On Monday we took our first foray into the Hill Country and headed to Fredericksburg. It was not the nicest of days, raining on and off. We wandered down the east end of the main street wandering through the various shops. I’ve been looking for a new purse which would be my Valentine’s gift. I found one I liked but when I checked the price tag I about had a heart attack -$228, yowza! I know some women might not have a problem with that but I couldn’t get myself to pay that even on my most extravagant day.
Down the street a ways we came to the Fredericksburg Brewing Company. I had read about this microbrewery so we were ready to have lunch and try one of their local brews. Fredericksburg, you may gather from the name was founded by German immigrants and embraces its German heritage. The brews here are also German type brews; John had their Porter and I tried their brown ale and we were happy with both selections. This is a very nice brew pub and the food was great. We noticed here as on Strand Street in Galveston that they allow you to take your drink outside to the sidewalk area. By the time we finished and worked our way back to the truck we decided to head back to the rig and leave the west half of main street for another day.
Today the sun was finally shinning and we decided to combine visiting the west side of main street Fredericksburg along with a couple of wine tastings. On our last visit I picked up the literature and map of the US 290 Wine Trail. There are 10 wineries along US 290 here in the Hill Country. One is west of the city, the Chisholm Trail Winery and the Fredericksburg Winery is on the west end of main street so these two were a good fit for today.
First up before tasting any wine was lunch. We found the German Bakery and Restaurant just down the street from our first winery. It was lunch time but we were pleased that they serve a breakfast menu all day and that is John’s favorite meal out. We have to give this place a nice recommendation. I had a huge omelette that came with homemade biscuits that were amazing and the server was very friendly. You can tell a lot of locals eat here which to us is always a good sign.
Next up was the Fredericksburg Winery. We were the only ones there at the time and a very friendly and talkative fella greeted us. The only problem was he talked so much and so fast he was hard to understand at times (ed:which was any time he was talking). We tried three of the wines and really did not find anything to our liking (ed: they all sucked). This fella was kind of irritating in that when I told him my preference was dry red wines, he proceeded to tell me that I really didn’t know much and the fruit and sweet wines would be better (ed: this guy was pegging my BS meter on every topic, which can be entertaining). I actually think this was because they were sold out of both their Cab and Pinot Noir and most of what he had left were the sweeter fruity wines. The wines he had us try were all $30 a bottle, which in our estimate was way overpriced for the quality of the wine so for the first time that I can remember we left a winery without a purchase (ed: the samples were free and, fortunately, very small). Usually at these small wineries we always find at least one wine worth taking home. (by the way all the “ed:” comments are my editor’s comments, that would be John)
|My new purse!|
So we finished up our shopping and guess what I found? A purse that I really like and for a fraction of the price of the one the other day. So Happy Valentines Day to me! :)
Now it was time to find the Chisholm Trail Winery. The map and the GPS agreed and had us taking 290 west for about 9 miles and then south about 3 miles on a road that I think was very fitting for a winery named after the Chisholm trail. The road is only about one, maybe one and a half lanes wide along scrubby grazing land with cattle, goats and horses. It was a nice winding road and I tried to take a photo for you through the window. There in the middle of this wild Texas country side where I could easily picture cowboys riding along on their horses is a nice little winery.
|Chisholm Trail winery|
The tasting room was quite large and again we were the only ones there for quite awhile. We tried five dry reds and their port and I have to say it was much better than the one in town. The woman helping us was very knowledgeable about their wines and we found three to bring home. This was altogether a better experience. What made it even a better experience were the prices. Much more reasonable and when you bought 3 bottles you received a 10% discount (in Fredericksburg the discount for multiple bottles was only 5% for 6-11 bottles and 10% for over 12 bottles).
|Fitting there would be horses by the Chisholm Trail Winery|
The weather today was so pleasant too. It was such a joy to be out discovering new places when the sun is shining; it makes for a great day.