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Hobbies. Hobbies are a great way to spend some leisure time doing something you really enjoy. My husband and I have a hobby we enjoy. We visit Texas wineries. This hobby actually encompasses several things we truly enjoy: traveling, drinking wine, and visiting with people.

Shelly and I grew up driving cross country for our family vacations. This was before the digital age of DVD players in the vehicle (we looked out the window), hand held gaming devices (we read a book), cell phones (we actually talked to our brothers and parents)…yeah, you get the picture. I have great early memories of driving in the family VW bus west to California to visit my great-grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. I would actually sleep on the ledge in the back over the engine. Later we had a station wagon. I really enjoyed sitting in the seats in the back that faced each other. Looking back, I thank God we never had an accident!! Shelly and his family enjoyed driving vacations to Colorado and many of the Civil War battle ground states back east in their station wagon. Since we’ve been married we’ve driven to California a few times, New Orleans, Arkansas, Oklahoma and all over this great state called Texas.

I’ve been drinking wine since high school (with my mom), but didn’t really enjoy it until Shelly and I stopped at a winery on one of our trips to Central California. They had every kind of varietal imaginable! Dry, sweet, red, white…what else is there? We tasted and enjoyed and got “bit by the bug!” When we got home Shelly found out there were wineries in Texas!! Bonus!! We made our first trip to the Hill Country in July of 2005. We made it to Lost Creek Vineyards, Texas Hills, Grape Creek, Torre di Pietra, Becker, Comfort Cellars, Sister Creek, Dry Comal Creek, Driftwood, and Spicewood. That was a pretty good representation for the first trip out. We came home with a case of wine and a bottle of olive oil.

Our first trip's haul!!

Our first trip’s haul!!

As I was looking at this picture again I noticed that one wine that we picked back then has become one of my favorites: Spicewood Vineyards Cabernet Claret. I’m not really big on sweet wines, so this one is like a port to me. After these first ten wineries on our first adventure, we have added another 70 wineries and tasting rooms on our way to more than 220. We have been to many of these wineries several more times as they have become our favorites and we can’t stay away.

Whatever your hobby, enjoy the passion that fills your soul. Follow that passion wherever it takes you…

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