My brother and sister-in-law visited last weekend. Each day they seemed to find themselves packed up in the car and whisked away to go see neighboring towns, downtown attractions, and the lakes. They got a taste of what makes Austin and its suburbs such a great city in which to live or visit - the South Congress strip, Lady Bird and Inks Lakes, the Trailer Park Eateries, and the best damn chocolate pie served up at the Monument Cafe in nearby Georgetown.
That's a whole lotta Austin to take in in just a couple of days.
So when Sunday rolled around we decided to take a nice, slow drive out to Texas Wine Country! Our destination - Driftwood Estate Winery. A short drive southwest from Austin on Ranch to Market 1826, then on to FM 150 for a bit.
A right turn just past this old Texaco service station in Driftwood put us on Elder Hill Road. And from there, about 4 miles up the road we found the entrance to the winery.
A dusty drive up to the wine tasting room was delightfully rustic, just what the junker/picker/country gal in me was hoping for.
I knew I was in a great place when I rounded the last corner up and spied this
great old Jeep!
Thankfully my traveling companions were as interested in the gorgeous, rusty jeep as I, so we stopped for a brief photo shoot.
We answered the call of the rust,
now on to the wine!
After parking the car, we headed down the pergola toward the tasting room.
We were met by Mario Perez and the friendly staff of Driftwood Estate Winery. They led us into the tasting room where we were given a list of wines and their descriptions. For just $5 we could each select 5 wines to taste.
The sommelier, or wine steward, poured tastes of each of our selections.
We saved our last for a toast to the day ahead. Cheers!
We stopped at the wine shop to purchase our favorite wines. We decided to share bottles of the Muscat Canneli and the Lonestar Cab to have with our picnic.
With our wine cooled to the perfect temperature and uncorked, we headed out to the patio overlook.
We had the choice of sitting under the covered patio area or the shade trees, but we opted to spread our picnic in the grassy clearing which offered incredible views of the vineyard below.
With the retrieval of the basket and quilt, we laid out our picnic.
Just relaxing in the warm sun with good company, conversation, wine, and food was both satisfying and rejuvenating.
Even though the vines were dormant, we were as impressed with the spectacular view, as we were with our wine selections.
Even Bear, a gorgeous Great Pyrenees, couldn't be distracted from his view of the grazing goats in the valley below.
After a couple of hours of relaxation, good company, and spectacular views, it was time to head on home.
And so... I said goodbye to my new friend, Mario, superior host and fellow junker. We went past the rusty jeep, back down the dusty path, past the vintage Texaco station, through the twisting Hill Country back roads, and returned to our Austin, suburban home.
... but we'll be back.
A special thank you to Mario Perez and the staff of Driftwood Estate Winery for their hospitality.
For more information about Driftwood Estate Winery and Vineyards, please visit their website:
All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.