We stayed the first night at Best Western in Willis, Texas. All I will say is…DON’T!!
We got up Sunday morning and moved on down the road. Our first stop was Saddlehorn Winery outside of Burton. This was our second time to visit Saddlehorn. I didn’t take pictures this time so I will show pictures from our previous visit. We arrived shortly after they opened and the guy behind the bar was ready and got us started on the whites that were on the list. Now, remember we don’t care for Blanc du Bois. BUT…I try them wherever we go. I’m glad I do. We liked and bought a Semi-Sweet Blanc du Bois the day before from Caney Creek and when I tried the Semi-Sweet Blanc du Bois at Saddlehorn, it too received a special mark on the tasting sheet. My notes said “not overly floral as it hit my nose; could get syrupy, but starts out easy!” This one too went home with us. As we moved onto the reds, we tasted the Cabernet Sauvignon and this one got a star in my notes. They had two more reds, Barn Red, a blend, and a Tempranillo, but they didn’t have labels so we’ll have to return to taste them. We enjoyed our visit with the tasting guide and he was very informative of the grapes used, the wines made, and the Texas wine industry as a whole. We had miles to travel and more stops to make so we made our selections, thanked him, and said goodbye.
Our next stop down the road was Rosemary’s Vineyard and Winery. The signs on the highway are a little confusing, but we found it on Hwy 71 about 5 miles east of La Grange. We interrupted Emmett Schulze, owner and winemaker, from watching his football game. He informed us there is a fee of $5 to taste all 8 wines available and he poured them in a very small tasting glass. We enjoyed our conversation, but as his wife Beatrice arrived and took over, Emmett took leave to finish watching the football game. She let us know that the winery was named for her sister that had passed away. She also told us that the winery has been open about 7 years and the grapes had been planted about 10 years ago.
[sidenote: at this writing the link to the website does not work, so please call and verify their availability prior to making a trip to their winery, (979) 249-2109.]
We left Rosemary’s Vineyard and Winery and made our way to San Marcus to visit our final winery of the day Three Dudes Winery. We found them on the edge of a plowed field beside a RV park. We pulled in and parked and followed the signs around to the tasting room. We noticed an employee making his way from another building and we stepped inside and looked around the room at the merchandise for sale while we waited for him to arrive in the tasting room. He let us know that the tasting fee was 4 tastes for $5, then $1 after that. As there were 7 wines to taste we shared and tried them all, as we usually do. The tasting guide was a student at the local Texas State University in San Marcus and as he wasn’t old enough to legally taste the wines he was serving he did know an awful lot about them and the methods used to make them. He said he enjoyed working with the winemakers and was learning their ways. After our tasting was completed we thanked him and headed out on our way.
We needed to find a place to spend the night and I looked online at several places, but did not find a vacancy or a hotel within our price range. Knowing we would go to some wineries on Hwy 290 the next day we decided we would head over to Dripping Springs. I knew there was a new Sleep Inn & Suites in Dripping Springs so I got on their website and looked it up. Everything looked great so I made reservations for the night. When we arrived the desk clerk was ready for us and had us checked in our room within minutes. The only delay getting us to our room was because we were having a good time laughing and joking with her. We had a big late lunch in Round Top so we were needing something light for dinner. We decided on a sandwich shop beside HEB so we could pick up a dessert from their bakery as well and we could take it back to our room to kick our shoes off and get comfortable.
The next morning we were dazed, amazed, and incredibly pleased with the breakfast offering. The only breakfast we have had any better than this one was at an Embassy Suites and it’s a “cook to order” breakfast. I will usually have a waffle just as tummy filler, but there were so many wonderfully delicious options that I didn’t have room for a waffle.
I cannot wait to come back to the area just so we can stay here again!!!
Stay tuned for Day 3…