Wine country in Texas

Trip Start Jul 05, 2008
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5
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Trip End Sep 2008


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fredericksburg is on the western end of Texas wine country. Based on our experiences in the wine country in Canada and upstate New York last year, we weren't expecting much, but we had been told that the hill country was very scenic. Our destination in Fredericksburg was the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park.
This park, which is maintained by the city, has full RV hookups, an 18 hole golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, nature trails, etc. A really nice place. We weren't so sure when we pulled in since it is right next to the airport. However, I think the entire three days we were there, probably fewer than a dozen planes took off and landed and many of those were one pilot doing touch and go. One thing that is unique about the airport is that there is a hotel right on the edge of the tarmac!
 
We got set up and went to dinner at the Cabernet Grill
which was just down the street. We decided to take the plunge and ordered a couple glasses of Texas wine. Surprise! One of them was a pretty good viognier made by McPherson from Lubbock. The other was a nice Chardonnay made by Becker from Fredericksburg. We had a great dinner and decided that Texas wine country just might work out!
 
The next day we stopped by the visitor's center in town and then took off to do some wine tasting. The vineyards all have nice tasting rooms, much like those in the Russian River, though not as grand as those in Napa. We stopped at Grape Creek, Becker,
Torre di Pietra, and Woodrose. Grape Creek has a beautiful hill top tasting room and event facility and they also make a nice merlot and a Bordeaux blend they call Mosaic. Becker was our favorite winery. They had a good dry riesling and viognier but our favorite was a dry Provencal style Grenache rose. Torre di Pietra makes a wide variety of wines, but only one or two that were to our taste. They seem to think that a lot of new American oak is a good thing. The wine tasted strongly of the oak barrels. The Woodrose Winery was the most modest of the ones we visited. They did their tastings outside under the heritage oak trees. You sat at a small table, and one of the tasting room staff would come out and pour for you. It was very relaxing.
 
We were going to play golf on Thursday but the course had a women's tournament scheduled and no tee times until late afternoon. Since this is Texas and it is the summertime, we decided to pass until the next day. Instead we went into downtown Fredericksburg and wandered through the shops. Fredericksburg was founded in the mid 1800's by German immigrants. The German influence is still quite strong. I counted eight Lutheran churches in a town of 10,752. There are rathskellers and breweries as well as the wineries. The town's famous son was Chester A. Nimitz, admiral of the Pacific fleet during World War II. There's a museum dedicated to the Pacific war in town. President Lyndon Johnson's ranch is a few miles from Fredericksburg in a little town called Stonewall (ironic huh?). This was the one year anniversary of Lady Bird's death and the National Park Service is getting the ranch ready to open to the public in time for LBJ's one hundredth birthday. While we were driving here, I wondered what Lady Bird's real name was. I found out it was Claudia Alta Taylor. Her biography is here for those of you who would like to know how she got the Lady Bird name.
 
Friday we got up and went over to play golf. The municipal course is in excellent shape and has a few tough holes to keep things interesting. For some reason I've developed an awful hook on my drives and fairway woods. Since this is the first time we've played in about a month, it was a little frustrating. The only things that seemed to be working okay were my irons. I need to get out to the range and figure out what's going on. As Mark Twain said, "Golf is a good walk spoiled." As usual, Deb consistently drove the ball down the middle of the fairway and then helped me look for my ball.
 
Our next major stop is Las Cruces, but we have to stop in Fort Stockton since it's too far for one day.
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Where I stayed
Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park

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