Up in the Texas hills, five miles from sweet Comfort, wine-lovers come to Singing Water Vineyards for locally-made, mostly Texas-grown wines.
Turn in at the gate, vineyards left and right,
goats beyond. The goats offer grass and weed reduction around the vineyard--no pesticides required. Plus poop for the compost.
See the box on a pole at the corner of the vineyard? One of four bat-houses around the vines. From May-October, over 800 Mexican freetail bats fly out each night to eat insects, including the glassy-winged sharpshooters that carry Pierce's Disease, fatal to vines. The Vineyard built the bat-houses to BCI specs, an investment that will yield living dividends for many years. And subtract pesticides from the farming equation.
<------Lupe, the winery's Director of Hospitality, came out from the tasting room to walk us in.
Singing Water is the definition of Boutique Winery. Small-production, high standards, family owned and operated. The customers feel like family too. 300 people belong to the wine club, many coming to the winery to pick up their shipments.
And lots of folks come out for the Second Saturday music parties. Free music from great musicians, shady seating, wine and food for sale. Doesn't that sound better than anything else you wanted to do on Saturday?
We heard Mike Blakely and enjoyed his speak-to-the-heart Americana music.
A man of overflowing stories, he's also written 16 western novels and one he co-wrote with Willie Nelson.
The care of land and fruit shows in the wine. We tasted five wines, two whites and three reds. I'll share my notes but you know your own palates, go taste and find your own favorites.
2009 Pinot Grigio --Light wheat in color with pears and peaches on the nose. Dry and crisp with pears on the palate too. From 100% Hill Country grapes, of which 50% were estate-grown. $14.95/bottle.
2009 Sauvignon Blanc --Light wheat color.Grapefruity flavor with a nice acid tang and a complementary grassy undertone. Good food wine. From 50% Hill Country grapes, 50% California grapes. $14.95/bottle.
2009 Merlot --Burgundy-garnet color. Great nose of cherries and caramel. Full berry flavors supported by silky-smooth tannins and perfect acid balance. This was our favorite and a bargain at $16.95/bottle. We brought some home, not nearly enough, we'll have to go back soon, darn. Next time we'll get more and qualify for the 1/2 or full-case discount. Estate Grown.
2008 Texas Reserve Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon (60% Merlot 40% Cab) --I was less drawn to this one, thinking it less fruity, more structured, with a slightly sour tang, but maybe it needed time to breathe. Texas-grown. $23.95/bottle.
And the surprise wine of the day:
Sweet Lupe--nonvintage, 100% Merlot, semi-sweet (3% sugar). I knew I wouldn't like it--a sweet red wine?--and knew too I should taste it for completeness. Goodness...it's the perfect summer BBQ wine, juicy, fruity, fun. $15.95/bottle.
Singing Water ships in Texas and wines are available in select stores. For more info, call or e-mail (see below).
I hope you take a day off soon, drive into the Texas Hill Country, drink good wine. And feel good about life.
Winery:316 Mill Dam Road, Comfort, Texas 78013
Tasting Room: 830-995-2246, Office: 830-995-2146
Tours - Tastings - Sales
Thursday-Saturday: 11 am-6 pm, Sunday: Noon-5 pm
PS When you go, USE THE WINERY'S DIRECTIONS to get there sooner than later. Guess how I know that?
Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.