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We hope you enjoy our story!
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.
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!
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
2021 Rodeo Uncorked!® International Wine Competition
1 Double Gold
1 Class Champion
2 Texas Class Champions
2020 Lone Star International Wine Competition
1 Grand Star
1 Best in Category
2020 Texas International Wine Competition
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.
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.
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.
Our neighbor Brian Clark came over with his tractor and prepped the area for our grapevines and lavender field.
And there’s more coming…
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!
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
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!!!
Moira & Brian
Oh, and this!
- We Made it to June!
- Have you set up your online account?
New 100% Texas Wine Releases
We Made it to June!
Whew, but we’re not even halfway into 2020! Through all of this, we’ve seen the strength of our community. Brown County has some amazing people, that are proud to call this area home. As are we.
If you’re new or visiting, checkout our Around Town page. It lists things to see and places to eat and stay.
Have you set up your online account?
New 100% Texas Wine Releases
We just released the 3rd bottling of our crowd favorite Blush as well as our new 100% Picpoul Blanc (tropical bouquet but a wonderfully clean finish).
Upcoming releases: 2nd bottling of the Welcome White, a blend of Malvasia & Viognier. This dry white has a lovely floral bouquet and a finish that leaves you wanting more.
We’re excited to release Aged to Reflection 2. Comprising of Montepulciano, Aglianico, Tempranillo, Dolcetto and a few others, this dry red blend will surprise you with its complexity.
Our last June release has been requested for weeks! Our 2nd bottling of Peached Up will also be released in June. We had a trial run of this in December, and have been getting requests for more ever since. It’s a sweet white with natural peach flavorings. Pairs perfect with summer!!
We also have a 100% Texas Roussanne. It’s a dry white that we plan on releasing in the fall.
There’s more! We’re bottling 3 more dry reds this month. We’re excited about our 100% Texas Sangiovese. We hope to release it in December. The others are Aged to Reflection 3 and a 100% Texas Aglianico that will be released next year.
In the next few weeks, we’ll find out what’s available from the Texas grape growers and make our plans for what we’ll be bottling in 2021. We’re going to need more space! :)
We have some new logo hats coming in. The design will have our logo on the side. Brian says this is the cool look now!
Last month we added these fun ‘I Love Texas Wine’ shirts in crew and v-neck. They’re both Bella Canvas and very soft, especially the tri-blend v-neck.
We’re also stocking up on our bottle chillers. These have been the best wine accessory we’ve had!
Our highlight of 2020 is the Roof Top Winery sign! We love it!!
We added a 40’ shipping container that we converted into a large walk-in wine cooler. We’re adding a 40’ ‘car port’ to it to store the farm equipment.
We hung some more items inside the tasting room and have added a bunch of LED lights on the patio & fence line.
We have a few more projects that we’re hoping to start soon. Stay tuned for what’s in store!
For 3 years we were open almost every day. After the shutdown, we reduced our hours and have gotten kind of used to them! So here are our current hours:
In 2019 we introduced the Wine Sign! It was so much fun in the spring posting our Wine Sign quotes! They were a big hit with our social media followers. Do you remember your favorite?
We have a long list of improvements / plans for the property. Unfortunately, we didn’t get as much done in 2019 as we had hoped. We are still a work in progress. In February we worked on the pavilion area, adding a bunch of picnic tables. We have enjoyed seeing families use the area to eat and enjoy their time together. The showcase of the pavilion area is the drop-down stage that Double Diamond Iron & Woodworks created for us.
The Brownwood Bulletin wrote an article on our Valentine’s Day Blush Release, ‘Perfect Timing - Blush Release Valentine's Day.’ We had sold out of our original Blush in late December. As a result, in January and early February there were some unhappy customers, hearing their Blush was sold out. We had one guest, we’ll call Jane Doe, that wanted to wear black as a sign of mourning that we were out of her Blush! The release helped make our Valentine’s Day event a big success.
For the second year, we hosted Good Samaritan Ministries Empty Bowl painting events. GSM does such a fantastic job helping the community. We’re proud to support them. We have made an effort to support several local non-profits. We’ve been welcomed into Brown County and we’re committed to support it anyway we can.
There’s a whole bunch of Irish under our roof, so St Patrick’s Day is a favorite day here. Falling on a Sunday, it was the perfect day for some green wine (we released our Welcome that day) and the photo booth courtesy of Gobo Entertainment. It was such a fun day, all captured in the booth!
Our Fireside Sunsets became a surprise hit. We had so many guests share their enjoyment of their time sipping wine in front of the fire pit while watching the sunset. There is something about sitting around a fire that can’t be explained. Great conversations, laughter and even some tears. A perfect place to relax and unwined. Thanks to Kenny for supplying the firewood!
We celebrated our 2nd Anniversary in April. While it wasn’t a blockbuster event, we had such a fun time. It was capped off with a great show from the Remedy.
We added 4 new bee hives in April. While we still have so much to learn, we really enjoy beekeeping. We even attempted a bee removal from a well house. It was a learning experience.
In July we started working with a new winemaker. The wines we released in the fall had the new black label design to reflect the change. We have released the Shamus Rosé, Aged to Reflection and the Montepulciano, all to tremendous compliments along with some awards already too! We still have a Cabernet Sauvignon set to be released in April. Thanks to Dustin Durham with Happy Trails Trucking, we were able to transport the wines safely in a refrigerated trailer during that hot August heat.
Our Woodstock celebration turned out to be the grooviest event of the year! Jim, John & Sharon urged us to plan it, and we’re so glad we did. Sharon was manning the photo booth while Jim & John were co-DJ’s, with non-stop 60’s & 70’s music. Chipster’s Grill was busy serving up some of their delicious BBQ! The place was packed, standing room only, such a great night!!
We are a Cross Country Destination! Since we’ve opened, we’ve been amazed at the number of cross-country visitors we’ve had. Most were coming from Austin, but a good number were coming to visit Lake Brownwood State Park. We’ve had buses, RV’s and campers, all sharing their adventures. The one visit that stood out this year was Bob’s visit because it was on motorcycle. Bob drove up on a Sunday afternoon. Brian noticed him on the patio for a while, so he went to meet him. He recently retired from the military, and was on his way to California from Maryland. Brian invited him inside. We had our usual Sunday crowd who greeted him with open arms. Bob stayed for about 3 hours.
The year hasn’t been a bed of roses (or Rosé). Something that started as a morale booster, ended up embedded in controversy! It was our Employee of the Month competition. It got so bad that we had to temporarily discontinue this recognition incentive. Again, we would appreciate this not discussed at the winery! Thank you Becky for showing support to the EOM runner up!