Relaxing afternoon at Fall Creek Winery

Sher and I went with our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter to the Dripping Springs area west of Austin. There we went to the Fall Creek Winery, one of the oldest wineries in the state. Established in 1979, this winery was one of the first in Dripping Springs, and the owners were instrumental in 1990 in securing official recognition of the Texas Hill Country as a recognized and respected viticultural region.

The entrance gate to Fall Creek Vineyards

The tasting rooms at the winery are located in the original ranch house. Rustic decor and beautiful views from the decks and rooms add to the relaxing atmosphere of this establishment. We got a table, looked at the menu and discussed our options with our hostess. The tasting menu included five different wines, all from Texas, three of which locally from the Texas Hill Country.

Rustic seating areas

Cozy lounge area

Cheese and meat plate

Pimento cheese and crackers

We all wanted to have some cheese and cracker plates, and our hostess suggested some sampling techniques utilizing the cheese samples. We talked about the wine having “legs”. Swirl the glass, take a whiff of the bouquet, and then take a sample taste. The legs are the drops of wine that run down the inside of the glass. Sometimes called “tears” or “fingers” these droplets have been the cause of controversy as to what they tell you, or don’t tell you. Some say the thicker the “tear” the higher the alcohol content. Others say that is phooey.

Anyway, it was most enjoyable trying the five different wines. In addition to those five, we asked about any sweet wines. Fall Creek Winery has one, Gotas de Oro,  a mix of 49% Muscat Canelli and 51% Chardonnay. Sher is holding that bottle in her picture. We liked the wines. We bought the bottle Sher is holding, and we also bought a bottle of the Chardonnay and one of the GSM, a mixture of Greenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. This is yet another fun and relaxing winery that we have enjoyed. Plus we had the carry-outs again. Good times with each other and our dear family.

A little over a year ago

Here is a look back to February 9, 2020. The concern over COVID was growing, and we were within a couple of weeks of leaving our RV resort near Austin to head back to the “safety” of our place in Indiana.

Solstice Outdoors is a unique gallery

Out side of Dripping Springs, Texas in the Hill Country near Austin is a thriving landscape design business that also doubles as a place to view and purchase unique outdoor artwork. Solstice Outdoors Ltd. is based in a former ranch home surrounded by 2 acres of what is now a whimsical display of outdoor works of art and decoration.

Solstice homestead

Outdoor fire pit complete with pyramid and butterfly seating!

 

 

 

 

 

Through an online mobile search Sher found this place while we were prowling about the Dripping Springs area. Thanks to google maps we soon found this surprising gallery of both indoor and outdoor craftsmanship. Each of the rooms in the house were used to display local artist’ works, including jewelry, tapestries and pictures.

Another metal man

Bull/man iron soldier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By far the most unique part of Solstice is the “backyard”. As soon as you go out into the yard you are greeted with a variety of ‘creatures” in all sizes and materials. The company offers landscaping design and construction. Walking through the grounds was like walking through an outdoor arts garden.

This face is kind of creepy

A different media for a longhorn!

 

 

 

 

 

Often we don’t have a set itinerary some days when we explore an area. It is always an adventure to find things by just driving around looking for signs, or hitting up the mobile search for “things near you”. The day we found Solstice Outdoor, Ltd. was one of those days.

Remembering a distillery visit in Texas

I thought it was time for something different than a post about the COVID-19 pandemic. Allow us to share a few photos and text about a nice local distillery we visited during our winter residence in Texas a few short weeks ago.

Fast Eddy logo in neon

The Hill Country near Austin is home to several breweries, wineries and distilleries. Near Dripping Springs one will find the Fast Eddy Vodka distillery. We stopped there one day near the closing time. The place was absolutely packed as there were the normal amount of cars and two huge tour buses that had filled the place with folks.

 

 

 

The bar of course had samples of the many varieties of flavored vodkas bottled at the facility. There was a very large distillery room with lots of tables. We looked at the merchandise, but did not really find any shirts we liked. Our purchases were limited to a couple of glasses with the Deep Eddy logo.  We passed on samples as we had been out all day visiting breweries. I was not really in the mood for even a sample of vodka.

Here is the Deep Eddy website. Notice that now the place is closed due to, you guessed it, COVID-19 restrictions. When we go to Texas in the future, we do plan on visiting Deed Eddy again.

Great craft beer at Twisted X Brewing Company

Dripping Springs , Texas is in the Hill Country near Austin. A bit south of this eclectic town is the Twisted X Brewing Company. Sher and I put it on our agenda one Thursday afternoon, and were glad we did!

The tasting room

The tasting room at Twisted X is open air and very comfortable. The Thursday afternoon we were there also had a fella playing guitar and singing which was a nice touch. We ordered a flight of four to sample. The bartender picked out the samples for us, and he did a good job. Some of the beers are available only at the tasting room.

Bar and brew list board

The brewery logo

 

 

 

 

 

I really liked the Austin Lager, and even bought a couple of cans to take with us. By the way, it is an advantage to travel in our RV, as the fridge is right there, and you don’t have to ever worry about your brews getting too warm before you get home. You have your home with you!

Our flight of great craft beers

Anyway, the Twisted X Brewing Company is another fine brewery in the Dripping Springs area. They have brewery tours on Saturdays and Sundays. Private events are also hosted. Check the Twisted X website here for details. Put a visit to this brewery on your agenda, folks. You will be glad you did!

Family Business Beer Co.

Growler from the Family Business Beer Co

Sher and I had a ball one Thursday night at the Family Business Beer Company out near Dripping Springs. This brewery is co-owned by Jensen Ackles who was Dean Winchester in the CW smash hit Supernatural. One of the other co-owners, Gino Graul, was there the night we went, and we had a great conversation with him. We enjoyed a flight of four after the bartender was kind enough to explain what was new to us information about different beers. We also enjoyed the trivia contest as well. We came in last, but had a fun time.

It was a very comfortable and friendly brewery

When in the Austin area we strongly recommend a trip to the Family Business Beer Co. It’s kid and dog friendly, has a great food truck, and of course great beer! Here is the website.

Treaty Oak Distilling has Texas made bourbon for sale

Sher and I took off in search of a brewery that is owned by one of the stars of the TV show “Supernatural”. We found it, but it was not yet open. So thanks to Google Maps suggestions, we found a nearby distillery.

The Tasting Room

The Treaty Oak distillery is back a long lane and we saw cars so we know it was open. Once we started into the grounds a staff member informed us that the tasting room was open, but not the other buildings.

Our flight of three for tasting

The tasting room was like others: a bar, bottles lining the walls, and a neat display with T-shirts, glasses, flasks, and other branded merchandise. The tasting menu included wine (available ’cause some folks don’t like the hard stuff), gin and bourbon. Not all of the offerings were products of the distillery, but were available for sale under the distillery labels.

Yep, we decided to buy a bottle!

Our hostess in the tasting room helped us decide which products to sample. We sampled a gin, a rum and finally a bourbon. The gin was not a favorite of ours, the rum was good, but wow the Ghost Hill Texas Bourbon Whiskey was terrific! It was also one of the products that was, as the label states, was made “Grain to Glass” on the grounds of the facility.

It turned out to be a delightful and fun stop. We’ll go back to that other one sometime when they are open.