Monday, April 3, 2017

Heading to Texas to buy Italian wine? Makes perfect sense...

Way back in 2008 I went on a fabulous vacation in Italy. It was a Tuscan Women Cook trip and I still can't recommend it enough. The host/owners, Bill and Patty, had us cooking with the women of the village, exploring restaurants and shops, and going to great vineyards. All of the vineyards had wonderful wine, but one really stood out to my taste buds - Andreucci Wines. I bought a lot of it, payed to ship it home (ouch), gave some as gifts (mistake - everybody loved it but it meant less wine for me), and it was gone way too soon. And I couldn't get more without paying much, much money because he didn't distribute in the U.S. No!!!!!!!!

Okay, enough background. Last fall I got an email saying that Bill & Patty had sold TWC (to a couple of former guests, pretty cool) and were now opening a vineyard in Texas (huh?!?). Apparently the hill country of Texas is great for certain kinds of grape. Specifically, the kind of grapes that Andreucci Wines uses to make their amazing wine. And while the vines are slowly growing up, they're going to import and sell the Italian wine at the vineyard in Texas.

What does all this really mean? I was heading to Texas to buy Italian wine. Road trip! 

Fortunately my brother was willing to go along since Chris would once again be left to take care of the animals (yes, he gets to travel too - check out this trip as an example). 

We made it into Kentucky the morning of the second day and spotted the Jim Beam distillery signs. Of course we had to pull in.
Bourbon at 9AM? Why not...
We didn't want to spend an extra couple hours doing the tour and tasting but it was gorgeous weather and we enjoyed wandering around the outside exhibits. We're also going to see if we can convince anyone else in the family to do a bourbon trail tour. Heck, we went to Scotland for a scotch tour - at least this way we don't have to fly anywhere.
Mr. Beam himself
A day later, after much excellent food along the way, we made it to Fredericksburg Texas. A town founded long ago by Germans. As a result the town is full of German-related restaurants, bakeries, and touristy type stuff.
It's a beautiful town
Just one of the beer gardens
Lots of shops, a chocolatier, two tea shops, and a truly exceptional Pacific War museum.

Deck-mounted torpedo tubes
Of course we were there for wine! And there was lots of it - Texas hill country is full of vineyards and many of them have tasting rooms on the Main Street. I confess I bought some. Probably not as much as I should have, but I figured we could always do another road trip.
The gorgeous Flavio 
In all, the trip was great. We ate amazing food at small family-owned restaurants. We had horrible barbecue. Twice! We took a side trip to Dauphin Island, Alabama and had the best Shrimp Po'boy I've ever eaten (and I lived in Louisiana for years). We visited with my nephew and his sweet wife. And we got to see some true Americana...
In a random convenience store. Because, why not?
Realizing that this blog is small enough that I probably don't have to worry the FCC is watching me, I still wanted to point out that no one gave me anything for mentioning them or reviewing them. I just loved the wine, the trip, and the whole darn experience. Thanks Matt, for going with me!

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