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Moira McCue
 
August 25, 2021 | Moira McCue

We’re coming to you at these Texas Wine Festivals

Texas wine festivals are great opportunities for us because they give us a chance to share our wines outside of our winery. Last year, every wine fest that we had planned on attending, was canceled. So this fall we’re trying to reach out farther. If we’re in your area and you would like to help us at an event, let us know.

Are we still not close to you? We’re always looking for Spirit of Texas Winery ambassadors to help spread the word about us. If you would like to pour our wines at an event near you, let us know!

Summer Sippers 30% Off
Summer Sippers 30% Off Sale Ends 8/31/21

 

Never been to a wine festival? Well then you’re missing out. There are all types; wine & food, wine & music, wine & beer, wine & bacon and more! If you’re looking for wine events, check out the Texas Department of Agriculture’s website uncorktexaswines.com or the Texas Wine Blog site txwinelover.com.

Here’s where we will be the rest of 2021 (updated 8-25-21)

Texas Wine Festival Date Location
Texas Forts Trail Wine Festival 9/11/2021 Menard, TX
Buy Texas Market 9/18/2021 Early, TX
Sipping in the Sunshine 10/2/2021 Comanche, TX
Corks & Caps 10/2/2021 Brownwood, TX
Plano Food & Wine Festival - Tentative 10/9/2021 Plano, TX
Texas Forts Trail Wine Festival 10/30/2021 San Angelo, TX
Lubbock Uncorked – Tentative 11/06/2021 Lubbock, TX
Texas Bistro Wine & Brew Crawl 11/06/2021 Burleson, TX
Cheers & Charity 11/13/2021 Brady, TX
Granbury Winter Wine Walk 11/20/2021 Granbury, TX
Buy Texas Market 11/20/2021 Early, TX
Sipping Under the Stars   Brownwood, TX
Sip & Stroll 12/11/2021 San Saba, TX
Buy Texas Market 12/18/2021 Early, TX

 

 

Brian McCue
 
August 14, 2021 | Brian McCue

Order Up

brian the cook at spirit of texas winery

To be able to re-open after our second shut down, we had to serve food. We were fortunate that our friend Cody at Diamond R Store & Café helped us get approved and some ideas on what to cook. We had to convert our backroom from a storage area into a kitchen. It took about 2 weeks to get set up. We re-opened for guest on a Friday. Moira & I were working out some kinks but overall it was going well. That was until about 6:00. We were definitely weren’t prepared for everyone that came out to support us that night. We were slow & sold out of almost everything. 

It was a long night, plus we never had so many dishes to clean! Moira & I got up early Saturday and prepped some additional appetizers. We were cranking along again, until 6:00 came along. We were still slow and just about selling out of everything again. At one point, both Moira & I were both in the back room, working on food orders. Moira was extremely stressing. I turned to her and said, stop & listen for a second. All you could hear was conversion and laughter. No one was complaining or upset, they were here to support us. 

Moira said serving food was like opening another business. There is still a lot of prep and planning involved with it. We were pleased at how many guests have asked that we keep offering food and how much positive feedback we have received. 

Moira McCue
 
August 5, 2021 | Moira McCue

Best Wishes Liz

Liz, Moira & Lisa laughing on Liz's last day

On June 26, 2020; all wineries, breweries & distilleries were closed for the second time. We were allowed to open in August on the premise that we serve food. For our first 3.5 years, we did not have any employees but we quickly realized that we needed help. One of our wine club members said their daughter would be available in November. Liz started the first week of November and quickly fit in!

Most guests thought she was our daughter, so she became our work-daughter. I even made her text her every night to know she made it home safely. She was a natural. She knew most guests by name and which wines they liked. When she told us that she was heading off to nursing school in the fall, tears were shed. We could not have asked for a better first employee. Great things are in your future, we’re so happy for you!

Time Posted: Aug 5, 2021 at 3:58 PM Permalink to Best Wishes Liz Permalink Comments for Best Wishes Liz Comments (1)
Moira McCue
 
July 22, 2021 | Moira McCue

A little bling never hurts

It’s always a little nerve racking when we enter wines into a wine competition. Lots of wines being judged by lots of experts all with different palates. We haven’t entered many wine competitions mostly because we missed the entry deadlines! Since last year, we have entered our wines into four. The results have so exceeded our expectations especially since all of our wines are so young.  

Both our 2018 & 2019 Welcome dry white wine has been so well received. It by far is our most awarded wine we’ve produced and both were so different. The 2018 was a Trebbiano & Vermentino blend and the 2019 was a Malvasia Bianca & Viognier blend.

The 2019 was awarded Class Champion, Texas Class Champion and a Double Gold. To receive a Double Gold, the wine was a unanimous gold choice by all judges. 

To see a list of all of our award winners, click here

Here’s a recap of our 2020 & 2021 awards:

21st Annual Finger Lakes International Wine and Spirits Competition 
2 Silvers
1 Bronze 

2021 Rodeo Uncorked!® International Wine Competition 
1 Double Gold
1 Gold
1 Class Champion
2 Texas Class Champions
3 Silvers
1 Bronze

2020 Lone Star International Wine Competition  
1 Grand Star 
1 Best in Category
4 Golds
1 Silver
4 Bronzes

2020 Texas International Wine Competition
2 Golds
2 Bronzes

Moira McCue
 
July 9, 2021 | Moira McCue

1st Annual Spirit of Texas Winery Photo Contest Winner

Liz and Cris submission Spirit of Texas the Michelangelo of wines

In June we held our 1st annual photo contest. We wanted photos in front of our i love you & wine so much wall. So you could use your old photo, come out and take one or even add the wall to an existing photo. We had plenty of entries and it was difficult to pick a winner. Liz & Cris really got creative with their winning submission ‘Spirit of Texas the Michelangelo of wines’! We want to thank everyone for your entries and keep a look out for next year’s contest.

Spirit of Texas Winery Photo Contest submissions

#SOTWinesPhotoContest

 

Brian McCue
 
June 25, 2021 | Brian McCue

Moira is making Brian sweat!

Brian and his shovel taking a break from working outside

After re-opening last August and serving food, we got behind on our outside projects/maintenance. So we planned several outdoor projects for 2021. The biggest was mowing & weed control. We even got Lisa’s husband Patrick to help us some.

Patrick helping us clean up and trim weeds

The first project was expanding our parking lot. Thanks to Meadow Construction, we added an acre of parking for our guests.

Next was just good ole yard maintenance, trimming trees and weeds.

Moira standing next to trailer load of tree branches

Our neighbor Brian Clark came over with his tractor and prepped the area for our grapevines and lavender field.  

future site of our grapevine vineyard in Early, TX

And there’s more coming…

Moira McCue
 
May 27, 2021 | Moira McCue

Is it really already May?

News Flash! Our January resolution to write more frequent blogs = #fail.

So here we are in May already and so much has happened already.

In Mid-December, we became a Harvest Host location. Since then, we’ve hosted over 20 RV’s. It’s been such a fun experience for us, meeting people from all over the county (WI, FL, CA, AZ, CO, AR, MO, GA, PA, NJ & TX).

Oh and we’re back to hosting events too. Don’t miss our Pot Luck Sunday’s. They’re on the last Sunday of each month. It’s so good to have our regulars back; Pixie Plum, Mixin it Up Arts & Christine instructing art/craft events. Plus Wine Festivals are starting back! It’s our opportunity to pour our wines around the state. Check our calendar for all of our upcoming events.

Giving back to our community has always been important to us. In March we scheduled our 1st March Gladness. We matched money we collected for 4 local charities (Good Samaritan Ministries, CASA in the Heart of Texas, The Ark & Brownwood Animal Shelter). We raised donated over $2,000 and also were a Soup-er Bowl Champ sponsor for GSM. Plus some other silent auction items and other donations.

New Releases: We’ve released 6 wines already this year and have a few more coming. Hope you had chance to taste our: 2019 Dolcetto, 2019 Home Town, 2019 Estrella Blanca, 2019 Rip Roaring, 2019 Viognier and our fun carbonated Pizazz.

We celebrated our 4th anniversary in April, and we survived the Texas snowpocalypse in February!

Moira McCue
 
February 10, 2021 | Moira McCue

2020 Oh What a Year

This recap has become more of our way to recount and immortalize what transpired in 2020 than a regular blog post. If we would have read this a year ago, we would have laughed at our over-the-top attempt at fictional writing.

Don't miss the video at bottom of post!

2020 was our 3rd year open but it was more stressful than our first two years combined. We were closed down not once but twice and were restricted to to-go only sales for an extended period of time.

Highway 183, the highway outside our entrance had very little traffic as compared to normal. People just weren’t traveling when the pandemic started. Prior to the shutdown, we could have 5-15 new (first time) guests on any given Saturday. For the entire month of April, we only had 6 new guests. Things were so slow; we reduced our hours to Friday through Sunday (after being open 6 days per week). When we were allowed to re-open, we weren’t even able to offer samples of our wines; just to-go orders. This made purchasing our wine challenging for first time customers.

Loneliness was hard on everyone. We took advantage of every chance we could to visit. When guest would come to pick-up their wines, it would become a time to catch up. For curbside service, Moira would take out their order and stand outside their car window talking for 20-30 minutes almost every time. Wine Down Wednesday on Facebook Live became another way for us to connect with our community. In late May we were allowed to open at 50% capacity inside. Sales picked up and June started as a good month. That was until the next second closure on June 26th.

In late August we had the option to open with the requirement of submitting paperwork to become a restaurant. Brian has an entrepreneur’s heart and it is because of his determination that we opened and were able to start serving. This was not an easy project. It resulted in our having to buy equipment and restructure our back room to accommodate food service. Brian took on the task of being the cook. Most weekend evenings he has had to be in the back – not where he prefers, but he has become quite the cook. Some of his creations, like the bacon wheel and chalupa pizza, have become quite popular. Serving food allowed us to be open, but with just the two of us it was wearing us out. The food prep, cleaning and dishes were overwhelming at times. In November we hired our first employee. We are so happy to have Liz as apart of our Spirit of Texas family. She is energetic, friendly, and great to work with. She has helped us make this transition easier.

There were many bright spots in the year. We couldn’t have made it through the year without the support of so many, especially our community. Our Wine Club Members had a major impact in helping us get through the challenges. Even when they were unable to try the wines, they trusted us and continued to support us.  

Here are some highlights of the year:

  • We released a record for us of 8 Texas wines

  • We won some awards!

  • Converted a shipping container into a refrigerated wine storage

  • Added our very cool Roof Top Winery sign

In spite of everything, we still continued to support our local non-profits. We donated or raised just over $10,000 for the year. Here were a few of the events we hosted:

  • Good Samaritan Ministries Empty Bowl Painting

  • April 5% of Sales

  • Memorial Day Weekend for the VFW

  • 4th of July for Corinne T Smith Animal Shelter

  • BBQ for Hero’s – Local Volunteer Fire Departments

So what’s in store for 2021? We’re focusing on exterior improvements:

  • Expanding our parking area and new exit

  • Enhancing back patio area

  • Property-wide landscaping projects & clean up

  • Planting ½ acre of grapes

  • Planting ½ acre of lavender

2020 was definitely a learning experience. No contingency plan could have prepared for this. It challenged us to be creative and try some things we never would have done. We had so many people that stood by us and continued to support us all year. We are forever grateful!

 

Video: 2020 at Spirit of Texas Winery

Time Posted: Feb 10, 2021 at 8:20 AM Permalink to 2020 Oh What a Year Permalink
Brian McCue
 
July 20, 2020 | Brian McCue

2020 Did Not See That Coming!

The governor mandated shutdown has been weighing heavily on us. It’s hard to believe that Governor Abbott could devitalize a whole industry by shutting them down with just hours notice (bars, tap rooms, distilleries, breweries & wineries) for the actions of just a few. On June 22nd, just 4 days before the shutdown, TABC reported that in over 3,500 inspections since May, only a fraction of them resulted in violations of the existing mandate (full story). The Texas Comptroller reported $57 million in alcoholic beverage tax revenues for April 2020. That number is down 55% from April 2019.

You can help! If you haven’t done so already, contact Governor Abbott’s office and tell him that he unfairly shutdown an entire industry because of a few that were violating his previous mandate.

Remember, many smaller wineries, breweries and distilleries can’t be found in retail stores. Unfortunately, we never pursued it, choosing to meet most everyone that bought our wines. We have been able to count on wine festivals as an opportunity to expand our reach but every wine fest so far this year has been cancelled due to Covid. To make things worse, these high temps are preventing us from shipping to preserve the quality of our wines.

Here are some additional ways to help us small guys:

  • Buy curbside (most allow call-in’s or online ordering)
  • Buy online (Check for shipping policies)
  • Check to see if you can drink on their grounds
  • Purchase Gift Cards
  • Join their Wine Club
  • Support them on Social Media (Like, Comment & SHARE)

The best source for finding wineries:

Thank you for your continued support,

Brian & Moira

Time Posted: Jul 20, 2020 at 4:30 PM Permalink to 2020 Did Not See That Coming! Permalink Comments for 2020 Did Not See That Coming! Comments (1)
Brian McCue
 
June 24, 2020 | Brian McCue

Our 3rd Anniversary

We had to postpone our anniversary a couple months, but it still turned out amazing! Originally we had envisioned a big event with food trucks and live music, but that changed. Since we had limited seating inside, we decided to celebrate it over 3 days.  The weather cooperated, so the patio/pavilion area was well used all weekend.

The weekend started with the release of 3 new 100% Texas wines: Welcome, an aromatic dry white blend of Malvasia Bianca & Viognier. It’s the fitting replacement of our original award-winning Welcome.  Aged to Reflection 2 is a compelling dry red blend. This version is a blend of 8 varietals, with much more complexity. Finally the Peach is back! You can officially start your summer now, because we have Peached Up back in stock.

One encouraging thing we noticed is that we had guest from all over Texas this past weekend (Huntsville, Lufkin, Waco, Frisco, Hewitt, Austin, Lubbock, Georgetown, Breckenridge, Midland, Odessa & Manor). It’s nice to see people traveling again.

The weekend was busy and we’re so grateful for that but the highlight of the weekend was totally unexpected. Unbeknownst to us, one of our biggest supporters had something special in mind for us. Sharon contacted one of our guests that creates beautiful wood work along with another guest that does laser engraving. We had a group of our regulars in attendance as we were presented with these 2 incredible Adirondack chairs! We were flabbergasted, speechless and teary eyed. We still can’t begin to say how truly blessed we have been since we moved here.

As always, thank you for your continued support & encouragement. We love this community!!!

Cheers,
Moira & Brian

Oh, and this!

Time Posted: Jun 24, 2020 at 1:53 PM Permalink to Our 3rd Anniversary Permalink
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