rock & vine

of 16 /16
Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country ROCK Vine & Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country ALL IN THE FAMILY The oldest winery on the Highway 290 corridor is also one of its top draws Whistle Pik’s artists draw from global inspiration FEBRUARY 2014 FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS Fischer & Wieser promote Fredericksburg Flavors. Local food and Texas wines on the menu at Cabernet Grill

Upload: publication-printer

Post on 14-Mar-2016




0 download

Embed Size (px)




Page 1: Rock & Vine

Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


FAMILYThe oldest winery on the Highway 290 corridor is also one of its top draws

Whistle Pik’s artists draw from global inspiration


Fischer & Wieser promote Fredericksburg Flavors.

Local food and Texas wines on the menu at Cabernet Grill

Page 2: Rock & Vine

THE CALENDARROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


MARCH3/1/14Noon-6 p.m. — Texas Independence Day Celebration chili cook-off with live music by Lonnie Lett at Pedernales Cellars, 2916 Upper Albert Rd, Stonewall. Call the tasting room at 830-644-2037 for more information.

3/15/1411:30-1 p.m. — Soup Saturday at Dry Comal Creek Vineyard and Winery, 1741 Herbelin Rd., New Braunfels. Call 830-885-4076 for more information.

3/22/146-10 p.m. — Larry Joe Taylor Concert and Dinner at William Chris Winery in Hye. Call the Tasting Room at 830-998-7654 for more information.

3/29/1410 a.m.-6 p.m. — 3rd Annual Blues, Bluebonnets, and BBQ and a Wild Hog Cook-Off will be featured at Becker Vineyards, 464 Becker Farms Rd.,

Stonewall. Bring your own seating. Call 830-644-2681 for more information.

APRIL4/25-26/145th Annual Hill Country Wine and Music Festival at Wildseed Farms, 100 Legacy Dr, Fredericksburg. Call 830-998-2144 for more information about Wildseed Farms Market Center.

MAY4/30/14 - 5/4/14Fifth Annual Hill Country Film Festival, more than 50 independent films plus filmmaker Q&As, discussions and parties. Visit for more infor-mation.

5/3-4/1410 a.m.-6 p.m. — Annual Lavender Festival, live music on the veranda and food vendors featured at Becker Vineyards, 464 Becker Farms Rd., Stonewall. Call 830-644-2681 for more information.

5/23-25/14Fredericksburg Crawfish Festival at Marktplatz in Fredericksburg. Visit for more information.

UPCOMING WINE EVENTS and Hill Country Happenings

Page 3: Rock & Vine

Editor’s notE

We are happy to introduce Rock & Vine Magazine to wine enthusiasts in the Hill Country and beyond. Our aim

with this new publication is to capture the dy-namic growth, quality and flavors of the burgeon-ing Texas Hill Country wine scene, and augment it with plenty of content about our singular area and its many treasures. This issue provides an example of the type of content you will see. Our future issues will include more on art galleries, B&Bs, unique retail businesses, chefs, restaurants and local artists — all the things that make the Hill Country a creative, laid-back locale that stimulates all the senses. Wine is a fascinat-ing object of our affection. Sippers can enjoy it casually with friends, and those who want to know more about it have so many facets from which to pur-sue their knowledge. I always like reading wine columns in the The Wall Street Journal and other publications, though I am still in the novice stage of my wine knowledge. I also have made a country boy’s mis-take of ordering “another cup of that wine” at an establishment. “I will bring it to you in a glass,” was the humorous waiter’s reply. I am stunned by the recent growth of the industry in this area, yet grateful for the dedica-tion and investment which has taken place here. No less than Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the top read among oenophiles, named the Hill Country a top 10 wine destination. And we think more growth is on the way with the addition of the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts and study opportunities from Texas Tech University-Fredericksburg. We would love to know what you think about our foray.

Ken Esten CookeEditor & [email protected]

Rock & Vine Magazine features the best of the Texas Hill Country wine industry, as well as lifestyle, attractions, history, char-

acters and thinkers.

A product of Fredericksburg Publishing Company, Inc.

ROCK Vine&

Wine and lifestyle magazine

Color palette

of the Texas Hill Country

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a

greater range for enjoyment and apprecia-tion than, possibly, any other purely sensory

thing.” — Ernest Hemingway

Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country

Publisher/EditorKen Esten Cooke

Contributing writersChristine Granados

Barbara ElmoreMatthew Este

Kristen TownsendMegan WillomeAshley Thomas

ProofreaderSherrie Geistweidt

Advertising ManagerKim Jung

Advertising SalesAnn DueckerLorrie Hess

Rock & Vine Magazine712 W. Main St.P.O. Box 1639

Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Rock & Vine will publish again in June and October, 2014. To advertise, call our staff at the number below.

Advertising information830-997-2155

Subscription information$15 for one year


Page 4: Rock & Vine

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


All in theFAMILY

Fresh off a double gold in a prestigious contest,


owners Brian and Jennifer Heath are finding the balance

between quality and quantity.

Photos by Cynthia Lively.

Page 5: Rock & Vine

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


By Christine Granados | Photos by Cynthia Lively

Grape Creek’s grounds mix a bit of Tuscany with the Texas Hill Country.

Before Brian Heath became owner of Grape Creek Vineyards or even decided he wanted to get into the wine making business, he had a glass of the best caber-

net shiraz he had ever tasted at the Cottage Café in Fredericksburg (where West End Pizza now stands). The red wine was forgotten after several unfruitful online searches for another bottle of the tasty cab. He did find his favorite wine a year later in the most unlikely and serendipitous of places. As fate would have it, Heath traded in the fast-paced life as a senior vice president of a Fortune 500 company based in Minneapolis and New York for a slower and more manageable one in Fredericksburg when he bought Grape Creek from Ned Sime’s heirs in 2006. “I had kind of been looking into the wine indus-try for three or four years. I like wine but for some reason the business was really attractive to me,” Heath said. “One thing I like about it is the con-nection between agriculture and manufacturing and customer service and retail.” Heath said he likes the vertical nature of own-ing a winery. Vertical defines the business process where a company takes something from a raw state until it ends up in the hands of a consumer without a middleman. “In the wine business it’s pretty much all you,” he said. “We tend to be very specific about the wine that we make.” Grape Creek’s winemaker Jason Englert has brought his precise and structured way of making wines to the Hill Country. Englert, who graduated from Texas Tech University with a biology degree, said he stumbled into the Grape Creek job by acci-

dent. “My wife and I had gone to my brother-in-law’s wedding in San Antonio and we stopped by Grape Creek on our way home,” Englert said. “Ned Simes had just passed away a week earlier. I had the opportunity to speak to Ned’s son about the future of the winery. Within a couple of weeks, I was commuting from Lubbock to help with the 2004 harvest.” At the time, Englert was working under his mentor Greg Bruni at Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock. Bruni, a third-generation winemaker, had over 30 years of winemaking experience in California before coming to Texas. Englert began his career running Llano’s lab. Englert spent eight years with Llano, learning the trade and moving up to became cellar master and assistant winemaker. Although Englert had no idea what he wanted to do after graduating from TTU, under Bruni’s gui-dence his passion for wine making grew. “Grape Creek had a consultant for many years prior to my arrival. Once Brian felt comfortable with me, the consultant was taken off retainer,” he said. Familiar with the challenges Texas weather and geography grape growers encounter, Englert’s focus has been on Bordeaux-style wines. However, the winery is incorporating more and more Italian wines into its inventory with good results. The winery has been recognized with medals and best of class distinctions from California to New York under Englert’s watchful care. “For us, our goal is all about quality and making fresh wines consistently from year to year,” Englert said.

Page 6: Rock & Vine


It was Englert’s vigilance toward wine makings that unknowingly drew Heath to the vintner and made them one of the most successful pairings along the Highway 290 corridor. “I’m talking to Jason one day in his office and across his laptop he had a screen saver,” Heath said. “It said,

‘Quivis wines.’ Jason said, ‘I’ve done my own label for a couple of years. It’s named after my sons—Quin and Davis.’ “What he didn’t know was that the best Texas red I ever had was his cab shiraz,” Heath said. “So I knew things were going to be okay. He’s done a great job as our wine maker.” Englert laughed off Heath’s prophetic story. He said, “I don’t know if it was fate or what but that’s the same story he told me. I haven’t made that label in some time because we’ve been so busy.” Englert has presided over phenom-enal growth. The winery has gone from 1,500 square foot building with six tanks to a 10,000 square foot building with 35 tanks. Grape Creek has built a

barn, warehouse and renovated the bar-rel and tank rooms, warehouse, cellar, bed and breakfast, and the Georgetown location. “We’ve had construction projects pretty much nonstop for five to six years,” Heath said. “Starting with the renovation of the tasting room. It was the original owner’s home.” The winery built upon its reputation

from previous owners Ned and Nell Simes. The Simes’ established Grape Creek in 1985 with the help of noted wine making consultant Enrique Ferro from Temecula, Calif. It is the oldest winery along the Highway 290 cor-ridor. The Simes’ made their first wine in 1989. Although the yield was less than 700 cases, Simes’ chardonnay won a gold medal and best of class at the Houston Wine Club’s competition. Today Grape Creek yields 30,000 plus cases. “Our production has grown ten-fold in six years,” Heath said. “I think it’s a boom industry and we’ve probably grown a little faster than most. The reason I think we’ve done well is that Fredericksburg is a tremendous draw. I

think being on 290 is a big benefit.” In Fredericksburg, where beer is the drink of choice, the wine culture is growing. Grape Creek has helped change that perception. It is the fifth largest winery in Texas, according to a wine industry website. “I don’t think the wineries would exist without Fredericksburg,” Heath said. “At the same time, the wineries are bringing a different kind of consumer to Fredericksburg that is helping pay the favor back.” One-third of the Fredericksburg tour-ists come specifically for winery tours and tastings, according to the Texas Hill Country Convention and Visitor Bureau’s visitor tracking survey based on 2012 numbers. The number of wine specific visitors has tripled since 2000, according to the survey. “The challenge has been managing growth,” Heath said. “It’s especially dif-ficult when you’re trying to figure out how much wine you need three years down the road because you’re getting grapes to ferment, to put in barrels for a year to bottle to sell and that proved to be kind of challenging. That’s an exam-ple of swallowing growth. “It’s a great problem to have. I’d much prefer it to the alternative,” he said.

Measured growth

“I think we’re starting to get a point where we’ll continue to grow but I don’t think it will be at the same rate,” Heath said. “We do very little distribution, because we don’t want to distribute, other than to a hand full of great restau-rants and specialty retailers.” The biggest reason for Heath’s cau-tion with growth is that it will change the business model into horizontal one. He said it no longer becomes about quality wine but quantity and distribu-tion. “Distribution is its own game,” Heath said. “For a lot of wineries, you have to produce enough that you can have the wine on the shelf regularly and also pro-duce it for a price point that the retai-lors, package stores, or restaurants can sell it for and make money. It kind of puts a pressure on volume. We just don’t want to grow our volume at the rate for

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


A new patio for Grape Creek’s wine club members is one of many physical improvements at the winery.

Page 7: Rock & Vine

the wines we want to make. “We have fun at this and we can make money at it,” he said. “I used to have big corporate job, so I’ve done the big busi-ness thing. I don’t need to build this into a treadmill.” This is the reason Heath hired Lydia Wessner as vineyard manager. Wessner, 26, has a B.S. from Texas A&M in Entomology and Horticulture and an M.S. from Fresno State in Viticulture and Enology. The Plano, Texas, native’s goal is to get the vineyard back up to the original own-ers 25 acres of production. Pierce’s disease (a bacterial pathogen spread by the glassy-winged sharpshooter that kills grapevines) gutted the vineyard and it’s been an uphill struggle to grow quality grapes ever since. “I’m trying to get the vines back into shape and healthier,” she said. “It all depends on the viable acres.” Along with disease Wessner battles Texas’ unpredictable weather, pesticides, and birds. It’s an all too familiar fight for many Hill Country farmers. We replanted three existing vineyards and established two new vineyards, Heath said. “We planted a new vineyard last March—Montepulciano and Aglianico for the Epiphany,” Wessner said.

Family Affair

This is work Wessner has done herself with a little help from different families including her own father and mother. Brothers, Andy and Dusty Timmons brought a planting tractor down from Lubbock to help with planting and her parents Jim and Nguyen Wessner, who at one time owned an orchard in Virginia, traveled from their home in Dallas to help her plant the vineyards. “They sat on the back of the plant-ing tractor and stuck plastic knives into the soil [to measure the space between vines],” Wessner said. “They just pulled knives and helped straighten the vines and plant ones we missed. My dad helped with the irrigation emitters too. Twelve hundred vines were done in one day.” Families are not an uncommon site at Grape Creek Winery. Englert, who used to live on the grounds, raised his two sons in the vineyard. “We lived at the winery for four to five years,” he said. It wasn’t uncommon to

see his children running around the vine-yard and winery. Heath and his wife, Jennifer, who mar-ried in 2012, are co-owners of the vine-yard. His extended family are a familiar site on the grounds. The seven children between their families all work, have worked or will work at the winery during the summer, according to the Grape Creek website. Heath’s brother-in-law is the retail operations manager. “My mom’s been out here quite of few times, he said. “We have an event where we have mom’s meatballs. Mom makes her special sweet and sour meatballs and

prepares them with the Grand Rouge. We just had this event with wine club mem-bers in November.” His two daughters Heather and Jackie have worked at the winery in the summer when not in school at the University of San Diego. “My dad lives at an assisted living center in town,” Heath said. “His group comes out here twice a year. We set up for them and do wine. One of our guys has gone over done a teaching session at the center.” Heath’s dream of making the win-ery a “Disneyland for adults” starting with the gravel drive from the entrance through the Chenin Blanc grapevines to the Tuscan-inspired interior of the tast-ing rooms has proven successful with not only visitors, but employees too. “Grape Creek has 25 great full-time

employees and a handful of very helpful part time employees,” Heath said. “We have a real high retention of our people,” he said. “One of our long-term people, Jeff Binney, used to teach college courses on running restaurants. He now writes our ‘Jeff’s Corner’ on Facebook. He and his wife Kathy both work here. Another one of our people Ashley, is also our electronic media person. People con-tribute based on their skills in a lot of dif-ferent areas.” Talent like Englert’s whose ability has produced award-winning wines. Recently, Grape Creek Winery racked

up ten awards at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the larg-est competition of American wines in the world. Grape Creek’s 2012 Rendezvous, Rhone-style red wine won a double gold in the competition. In a unanimous deci-sion, five judges voted the wine as gold, which is a designation few wines receive. “It is a great accomplishment. I think that wine has more to show,” Englert said. “We shall see.” The winery’s 2012 Viognier received a gold rating and other wines won silver and bronze medals. Just as Heath wants his employees to excel in their areas of expertise, he wants the winery to continue to improve. And like Heath found the “mystery wine,” he plans to find the perfect blend of quality and quantity. R&V

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


The bar at the new outdoor patio awaits guests.

Page 8: Rock & Vine

By Matthew Este


Sips of gold

There is gold in the Fred-ericksburg hills. To be more specific, Grand Gold.

Last year, Pedernales Cel-lars entered their 2012 Reserve Viognier in the Concours Interna-tional des Vins in Lyon, France. Competing against wines from around the world, the wine won the Grand Gold – no other wine from the United States obtained such distinction. Viognier (most easily pro-nounced Vee-on-yay) is a white wine grape most popularly grown in Condrieu in the Rhone Val-ley of France. In the late 1960s, the grape was nearly extinct, but grape growers in France brought it back. Interest grew for Viognier internationally; it is planted in many places in the United States, especially Texas. During a recent Sunday drive, I dropped by a few of the local vineyards to try their takes on this wonderful wine. My first stop was at Pedernales Cellars, whose Grand Gold honor from competition in France piqued my curiosity. Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken planted their first vineyards in the early ’90s and spent years studying grapes that worked in the Hill country climate and soils. Eventually they opened a tasting room a short ways off Highway 290 in Stonewall. The tasting room provides serene views of the area in an excellent location to spend an afternoon tasting wine. As they poured this light yellow colored wine into the glass, I

could smell the honey and floral aroma – which excited me further as to what I was about to taste, with hints of tropical fruits and vanilla. While this is a dry wine, I think that it has enough residual sugar to make it a perfect accom-paniment to spicy food, or great with a Caponata salad. I later dropped by Hilmy Cellars, which offers two dif-ferent Viogniers to try: a Naked (un-oaked), and oaked Viognier. Hilmy Cellars started in 2009 when Erik and Neldie Hilmy — along with friends and family — planted 3,000 Sangiovese vines; they then built a winery and tast-ing room on 290. I first tried the Naked Viognier and was pleased by its fragrant floral nose and crisp, dry yet slightly fruity taste; a bit of minerality and balanced acidity makes me think that this would be perfect for boiled Gulf shrimp. The Oaked Viognier had a bit more fruit on the nose, and the taste was slightly sweeter fruit with a bit of butter and a slight woodiness. Although both wines were delicious, they give an edu-cation in the varied profiles this grape can exhibit under different winemaking. The Kuhlkens and the Hilmys are just two examples of these modern day pioneers coming to the Texas Hill country searching for gold. And they represent only a small sample of the wonderful wines produced in the area. Stop by and check out these and the other wonderful wineries in the area.

Matthew Este is a sommelier and wine steward.

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


Page 9: Rock & Vine

By Kristen N. Townsend Photos by Steve Rawls

Some may call his approach to wine pairing a little unconvention-al, but for Ross Burtwell every-

thing begins with the wine. As owner and Executive Chef of Fredericksburg’s renowned Cabernet Grill since its opening in 2002, Burtwell creates dishes to center around and comple-ment his 100 percent Texan wine list. New boutique winery selections mingle alongside the state’s award-winning labels to comprise the most extensive all-Texas wine list in the country. Local wineries regularly send Burtwell bottles of new varietals. His favorites become the inspiration for an ever-evolving dynamic menu featuring locally raised, quality ingredients. This passion for utilizing local goods originated over ten years ago while Burtwell attended a class at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. “I visited a local restaurant one night and was amazed at the level of wine knowledge the servers had,” Burtwell recalls. “I saw the actual wine makers dining and conversing alongside every-one else. The synergy really struck me.” That synergy was not something Burtwell could immediately create in Texas before the wine boom. Now, however, as Texas vineyards continue to gain popularity and recognition, the Cabernet Grill embodies and perpetu-ates the same symbiotic relationship Burtwell witnessed so many years ago in Napa Valley. Servers at the Cabernet Grill take prerequisite field trips to local vine-yards in order to meet the wine makers and see the land and grapes, often tast-ing directly from the barrels. Burtwell stresses the importance of his staff

familiarizing themselves with local wine makers’ thought processes. In fact, it is not unusual for a server to relay a vineyard experience or tidbit to Cabernet Grill guests. Fredericksburg, a tourist town at the center of the wine boom, is a natural home for Burtwell’s passion yet has seen its fair share of restaurant open-ings and subsequent closings. Burtwell attributes the longevity of the Cabernet Grill to the importance of catering to both tourists and locals alike. Visitors to the area can come straight from a local vineyard tour to the Cabernet Grill to request a meal paired with the same wine they tasted earlier in the day. Fredericksburg’s residents appre-ciate the restaurant’s attainable price

point, non-stuffy atmosphere and major representation of locally grown products on the menu. “The people in this area are my neighbors, my friends,” Burtwell states. “We need to take advantage of that. They dine in my res-taurant, so I want to do the same thing for them.” All of this passion is deeply rooted in Burtwell’s credentials and experience. His culinary career spans more than two decades and includes positions at major Texas hotel restaurants, ranches and even a stint managing the catering kitch-en at Retama Park – one of the state’s premiere horse racing venues. Although his resume is solid and quite worthy of accolades on its own, Burtwell’s favorite praises come from local farmers and vintners them-selves.

“When I walk through our dining room and someone tells me that their meal was the best they’ve had in years, or that our service was over the top…nothing beats that feeling.”

Kristen N. Townsend is a mother, freelance writer and lifestyle management coordinator for families in the Texas Hill Country.


ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


Grilling up synergyChef pairs local wines, foods at Cabernet Grill

Chef Ross Burtwell

Page 10: Rock & Vine


Boerne Financial Center

1300 South Main Street

Boerne, TX 78006

(830) 249-6633


Frost is proud to join in supporting the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts.

And we’d be proud to help you along your financial journey too.

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


By Barbara Elmore

As if giving a lesson in customer service, Mark Wieser stepped quickly into the darkened storefront at Das

Peach Haus on Highway 87 South to retrieve a book for a customer. The store was closed, but the kitchen in the back was open for an event, and the customer had asked if Fischer & Wieser’s new cookbook was available. On the flyleaf, Wieser wrote “Enjoy!” before signing his name and handing over the book. Such personal attention is habit for the former school-teacher Wieser, half of the famous duo who first employed his now-partner to pick peaches when Case Fischer was still a local student. The peaches and other wares were sold at a roadside stand, and young Case kept his eye on the business. “He was not in sales, but he was intrigued by the fact that what you did with a customer, how you treated a customer, had as much to do with making a sale as anything inside the jar, box or basket,” the book notes. After Case finished col-lege, the men combined their skills and vision to form one of their hometown’s most well-known businesses. Their recently published cookbook, “Fredericksburg Flavors,” tells their story. The history of Germans in Texas, “Our Fredericksburg,” and the tale of how the two men joined efforts, “Two guys with great taste buds,” are enjoy-able interludes in the front of the book. Then you get to the meat and potatoes of Fredericksburg Flavors. Dive in. Cooks will find more than 125 mouth-watering recipes that use F&W products “handcrafted one jar at a time,” as a slogan on the bottles proclaims. This hap-pens at the company’s plant at 411 Lincoln St. The first recipe section of “Fredericksburg Flavors” high-lights appetizers, like the longtime party favorite, seven-layer dip. This particular recipe uses trademark F&W products Guacamole Starter and Salsa a La Charra Salsa.

Cooks who want hearty meals and sophisticated fare will find directions for making soups and salads, seafood, poul-try, pork, beef, side dishes, breakfast and desserts. If you have a sweet tooth first thing in the morning, the Pumpkin Pie Butter Empanadas (page 162) appear easy and more effective than an alarm clock. You can’t go wrong with simple, household recipes. The Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce & Cream Cheese Appetizer (page 29). It calls for ½ to ¾ cup of sauce drizzled over an 8-ounce package of cream cheese. Ginger snap cookies or your favorite crackers are suggested dippers. We tested the recipe with both, and decided the flavor of the ginger snaps nicely complements the slightly spicy and smoky raspberry chipotle taste. To learn more about the company, go to the website at Shoppers can order the book and find out about other products, including gift packages. Tip: Don’t read the testimonials if you are hungry and your next meal is hours away.

Barbara Elmore is an author and freelance writer. She reviews books, among other things, on her blog,


A peach of a bookFischer & Wieser Fredericksburg FlavorsRecipes from the heart of the Texas Hill Country

Case D. Fischer and Mark Wieser with John DeMersBright Sky Press, 2012195 pages$24.95

Page 11: Rock & Vine

Whole Pie - ½ Pies or By the SliceEnjoy your pie with us or take it to go.

Selection Changes Daily • Up to 20 Different KindsPie works with whatever you are celebrating

~ Weddings - Rehearsals - AnniversariesH Baked Fresh Daily From Scratch H108 East Austin Street

(1 block off Main between Adams & Llano Streets) Additional Parking in the Rear


108 E. Austin StOne Block off Main.




Main St. / Hwy. 290


ms S



o St


For current schedule call or scan


10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Sunday: 11:00 a.m.-4:00

Closed early when sold out.H Also open extended days

on special event weekends & holidays. H

Laid B


Wine S


& Wine

Bar 20

Best B


Taps i

n the

Hill C









s Mont


ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country



By Barbara Elmore

At a G. Harvey showing of art in Carmel, Tim and Pamela Taylor experienced an epiphany that came in the form of a

decision to open a high-end art gallery in Fredericksburg. They wanted to raise their family in the small Hill Country town, and what they saw convinced them they could find success represent-ing national artists. They bought property on a street corner that once housed a restaurant, built a structure with an authentic German air, and in 1995, opened Whistle Pik Galleries at 425 East Main. Eighteen years later, the business’s clients travel from nearby communities – Marble Falls, for example – or across oceans, said Tim Taylor. Collectors from Belarus to Tokyo have shopped at Whistle Pik, he said. When visitors thronged to Fredericksburg for spring break, the galleries broke a one-week sales record. Although collectors come from everywhere, 55 percent visit from towns and cities in Texas. And one-third of the Lone Star State customers live only 50 miles away, Tim Taylor said. Such

heavy local support both surprises and gratifies him. The corner property houses two galleries. A customer might draw in a startled breath at the caliber of art, such as bronzes by Glenna Goodacre and Mick Doellinger, African scenes by Julia Rogers, or nature as Larry Dyke paints it. Inside the courtyard estate gallery, collectors might find a wall of Texas scenes by Porfirio Salinas (1920-1973) or a painting by Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922). In the sculpture garden, visitors can commune with Goodacre’s bigger-than-life bronze rendition of Ronald Reagan, “After the Ride,” complete with gloves in back pocket.

What’s in a name?High-end art gallery mixes

hometown, international allure

The galleries are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 8 p.m. the first Friday of every month for First Friday Art Walk. The website,, is a gallery itself, where visitors can view art as well as a schedule of events.

Continued on page 14

Bronzes and masterful paintings await Whistle Pik visitors.

Page 12: Rock & Vine

By Megan Willome

Whatever the season, The All Seasons Collection can meet your needs, whether it’s an

upscale room, a spacious suite or a country cottage. “We’re a boutique reservation service featuring only lux-ury properties,” said owner Joe Cloud. “We built the business model around a full-service reservation agency, allow-ing us to create the guest experience.” The luxury begins at check-in with champagne on ice. After guests receive directions to their property, they learn how to use the Krups coffeemaker,

which grinds and brews locally owned Ranch Road Roasters coffee. “At 7 a.m., it’s important to know how to make that thing work,” Cloud said. All Seasons has 15 properties, and the limited number is by design. “If you go to a lot of the B&B sites, it’s overwhelming,” said Cloud. “Our model for this is simple, in one image you can see all the properties and click on what you want.” Keeping the company small allows All Seasons to get to know their guests. “Two ladies who come here regu-larly, we sat down with a glass of wine

and talked about what they like, what they don’t. Then we’re booking their next trip,” Cloud said. The wineries are one of the main reasons guests come to All Seasons. “It’s becoming our biggest draw right now — the wineries and the art galleries,”. Cloud, who owns The All Seasons Collection with his partner, John Wallace, said the company offers wine tours and packages to enhance the vacation experience. “We try to do things that will let them customize. We’ve got a picnic basket if you want to enjoy the wild-


All Seasons CollectionB&Bs defining Fredericksburg luxury for travelers

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


All Seasons’ Victorian Mansion B&B is a timeless, unique property.

Page 13: Rock & Vine

flowers. We’ll deliver that to your door at 10:30 in the morning,” he said. “We are going to do Experience Weekends, partnering with restau-rants: how to make sushi, how to can vegetables fresh out of the garden. Or make jam from strawberries fresh from Marburger Orchard.” All Seasons also offers engagement packages and can work with clients on a destination wed-ding or special event. Cloud and Wallace have owned a ranch here for 20 years and spent just about every weekend visiting Fredericksburg until eight years ago, when they moved here permanently. During the week, he traveled — sometimes as often as four weeks out of the month. When the economy turned and it was time for a career move, Cloud said he thought to him-self, “I’ve lived in hotels for 20 years. I can do a B&B.” Cloud enjoys providing unexpected ameni-ties, such as signature fragrances — one for each property. “It’s an opportunity to surprise and delight people,” he said. Although The All Seasons Collection is geared toward an adult getaway, it’s pet-friendly, charg-ing only a modest $30 fee. Cloud said the num-ber of guests who want to bring their pets is “huge.” “You’d be amazed. They’re making a road trip. It’s easy to bring the dogs with them. They’d rather do that than board them,” he said. To make a reservation or to learn more, call 830/998-1981 or 800/775-3197 or go to, or visit the new All Seasons Collection Office and Retail Store at 613 West Main Street in Fredericksburg. Megan Willome is managing editor and a contribut-ing writer for the Wacoan Magazine in Waco, Texas. She blogs about poetry and other things at

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


All Seasons collection features 15 properties, each with unique characteris-tics, from a rustic cabin with a dogtrot (above) at Tanglewood Farms, to this scenic respite with a pond (below) at the Carriage House on Orchard. All properties are adults only, though pets are allowed at some with a small fee.

Page 14: Rock & Vine

Sources from Hill Country Factoids, page 15Texas Monthly Magazine; Texas Parks and Wildlife website; Home remedies “Heathly Living with Peaches” by Sam Malone; Mason County Visitors Guide; Marble Falls Visitors Guide; Texas State Preservation Board history online; Weird Animal Facts by; “Medicinal Plants of the Southwest,” New Mex-ico State University; Pest Management Science Magazine; Texas Extension Wild-life Specialist Billy Higginbotham; “The Truth about Goats” in “Don’t Make Me Go to Town: Ranchwomen of the Texas Hill Country” by Rhonda Lashley Lopez; American Association of Medical Colleges’ State Physician Workbook Data Book; Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio; and “Tracing Dialect Death: The Texas German Dialect Project,” by Hans C. Boas.

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


The next big thingComing in our next issue14

The planned Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts will bring the best of food and wine to Fredericksburg and cement the town’s reputa-tion as a wine destination. The estimated 34,000 annual visitors — a boost to the town’s current 1.2-million — will no doubt bolster the burg’s existing restaurants and encourage new investment. The center will feature culinary classes, Texas wine tastings and food pairings, casual dining, food and hospitality industry training, special events rental space and some retail.

Historic Pat’s Hall is available for weddings, fundraisers, celebrations, or just come dance to good country music

From “I Do”


Boot Scootin’—406 Post Oak Road, Fredericksburg—830.997.7574 

PAT’S HALL The Taylors operate the business in ways designed to be easy on the eyes and transparent to the collector: A shopper can eas-ily see a price near each piece. Paintings are placed where shop-pers can view them, not on the floor. Finally, employees respond to customers and treat them well. “It’s real important to us to display Texas hospitality,” Tim Taylor said, noting that he finds politeness widespread on Main Street. Although each piece of art invites a story, the name of the busi-ness is a story too. The Taylors sold property in Colorado to pur-chase the Fredericksburg spot. One feature of the land they sold were marmots – ground dwellers called “whistle pigs” because they whistle. Neither Tim nor Pamela wanted “pig” as part of the business name, however, Pamela, a calligrapher who designed the gallery logo, wanted a sweeping serif on the final letter. They swapped a “K” for the “G,” and they had a name. “We are the only Whistle Pik in the world,” said Tim Taylor. “The name has been a marketing success.”

Barbara Elmore is an author and freelance writer. She reviews books, among other things, on her blog,

Whistle Pik Galleries

Want to make a donation? TCWCA, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit corpo-ration. Opportunities exist for underwriting or sponsoring fund-raising events.Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, Inc.P.O. Box 818Fredericksburg, Texas 78624(830)[email protected]

Continued from page 11

Page 15: Rock & Vine


The Hill CountryFranciscan padres planted the first vineyards near El Paso in 1662, more than one hundred years before they cultivated grapes in California. • Biologists found that on the average, 92 of every 100 does in the Hill Country were pregnant, and white-tailed deer are known for producing twins. • The Old Tunnel State Park, half a mile east of Fredericksburg city limits off Old San Antonio Road, is the smallest park in Texas, containing only 16.1 acres of land. In July and August there are over three million Mexican Free-tailed bats and 1,000-3,000 Cave Myotis in Old Tunnel. • Alternative health experts found that eating a peach along with its skin before going to bed, helps constipation suffers. • While Texas voted over-whelmingly to secede in 1861, Mason County residents voted 77 to 2 in favor of staying in the Union. Loyal Valley, 16 miles south of the town of Mason, got its name because the German settlers there did not desert the Union. Supporters of the Confederacy regarded the German farmers as a threat.

Armadillos have four babies at a time, always all the same sex. They are perfect quadruplets, the fertilized cell split into quarters, resulting in four identical armadillos. If disconnected, the sex organs of an armadillo are still active. Armadillos are the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy. • Originally, the exterior of the Capitol in Austin was to be limestone, but the stone that was quarried streaked when exposed to air. Gran-ite, a harder, more expensive stone, was proposed. The debate delayed construction for almost two years. Finally the decision was made to use “Sun-set Red” granite donated by its owners in what is

now Marble Falls. The state gave the stone to the contractor along with 1,000 convicts to quarry it. Construction on the Capitol began in February 1882. When, in 1885, the granite cutter’s union objected to the use of convict labor and boycot-ted, the contractor responded by importing expe-rienced stonecutters from Scotland. • The medici-nal properties of mesquite have long been known and utilized by many native tribes throughout the southwest. Mesquite is commonly used to treat eye conditions, open wounds and dermatological ailments.

Texas residents can thank or blame the Span-ish explorer Hernando de Soto for bringing the first feral hogs to the country in 1539. There are nearly 2 million wild boars in the Lone State. • Scientists found that lavender oil is an environ-mentally sound repellent for yellow jackets. • When shearing goats, Hill Country ranchers leave four inches of cape on the backbone to keep them warm. • Texas is currently facing shortages in 36 of 40 medical specialties. The state has 176 doctors per 100,000 people; 26 medical students per 100,000 people (25th lowest in the nation); and 24 percent of the population without health insurance (the highest in the nation). • Girl Scout Camp Mira Sol (near Waring) was the first camp established to exclusively serve African American girls. Opening in 1950 in the Texas Hill Coun-try, it was integrated in 1956, eight years before the Civil Rights Act was passed. • There are no German word equivalents for armadillo, live oak, ranch, hay-bailer, sonic boom, or jello.

Compiled by Christine Granados. Sources are on page 14.

ROCK Vine&Wine and lifestyle magazine of the Texas Hill Country


Page 16: Rock & Vine

BRIDES! Be the cover for the 2015 Destination Wedding issue, featuring The Lodge! Call for details.