A Wine & Music Festival Weekend Getaway
The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend was a great day for sipping wine while listening to live music with family and friends at the Driftwood Estate Winery. A slightly overcast day, shaded the hot sun and made for a perfect afternoon on the green lawn overlooking beautiful Hill Country vineyards.
This gorgeous setting was the home of "A Sunday Affair", sponsored by The Austin Wine And Music Festival (AWMF). While listening to live music, we sipped on our choice of a couple dozen varieties of Texas wines offered by six Hill Country wineries.
We conveniently had a 20 minute break for a slight drizzle at the exact time there was a change of musicians. Once the intermission ended, so did the rain and the party continued in grand style.
People mingled and chatted about the different wines. My sipping partner and I particularly appreciated the absence of any pretentiousness and in place, heard sincere comments about favorite wines and likely food pairings.
The food vendors were busy with a variety of local favorites like the Sunrise Cafe from Dripping Springs and their tacos, flour and corn tortillas, and salsa casera made fresh on site; or Stouts fresh, hand-made dough pizzas (regular of veggie); or the authentic Spanish cuisine from Tapas Bravas with an assortment of fried brussel sprouts with garlic Aioli, goat cheese stuffed peppers, and hand cut potatoes with smoked paprika sauce.
Each winery had 3 or 4 different varieties of wine suitable for the sweetest to the driest taste. The representatives of each winery were extremely helpful answering our novice questions about varieties that we had previously never tasted and also giving good advice for food pairings. The entire day was very educational to go with the enjoyable, friendly atmosphere.
A favorite of our group of the four wines served by Driftwood Estates was the Alamo Red. It proved to be a softer, smoother red because of the Sangiovese grape - the same Italian grape that is the main component of Chianti. Driftwood also poured Longhorn Red, a delicious Viognier and a Cuvee Blanc.
How about the "Foot Pressed Red" from Dry Comal Creek out of New Braunfels! Not only was it an outstanding spicy, smooth wine with a mixture of 4 varieties of grapes, but it made the base to an excellent Sangria. Dry Comal Creek also served an unusual White Black Spanish blend and a Demisweet Sparkling wine that proved not too sweet.
Flat Creek Estate, located in Marble Falls, served 4 varieties including their Blanco Brio which consisted of 3 Muscats (A Muscat Canelli, Muscat Blanc and Orange Muscat) that neither of us had previously tasted. There was a slight effervescence with bubbles smaller than a sparkling wine. Deliciously different!
Other wines from Flat Creek Estate included a Cuvee Blanc, a Sangiovese - again, the primary grape in Chianti and a delightful Syrah.
My sipping partner raved over the Viognier wine, one of 4 wines presented at the Pillar Bluff Vineyard. It is an aromatic grape variety known for producing wines with strong fruit flavors - the pit fruits - peach, apricot and mango. We are looking forward to their "bring you to your knees" Pear wine to be available in December.
Pillar Bluff vineyard also made available a Founders Red and an Orange Muscat, a tasty desert wine.
While chatting with and polling a couple dozen wine lovers, many preferred the Cabernet Claret poured by Spicewood Vineyards from Spicewood, TX. A fruity, light and dry wine consisting of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillion and a slight amount of Zinfandel grapes. A crowd favorite.
Spicewood also poured a Tempranillo wine and an Albarino, a Spanish grape that adapts well to the Texas climate.
Stone House Vineyard, also located in Spicewood, had 3 interestingly different wines to share, a Fruity Dry Rose, a Peppery Shiraz and a Spicey Claros. I had difficulty choosing a favorite. With the proper food pairing, they would all be winners. For our afternoon sipping pleasure, the Peppery Shiraz served us well.
The smooth, easy voice of Victor Andrada and his soft acoustic guitar, started off the entertainment in the shade of a giant tree in the center of the lawn area. His peaceful sounds provided the perfect background for the sipping and chatting of wine lovers of all ages.
Victor was followed by an equally skilled guitarist and songwriter, a heady Drew Kennedy whose songs and lyrics beckoned for a closer listening ear. As one critic indicated, "Drew's somber yet thoughtful songs are meant to be listened to and not just heard".
The musical nightcap filled the air with the bold character of the Vintage 15, a big-band rarity in today's age void of horn and reed sounds. And what music they provided! Hans & Rachael Stockenberger provided the exceptional vocals to the 14 musicians belting out a variety of jazz standards.
Unfortunately, the afternoon crowd was thinning and many of the wine lovers missed an opportunity to drift back in time to hear great favorites of the likes of, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Harry Connick, Jr.
We look forward to next year's "A Sunday Affair" and any other events that The Austin Wine and Music Festival should promote during the year. Be sure to check out monthly our Upcoming Texas Musical Festivals and Events Calendar for any events that may be sponsored by the AMWF.