People seem to have strong opinions and/or pre-conceived notions about Texas and its people. But, for those of you who’ve never been, let me set the record straight…
Texas is awesome. And not just Austin. I spent the last week going from Houston to San Antonio to Austin to Dallas and to Fort Worth. If there’s one thing Texans know how to do – it’s eat and drink!
Houston, the fourth largest city in the country, is a force to be reckoned with. With a population of over 2.2 million people, and a really busy airport, Houston was named one of the most progressive cities for Asian-fusion. The Houston Rodeo itself is the single largest volunteer organization – with over 22,000 volunteers participating each year. I spent the better part of Sunday pouring our Reserve Class Champion Wine – 2008 Pinot Gris – at the rodeo while sampling food from some of the 90 restaurants that were there. Too bad I forgot my boots… I could’ve had ‘em shined.
On Monday, I got to visit some amazing restaurants and pick up some locally-made hot sauce at Central Market, where they carry the whole Anne Amie line up! Some of my favorite stops were Yelapa, Suhi Raku, and Trulucks. Did you know that Florida Stone Crabs can grow their claws back?!?!
On my first visit to San Antonio, I got to see the Alamo! And I had an incredible lunch at Zinc, where they have our Amrita by the glass. At Joe Saglimbeni’s I found my wine geek matches! They have such an incredibly vast and well-chosen selection of wines..
Austin, as everyone knows, is an amazing city. In Austin, we visited Central Market, Aquarelle, Royal Blue Grocery, and Cru Wine Bar, amongst others. I had an awesome dinner at Buenos Aires Cafe – too bad their list is all Spanish and South American… Our Amrita would go so well with the gnocchi.
In Dallas, we went all over – to Whole Foods (where they’re featuring our Cuvee A Pinot Noir), Restaurant AVA (where they have our Willamette Valley Pinot Noir & Riesling), and Winetastic. For dinner, we went to The Grape on a recommendation from Club Members Charlie & Louanne Eldemire. What a great place! If you’re in the area, you have to check it out.
And last, but certainly not least, I got to trollop around Forth worth, checking out places like the new Elerbe Fine Foods. Ellerbe’s is all about fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, and their food is delicious! We stopped by Gran Cru wine shop, and ended at one of our favorites – Grace.
After a long week of hopping town to town, I was ready to be back home. There’s so much going on at the winery right now that I just didn’t want to miss out on. Bottling is next week – the 2009 whites will soon be ready! And our remodeling is coming along so fast! And so I said goodbye to Texas. Until next time!