I bought the tickets for Valentines. We'd heard there were a lot of wineries in the Hill Country (north of San Antonio, west of Austin, south of Waco) but we've never been. Mind you, we've been in the state for 13 years, and the oldest winery we visited was 20 years old. As we found out, it wasn't necessary to have a tasting ticket for the wineries, but toting the ticket got us a little "extra" at every stop. If we hadn't bought the tickets, we probably wouldn't have gone, so I think that was money well spent. We went to the Fredricksburg Winery (downtown Fredricksburg), Grape Creek Vinyards and Torre de Pietro (right next to each other on Hwy 90) and Sister Creek Vinyards in Sisterdale.
I am not a HUGE fan of reds. I'm not wild about the tannic taste. I found it VERY helpful to taste and smell back-to-back-to-back. It helped me winnow out what I liked and what I didn't. (I had a NASTY Pinot Noir-tasted like vinegar to me!) My pick? Grape Creek and Torre de Pietro are right next to each other, and Grape Creek's wines were very enjoyable. Torre de Pietro kind of set me back on my heels, pricewise. They were pretty proud of their Petit Shiraz. It was 100.00 a bottle. I am sure I am not qualified to drive THAT snob bus. At any rate, if I was only going to make one stop, it would be Grape Creek. We picked up a port, and a sweet white that I thought would be a perfect little "prezzie" wine to have on hand. I just looked at wine awards, and hey, that little 12.50 bottle won a Silver medal in recent competition. I can be the 12.50 snob, ok?
We stopped at Sisterdale because it was kind of in the homeward direction, and they specialize in reds, which DH thinks are wunnerful. DH loved their self-tour (it's in an old cotton gin), and he loved their flavors. (It also helped that there was a large farm of rusting Chevies right next door.) He pointed out the big plastic cork tapped into the side of each barrel. "They call that a bunghole," he announced gleefully and not too quietly. See what I mean about licenses to drive the wine snob bus??
I finished a "punkinhead" hat this weekend. I first made this Ann Norling hat about 5 years ago, and decided I needed a few for baby presents. I am shocked at how easy it was to do this hat-much easier than it was 5 years ago!! So it's done. I need to do several more, because there are a lot of women expecting. EVERYONE loves the pumpkins.
If I hand knit a hat, I can just throw it in a wine bag, right? I am so NOT kidding about that!