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36 minutes ago, NoName said:

Lincoln St is a legit great place that I almost always recommend to people in town. Laid back, cool wine bar that has a very limited food menu but a really cool vibe and a large outdoors area!

Been going there for 15 years or so.  Love that place.

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  • 1 year later...

Came through Fredericksburg and on into Austin on 290 on Friday.  I guess I haven't been down 290 west of Austin in quite a while.  There must be a hundred wineries and distilleries along the road.  How can they all stay in business through this covid BS?  Anybody tried Hye Rum?  Worth a stop on my next trip through?

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/23/2020 at 6:47 PM, CycleTex87 said:

Came through Fredericksburg and on into Austin on 290 on Friday.  I guess I haven't been down 290 west of Austin in quite a while.  There must be a hundred wineries and distilleries along the road.  How can they all stay in business through this covid BS?  Anybody tried Hye Rum?  Worth a stop on my next trip through?

this is obviously way after the fact but the big answer is there are just so damn many people out here they can jump on the wine bus, hit up a bunch of them, maybe join 1 or buy some bottles and there is enough $$ out there for everyone.

they don't seem to think they are anywhere near saturated either, there are some more opening up towards Johnson City, and off of 290 now and they think there is going to be a ton more additional growth up towards Burnet/San Saba as well.

it will be interesting to see if COVID slows any down but as far as I know only one winery near FBG has actually "closed" even with everything that is going on and there is a pretty big one one opening up next to Grape Creek on 290 and what appears to be a new, decently sized one opening up across from Fat Ass in the middle of nowhere (it is on 290 but right where you turn to go to Becker)

Rumor is that in Blumenthal (tiny "town" between FBG and Stonewall) that 2 big parcels of land were purchased - one for a winery/shopping area and another for a Salt Lick BBQ/winery. I know the 2 pretty decent sized lots were purchased, but not sure who actually bought them.

i've heard decent things about Hye Rum, been open a while and they did a ton in the community with hand sanitizer so i need to swing by and at least buy a bottle of something.

Edited by NoName
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I've been through there a couple times now, looks like the drive between Houston and the Permian will be part of my life for a while until my company feels it's safe enough for me to fly out there rather than burning a day driving each way.  I may hit up Hye Rum on the next trip.  On the way home, its right around lunch time.

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3 minutes ago, CycleTex87 said:

I've been through there a couple times now, looks like the drive between Houston and the Permian will be part of my life for a while until my company feels it's safe enough for me to fly out there rather than burning a day driving each way.  I may hit up Hye Rum on the next trip.  On the way home, its right around lunch time.

if you care there is a coffee place in Johnson City that is pretty solid, right off of 290 on your right if you are coming to FBG

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2 minutes ago, NoName said:

if you care there is a coffee place in Johnson City that is pretty solid, right off of 290 on your right if you are coming to FBG

I'm always on the lookout for quality coffee places, and also ones not named Starbucks.  Local owned and operated is preferred.

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More and more wineries are either using local grapes or grapes from the High Plains.  From what I know, guys like Ron Yates, William Chris, Duchman, Perissos, Hye Meadow, Bingham, etc. use 100% Texas grapes.  Go somewhere like Augusta Vin and they have 60 acres planted there and 100 acres total but pretty sure they also supplement with High Plains.  Perissos, on their page says, "100% Texas Grown - Since our first harvest in 2006, 70% of all the wines made at Perissos have been from Estate-grown fruit. The other 30% is grown by other extraordinary Texas farmers."

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1 hour ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Ok seriously, what percentage of the wine actually comes from the locally grown grapes?  I know the winery in deep Rio uses a significant percentage of California juice.

last I heard about 80-85% of the grapes grown in Texas are from the High Plains.

1 hour ago, HenryJames said:

If it says Texas on the label, at least 75% of the grapes have to come from Texas. If it has a specific AVA, at least 85% of the grapes have to come from that AVA. If it says estate, 100% of the grapes have to come from that estate.

this is correct.

1 hour ago, texasdago said:

More and more wineries are either using local grapes or grapes from the High Plains.  From what I know, guys like Ron Yates, William Chris, Duchman, Perissos, Hye Meadow, Bingham, etc. use 100% Texas grapes.  Go somewhere like Augusta Vin and they have 60 acres planted there and 100 acres total but pretty sure they also supplement with High Plains.  Perissos, on their page says, "100% Texas Grown - Since our first harvest in 2006, 70% of all the wines made at Perissos have been from Estate-grown fruit. The other 30% is grown by other extraordinary Texas farmers."

William Chris was leading a push to try to make a label saying "Texas" to have 100% from Texas but that's really tough and it didn't make it.

There is a big focus on using Texas grapes these days, but to do it on a larger scale it's tough to do 100% Texas grapes.

Most folks are getting a decent % of their grapes from High Plains just due to how many grapes are grown there vs Hill Country AVA

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I don't have a problem with them sourcing from the High Plains, per se.  Was perusing the web page of Perissos today and they do a good job of explaining where their grapes come from.  Some might show percentages of estate vs other vineyards and they'll call out the specific vineyards.  I think big advancements are being made in Texas wine and I like what's being done.  

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It seems like the little vineyards you see from 290 are just to drive past to get to the tasting room.  Perhaps there are a lot more acres somewhere else.  Doesn't seem like the terroir is great around there for quality wines but what do I know.  I've only ever been to the Livermore valley in CA, but it felt more like France than the Hill country.

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On 9/21/2020 at 4:50 PM, CycleTex87 said:

It seems like the little vineyards you see from 290 are just to drive past to get to the tasting room.  Perhaps there are a lot more acres somewhere else.  Doesn't seem like the terroir is great around there for quality wines but what do I know.  I've only ever been to the Livermore valley in CA, but it felt more like France than the Hill country.

this is based on the USDA 2019 Texas Wine Grape Varities report here: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Texas/Publications/More_Features/tx-wine-grape-varieties-2019.pdf

I recreated with % here - part of the reason High Plains has so much more production, on top of how much more there is, is that their yield per bearing acre is MUCH higher than the rest of Texas (3.14 vs 2.1 in Hill Country or 1.4 in North Texas/DFW)

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Regions:

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that said, some of the road-side vineyards are legit and some are not.

I know Kuhlman does a decent amount of estate wines from their on site vineyard, but a ton of other ones along 290 are just for show based on size alone.

my understanding is that there was a large family owned/run vineyard in Doss (aka middle of nowhere in Gillespie COunty) that was sold maybe 5? years ago after hail took out the entire crop.

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You can tell which ones tend to be for show.  Ron Yates, for example (as much as I love their wines), only has 10 acres in Hye so I'm not sure that's producing much.  Their estate vineyard at Spicewood Vineyards (I say "their" because Ron owns both) has 28 acres.  A lot of them work with a few different vineyards.  Here's what it says on the Newsom Vineyards page:

 

"Starting with 2 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon in the spring of 1986, Newsom Vineyards now grows a total of 148 acres, 19 varietals and supplies fruit to 12 wineries in the state."

Also

"We currently contract grow for 12 wineries, some of these since we started. Our grapes have almost always wound up in every winerys reserve program with vineyard designation. We have won several international medals (Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego & Switzerland), and gold and silver medals in most regional events that we have been entered into by our wineries. Visit the wineries using our grapes, and see whats been In the News about our vineyards."

Edited by texasdago
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this is obviously way after the fact but the big answer is there are just so damn many people out here they can jump on the wine bus, hit up a bunch of them, maybe join 1 or buy some bottles and there is enough $$ out there for everyone.
they don't seem to think they are anywhere near saturated either, there are some more opening up towards Johnson City, and off of 290 now and they think there is going to be a ton more additional growth up towards Burnet/San Saba as well.
it will be interesting to see if COVID slows any down but as far as I know only one winery near FBG has actually "closed" even with everything that is going on and there is a pretty big one one opening up next to Grape Creek on 290 and what appears to be a new, decently sized one opening up across from Fat Ass in the middle of nowhere (it is on 290 but right where you turn to go to Becker)
Rumor is that in Blumenthal (tiny "town" between FBG and Stonewall) that 2 big parcels of land were purchased - one for a winery/shopping area and another for a Salt Lick BBQ/winery. I know the 2 pretty decent sized lots were purchased, but not sure who actually bought them.
i've heard decent things about Hye Rum, been open a while and they did a ton in the community with hand sanitizer so i need to swing by and at least buy a bottle of something.
It's tasty for what it is. I've bought a couple of bottles. Benjamin Calais is part owner who is a friend of mine, and an exceptional wine maker at Calais and french connection.

#HailState - Go Bulldogs

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  • 5 months later...

Just did our annual F’Burg trip

This was our first time to Augusta Vin-definitely setting the bar high for F’Burg both with the experience and the wines. Dude dropped a ton of coin on that place and with consultants to get it right but it was our favorite 

Ab Astris-another place that we tried for the first time. Solid wines and a great setup, especially to spend a day outside on the patio

Kuhlman-first time here too. Every wine we had was solid

Signor-all wines were Oregon fruit. Really nice place but wished we knew about the fruit slicing ahead of time

Becker-actually had solid wines from their in-town spot while burning time before dinner

William Chris-did a library tasting. Honestly, we were really underwhelmed. There were some nice wines, but for all of the hype, didn’t really get it.

Restaurants-we went a couple of places-decent food, but not worth the hassle (won’t name them-not their fault, there’s just too much demand for decent food there). We are thinking next trips we’ll just go with another couple and get an Airbnb with a decent kitchen and/or do carryout. Don’t know that there’s restaurant there with an experience we can’t get in Dallas.

We usually go to Hondos for nostalgia, but didn’t make it this time. 

We also squeeze in a half day of fly fishing - did the Guadalupe with all water guides out of Austin. Trout still strong on the Guad. Should be through March

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3 minutes ago, CycleTex87 said:

How bad did the vineyards get hit in the arctic weather?  I drove through there last week and noticed a ton of tree limbs down, so there was lots of ice/snow on the area. 

Still waiting to see. Most of the feedback was that initial indications are the vines are still alive, but we won’t know the extent of the damage for at least a few more weeks

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3 minutes ago, Etexhorn13 said:

German restaurants in Freddy town? Is the Auslander still cool? Went there back in college to visit a friend and had an really cool time. 

Otto’s is the German spot of choice but is hard to get into. Auslander is fun if you’re in the right mindset 

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6 minutes ago, Etexhorn13 said:

German restaurants in Freddy town? Is the Auslander still cool? Went there back in college to visit a friend and had an really cool time. 

Still my favorite place, but it's been a couple years. The schnitzel is great. 

I'll get flamed, but I love Messina Hof. Their winery only stuff is pretty good. Good sparkling white wine, zinfandel, and the blends are great.  

The Garrison Bros tour is fun. Just don't buy anything. 

Edited by billfromlaketravis
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43 minutes ago, Etexhorn13 said:

German restaurants in Freddy town? Is the Auslander still cool? Went there back in college to visit a friend and had an really cool time. 

 

i liked Rathskeller three weeks ago on a Monday night. very low key and neighborhood vibe 

Sozial Haus was GREAT for lunch

Campo Azul for mexican, ridiculously cheap 

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