery, including:

• A 5,000-square-foot tasting room with concrete counter top, stained concrete and bamboo floors to accommodate groups

• A private tasting room that can be reserved for tastings, wine pairings, wine dinners and other events

• An outdoor, covered front porch for enjoying wine and summer breezes

• An outside full-service wine bar to order wines by the glass or bottle to enjoy on the spot, adjacent to the special events pavilion

• A special events pavilion for weddings, receptions, and parties, which has an outdoor fireplace for cool winter days, stained concrete floors, exposed cedar ceilings and steel beams

• Casual seating under a canopy of large oak trees adjacent to the tasting room

The winery also includes a 2,006-square-foot wine storage facility and space for making the 4.0 Cellars wines, the first of which will be a sherry that will be produced in Lubbock by Kim McPherson and bottled at 4.0 Cellars.

The Hill Country landscape provides a beautiful setting.

“Together, we bring more than 50 years of winemaking experience and hospitality to this new venture, which will introduce travelers and wine enthusiasts to our high-quality wines,” says Gene Estes of Lost Oak Winery, which just won a Double Gold Medal for its 2010 Viognier at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition and Gold (and Texas Champion) at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition.

All three wineries are well-known for their award-winning wines, with the 2010 McPherson Roussanne awarded Best in Class and Gold at the 2011 Pacific Rim Competition and Gold at the Lone Star Wine Competition, and the 2009 Brennan Viognier taking home Gold medals in both the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine and 2011 Dallas Morning News Competitions.

“Coming together to create 4.0 Cellars grew out of all three of us having a dedication to making the best wine from quality Texas fruit, and making wines from warm-climate varieties, such as Viognier, Roussanne, Albariño, Sangiovese and Tempranillo, that do well in Texas,” says McPherson.

The winery will charge $10 for a tasting of six wines plus a featured wine of the week, which includes a complimentary wine glass. The tasting fee is refunded with a purchase of two or more bottles of wine. A selection of domestic and international cheeses and deli meats will be offered with seasonal fruit and a sampling of Fredericksburg chocolates.

4.0 Cellars is the latest addition to the Highway 290 wine trail.

In the coming months, the winery will host live music and other special events. Its Dean’s List and Honor Society wine clubs offer members discounts on wines, first opportunities to taste and purchase new releases, complimentary tastings and other special benefits.

4.0 Cellars is at 10354 E. U.S. 290, Fredericksburg. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, go to www.FourPointWine.com or call the winery at (830) 997-7470 or toll free at  1-855-480-WINE (9463).

You can follow 4.0 Cellars on Facebook and Twitter @FourPointWine for news about events and new wine releases.

 

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It’s Wine and Wildflowers in the Hill Country


Who can resist bluebonnets?

The bluebonnets are gorgeous this year, thanks to the rain. And the wineries throughout the Hill Country are waiting for you to show up and celebrate. Here are a few events being planned that allow you to mix wine and wildflowers.

The three B’s

The second annual Bluegrass, Bluebonnets and Barbecue at Becker Vineyards takes place March 17-18.

The Wood Street Bloodhounds will play music from 1 to 4 p.m. Riley’s Custom Catering will offer barbecue from noon to 5 or until it is sold out. You can get at two-meat plate with two sides for $12.50 or a barbecue sandwich and chips for $7.50.

The vineyard is located off Jenschke Road in Stonewall. Saturday hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday is noon-6 p.m. Visit www.beckervineyards.com or call (830) 644-2681, ext. 302.

Wine and wildflowers, a perfect pair.

Head to the Hills

The Wine & Wildflower Trail through the Hill Country will be April 13-22 and will feature 33 wineries this year.

Tickets cost $40 per couple and $25 per person. Tickets include:

  • 1-3 complimentary tastes of wine at each winery
  • 15 percent discount on 3 bottle purchases at each winery
  • One bluebonnet gift bag per ticket
  • One rain gauge per ticket
  • One wildflower seed packet per ticket

For a list of participating wineries and more information, click here.

WOW’s wildflowers

The Way Out Wineries, those in the more northern part of the Hill Country, in towns such as Lampasas and Comanche, will celebrate the wildflower season April 13-15. For tickets and participating wineries, click here.

 

 

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Celebrate the Holidays with a Free Glass of Texas Wine at Antlers


Enjoy a glass of Texas wine at Antlers.

As the days dwindle down to Christmas, it’s time to take a few moments off to enjoy a good dinner and a relaxing glass of wine.

The folks at Antlers in the Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, are helping you do just. From Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 22-24, the restaurant is offering a free glass of Texas wine as part of a promotion to show you how they are using the best local and sustainable ingredients available. And what better to enjoy with local foods than a glass of local wine?

Just print out this story and bring it with you to the restaurant for your free glass. Limit one per adult.

For more information, call the restaurant at 210-520-4001 or visit opentable.com for reservations.

 

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Drink Regional Wine Week Is Under Way


DrinkLocalWine’s fourth annual Drink Regional Wine Week is now under way.

The purpose of the program is to help get wine drinkers to try something local. And to make the experience of becoming a locapour even more rewarding, the organization is have a contest during the week.

Everyone (over the age of 21, that is) is invited to submit stories or anecdotes about their local pour in 47 words or less.

DrinkLocalWine’s 47 Words Contest ends at midnight ET Saturday, Oct. 15.

The rules are simple: write 47 words following the theme that there are hidden gems among the other 47 wine producing states (that is, those states outside California, Oregon and Washington). If you know one of those gems, whether it’s a wine, a producer or a region, tell us about it in 47 words. Entries can be emailed to drinklocalwine@gmail.com.

DrinkLocalWine board members will select winners based on creativeness, inventiveness and whether they’re 47 words long. Prizes for the winners include:

  • Tickets to DLW 2012: Colorado the fourth annual regional wine conference in Denver in April 2012;
  • Autographed copies of Todd Kliman’s best-selling book, The Wild Vine;
  • Copies of The Sipping Point, written by Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach, as well as two combo packs of the book and her DVD; and
  • Packages of Wine Shields, the innovative way to preserve open wine.

For information about Regional Wine Week, the essay contest, or to submit a story link, call 978-276-9463 or email the above address. For more on DrinkLocalWine, click here.

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Griffin to Go: A Taste of Texas Wine Offers Something Beyond the Same Old Chardonnay


Kim Murray McDonald of flutiemcd.com and Sarah Vernetti of WanderingOff.com enjoy the wines at the Taste of Texas Wine.

Veronique Barretto of VinouslySpeaking.com

Steinheimer’s Lounge at the Westin La Cantera features a treasure map on the ceiling that supposedly points to hidden gold. But on Friday night, the gold was found in glasses, as the bar was the setting of a Taste of Texas Wine Tweet-Up.

Wine from Haak, Becker, Alamosa and Inwood Estates.

Resort sommelier Steven Krueger and Vintage Texas wine blogger Russ Kane led a tasting of four uniquely different Texas wines, each made from grapes that extend far beyond the California classics, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Texas is its own growing region, unique,” Krueger told the audience of local bloggers and tweeters. “You walk into a Texas winery and you don’t know what they’re going to serve you … and that’s a challenge.”

Grapes with names like Aglianico, Touriga Nacional and Vermentino aren’t household favorites, Kane admitted. Yet these seem to be among the grapes that are proving to be perfect for the state’s climate and great for those “locapours” out there who want to drink locally, he said.

“Our wine experience is not going to be what a California wine experience will be,” Kane said.

Westin sommelier Steven Krueger leads the discussion.

California has cast a giant shadow that the rest of the wine growing regions in the nation all have to operate under, Krueger said.

But Texas winemakers are making strides with lesser-known varietals that are offer great flavors in the glass.

To prove that, Krueger started the tasting with the 2009 Haak Vineyards Blanc du Bois, which was steely and bracing with a citrus edge. “Lemon meringue pie,” pronounced Veronique Barretto, who writes the Vinously Speaking blog.

Blanc du Bois is a grape that was introduced in 1987. It was developed in Florida to withstand harsh growing conditions while being resistant to Pierce’s disease, a bacterial infection that has wiped out countless acres of vineyards in the U.S. and beyond. With a grape so new, “there’s not a history or tradition of making it,” Krueger said.

So, people like Raymond Haak of Haak Vineyards are writing that history with their attempts. Though the version poured at Steinheimer’s was dry, Haak also produces a sweet Blanc du Bois.

The main point of the event was to spread the word about Texas wine, which the various writers did with their tweets. The gathering included Heather Hernandez of GeeketteBits.com; Lauren Madrid, @ohmypuddin; Kim Murray McDonald of flutiemcd.com; Emily Stringer, @definedelicious; Stacy Teet, @steet; and Sarah Vernetti of WanderingOff.com.

While the bloggers tweeted away, our attention turned to the 2010 Becker Vineyards Viognier, all viscous and full of peach or apricot flavors. This is another grape that grows well in Texas, so well, in fact, that “it has kind of become our Chardonnay,” Kane said.

Richard and Bunny Becker have been pioneers of the grape in the state, Krueger said, adding that Bunny deserves credit for pushing for the grape’s growing acceptance among wine drinkers and growers alike.

Heather Hernandez of GeeketteBits.com (from left), John Madrid, Lauren Madrid of ohmypuddin and Stacy Teet of @steet

Third was the Alamosa Wine Cellars Palette, a Rhone-style blend that winemaker Jim Johnson likes to call “Chateauneuf-du-Bend,” a reference to the grapes’ Texas home town. This blend features Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvèdre, with a touch of the aromatic Viognier added for good measure.

Kruger said the wine showed Johnson’s “Old World soul” in its rustic yet elegant nature, with a slight touch of barnyard on the nose.

The tasting concluded with the 2007 Inwood Estates Tempranillo, another grape that is gaining great reviews for its robust flavors and adaptability to Texas soil. Tasting this made me want a large glass alongside venison with a blueberry or huckleberry sauce.

Russ Kane of VintageTexas.com tweets.

Barretto pointed out an almost Port-like quality to the wine, though it was dry. That could be because the Tempranillo grape is related to Touriga Nacional, the major grape used in Port, Kane answered.

When the wine opened, huge aromas of toffee, caramel, cajeta and other sweet and creamy combinations seemed to explode from the glass, all the while maintaining its fruit flavor.

But don’t take my word for it. Or Krueger’s, Kane’s or any of the bloggers on the scene. Only you can tell you what kind of wine you’ll like. And you can sample four Texas wines for $10 every evening from 5 to 6 p.m. at Steinheimers in the Westin la Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway. Krueger changes the selection regularly, so there’s always something new to taste.

 

 

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Texas Food and Wine — What a Sensational Pair


Chef Kelly Casey (with pastry bag) of Hudson's on the Bend in Austin plates her dinners.

It wasn’t about the prosciutto-wrapped quail, so juicy and tender with each bite. It wasn’t about the cocoa powder and raspberry flavors that mingled so beautifully in each sip of the Inwood Estates Tempranillo-Cabernet blend.

It was, however, about how the lush red fruit flavors of the 2007 Fall Creek Meritus joined with slices of Texas beef tenderloin marinated in coffee and chipotle to reach new  gustatory heights.

That was the point of the first Edible Texas Wine-Food Match, held Friday at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin.

Five chefs, narrowed down from a field of more than 35, were competing to see who could make the most successful pairings of Texas ingredients with Texas wines.

It was clear to both the celebrity judges’ panel and to the audience who did that best: David Garrido of Garrido’s in Austin.

Susan Auler (left) of Fall Creek Vineyards and celebrity chef Jacques Pépin enjoy the Edible Texas Wine-Food Match.

The chef, who once worked for Bruce Auden at the original Biga, took home the $5,000 grand prize as well as the People’s Choice Award. The centerpiece of his meal was the already-mentioned beef tenderloin with the Meritus,  but he also presented a crispy oyster with habanero-honey aïoli partnered with the Fall Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2010 and a pastel de calabaza, or zucchini cake, with lemon crema and spicy caramelized pecans served with the Sister Creek Muscat Canelli 2010.

Patrick James “P.J.” Edwards of San Antonio’s Bin 555 won a second place commendation from the judges for his meal, which started with a crudo of Gulf Coast group with cured Poteet strawberries and Becker Vineyards Provençal Rosé 2009. It was followed by roasted lamb loin with herb-glazed turnips and porcini-raspberry soil, which was presented with the Becker Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. A Grapefruit “Dreamsicle” with vanilla semifreddo and the Becker Vineyards Clementine 2010 rounded out his meal.

Organizer Marla Camp

Other chefs in the competition included Peter Smith of the JW Marriott in San Antonio as well as Kelly Casey of Hudson’s on the Bend in Austin and Josh Raymer of Navajo Grill in Fredericksburg. Each presented small plate versions of his or her entire menu to the crowd.

Chef Josh Raymer of Navajo Grill's Prosciutto-Wrapped Quail alongisde a Fredericksburg Market Salad with Pickled Peaches.

The local ingredients included a number of treasures worth seeking out at farmers markets as well as grocery stores: Pure Luck cheeses, Round Rock Honey, quail from Diamond H and Texas Quail farms, Shiner Bock, Broken Arrow Ranch Venison, Bluebonnet Hydroponics lettuces, and Texas olive oil. Alongside Casey’s blue cheese cheesecake were figs from her own trees.

Other Texas wines poured included Messina Hof’s Riesling and Riesling “Angel,” Perrisos Viognier and Petite Sirah, Stone House Scheming Beagle Port, and Flat Creek Muscato, Estate Syrah and Port.

Kelly Casey's Hopelessly Blue Cheesecake with her homegrown figs.

The judges included celebrity chefs Jacques Pépin and John Besh as well as Mozzarella Company found Paula Lambert, François Dionot of L’Academie de Cuisine and Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Proceeds from the evening, planned by Marla camp of Edible Austin and Terry Thompson-Anderson of the Texas Food and Wine Gourmet, will benefit the not-for-profit Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, which is being planned for Fredericksburg. The goal is to raise all of the money needed to operate the center before it opens in October 2013.

 

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10 Texas Wines to Tempt Your Taste Buds


Gary Gilstrap of Texas Hills Vineyards pours a taste of his Tempranillo. What Texas wines are you pouring?

The calendar tells us that October is Texas Wine Month, but many of us “loca-pours” — the wine-loving equivalent of a locavore  — have been enjoying the state’s rich bounty all year long. The following is a list of 10 Lone Star wines worth seeking out. Many are at fine wine shops in the area. Others are available only at the winery or online.

Raymond Haak of Haak Winery

The list could stretch on an on to include selections from many of the state’s other fine wineries, such as Fall Creek, Brennan, Pedernales Cellars, LightCatcher and Inwood Estates. These are just to get you started.

1. Haak Winery Blanc du Bois (Dry) 2009 — The winery from Santa Fe, Texas, is gaining international recognition for its Madeira, which is standing up quite well alongside those from Portugal. But it is also doing some wonderful things with Blanc du Bois, a grape that resists fungus and disease while thriving in Texas. The grape’s flavors and aromas conjure images of tropical fruit blend, which means it’s at home in both sweet and dry versions. Haak attempts to please all palates, even using it in his Port of Call dessert wine. My favorite is the dry version, clean and delightful in the heat. (HaakWine.com)

2. Perissos Vineyard and Winery Texas Hill Country Viognier 2007 — Breathe in the aroma of honeysuckle, with perhaps an extra dose of honey. Then taste the peach and stone fruit with a touch of citrus that swirl across your palate in a medium-bodied treat that leads to a clean finish. Refreshing. (PerissosVineyards.com)

3. Stone House Vineyards Claros Norton 2008 — Norton is a grape that seems resistant to freezing, hail and flooding. Sounds almost too good to be true, right? Yet this varietal has done well in Virginia, where the results are rustic and rugged. This Texas version is much lighter and cleaner, both of which are welcome in the Texas heat. Not overly complex, just enjoyable. (StoneHouseVineyard.com)

4. Calais Winery Tempranillo 2009 — “The French winery of Texas,” as this newcomer bills itself, is soaring beyond expectations with its first bottling of that great Spanish grape, Tempranillo. Lush, rich, red fruit (from Neal Newsom’s much sought-after High Plains vineyards) fills your mouth with each pleasant sip. (CalaisWinery.com)

5. Texas Hills Vineyards Toro de Tejas Newsom Vineyards Tempranillo 2009 — For a persuasive argument that Tempranillo could be the state’s big red grape to rival California’s Cabs, pour the Calais side-by-side with this satisfying wine (again, lush and full of red fruit flavors). Both are made from Newsom’s grapes, so you’ll be able to experience how winemakers affect the wine making process. Get the grill ready, because a big ol’ hunk of steak should be part of the equation. And that’s no bull. (TexasHillsVineyard.com)

6. Sandstone Cellars Winery VI 2008 — This wine is a blend of European grapes made in a style that isn’t trying to emulate California, Washington or even its Texas neighbors. It’s more Old World in its earthy tones, which mingle elegantly with dark, dry fruit (think blackberry, not sweet cherry). It’s also sublime. (SandstoneCellarsWinery.com)

7. Becker Vineyards Raven 2008 — Raven is something of a departure for the Stonewall winery. The label is different. The feeling of the bottle in your hand is different. The weight and taste that fills your mouth are definitely different. This is a big, juicy blend of Malbec (75 percent) and Petit Verdot (25 percent) that packs a Texas-sized wallop. Ever bit into an overripe plum and had the juices explode in your mouth? Now, add plenty of sun-baked earth and sweet spices to fill out the inky palate.  (BeckerVineyards.com)

8. Flat Creek Estate Syrah 2008 — Fruit-forward flavors of plum and currant mix with leather and a touch of coffee on the palate of this wine, which initially seems to be a powerhouse but actually has some pleasant undercurrents of smoke and cocoa to give it complexity. (FlatCreekEstate.com)

9. Llano Estacado Superiore Rosso Viviano 2007 — This is perhaps the granddaddy of Texas high-end blends, and each vintage places consistently among the best Texas has to offer.  It’s not about tasting the mineral or fruit flavors individually. Sipping this wine is about enjoying the balance that exists among the various grapes, a richness that is neither too subtle or too overwhelming. It’s the liquid equivalent of the contentment Goldilocks had when she discovered something that was “just right.” (LlanoWine.com)

10. McPherson Cellars Grenache-Mourvedre 2007 — Some areas of Texas are ideal for growing southern Rhone varietals like Grenache and Mourvedre. Trouble is, not too many people want to take a chance at pronouncing them. What they’re missing, especially in Kim McPherson’s version, is a light-bodied yet lovely expression of raspberry and smoky spices that just loves food, whether you’re eating chicken wings, baked ham or chili. Definitely one to remember for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. (McPhersonCellars.com)

Richard Becker of Becker Vineyards

If you are seeking out these wines online, just be aware that not all of the websites have been updated. If you have a question, you may want to e-mail the winery before ordering.

What are your favorite Texas wines? Post them below. Drink Texas the next time you open a bottle, but drink responsibly.

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Go Texan Restaurant Week Sept. 27-Oct. 1


The Texas Department of Agriculture is sponsoring Go Texan Restaurant Week Sept. 27-Oct. 1.

For the entire week, restaurants across the state will be serving up Texas-produced food in ways that show off the diversity of the state’s agricultural riches.

In San Antonio, some of the restaurants with specials that week include:

  • Acenar, 146 E. Houston St., which will offer a three-course prix fixe meal featuring Texas chicken-fried oysters; grilled adobo chicken breast with asadero-stuffed poblano or sirloin steak asada and grilled beer marinated sirloin; and peach cobbler or pineapple cream cheese empanada. Cost: $35.00 a person, plus tax and tip.
  • Boardwalk Bistro, 4011 Broadway, which will feature fixed-price Texas meals as well as a food-and-wine-pairing menu with Texas food with Texas wines. A Texas wine tasting with special pricing and Texas wine list will last throughout October (Texas Wine Month).
  • Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., which will offer discounts on Texas items, including Texas raised, grass-fed bison burgers with sweet potato fries in addition to Texas quail stuffed with homemade pork sausage and cornbread dressing.

A partial list of other restaurants involved in the Go Texan week include Barn Door, 8400 N. New Braunfels; La Hacienda de los Barrios, 18747 Redland Road; Josephine St. Cafe, 400 E. Josephine St; the Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, 1746 Lockhill Selma Road; Zocca Cuisine d’Italia, 420 Market St.; and various Stonewerks locations.

For a list of participating restaurants in San Antonio, click here.

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Texas Wines Bring Home the Medals


It’s been a good year for Texas wines. The burgeoning wine industry has claimed a growing number of medals in state, regional and international wine competitions. The list includes some well-established wineries, such as Becker Vineyards and McPherson Cellars, as well as some up-and-coming names on the scene: Sunset Vineyards and Georgetown Winery.

The following is not a complete list of award-winners, but a sampling of some of the wines that have taken top honors at various competitions.

  • Becker Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Wilmeth Vineyard – Best of Show Red Wine (San Antonio Wine Festival)
  • Becker Vineyards 2008 Fleur Sauvage – Class Champion and Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Becker Vineyards 2008 Barbera, Peter’s Prairie Vineyard – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Becker Vineyards 2009 Clementine Late Harvest Viognier, Bingham Family Vineyards – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Flat Creek Estate Mistella NV – Top Texas Wine and Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Georgetown Winery Lone Star Frost NV – Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Grape Creek Vineyards 2007 Serendipity – Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Grape Creek Vineyards 2009 Viognier, Lost Draw Vineyards – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • McPherson Cellars 2009 Rosé of Syrah – Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • McPherson Cellars – Reserve Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)
  • Messina Hof Winery – Best of Herd Award (San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo)
  • Messina Hof 2005 Papa Paulo Port Private Reserve – Texas Grand Star (Lone Star International Wine Competition)
  • Messina Hof Winery 2008 Chenin Blanc – People’s Choice Grand Champion White Wine (San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo)
  • Sunset Winery 2005 “Vintner’s Select” Orange Muscat, Newsom Vineyard – Texas Class Champion (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition)

Some of these wines are found only at the winery or on the wineries’ websites, but others can be found in wine shops. For a complete list of award-winners, click here.

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Daily Dish: Set Sail on a River of Fine Wine


There are few pleasures in San Antonio equal to sailing down the river on a barge cruise. But the New World Wine & Food Festival has made even this joy better by adding wine into the equation.

The annual Texas Vintner Cruise is set for Nov. 11. Parties catch a barge at the Hotel Valencia, 150 E. Houston St., and sip the state’s best wines while listening to the winemaker. Back at the hotel, they can sample more wines and eat the food from chef Jeffrey Balfour of Citrus, chef Diana Barrios Treviño of Los Barrios and La Hacienda and chef Michael H. Flores among others.

The first barge leaves at 6 p.m. Guests are asked to show up at least 20 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Tickets are $50 apiece or $55 on the day of the event (though tickets are often sold out before the day). For ticket to this other festival events, click here.

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