Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Texas: Wildseed & Wineries

In which we encounter a wine tasting...control freak. 
{I'm trying to be nice here, but remember that one Seinfeld episode about the Soup Nazi?}
Wildseed Farms 
On day 3 we hit up a sweet little place on the outskirts of Fredericksburg called Wildseed Farms. For those of you who are from Colorado, it's basically like Hudson Gardens times a hundred. 
Cactus at Wildseed Farms 
A gardener's dream, a landscaper's dream, they have a plant shop and a seed shop and a gift shop, as well as fields where they grow beautiful plants. 
Wildseed Farms seed shop 
{Sorry, Kellee, another photo of the back of your head ;-) }

Look, if it weren't for TSA's rules I would have tried to sneak much of this greenery on the plane. Next time I visit Fredericksburg it will be on a road trip with a trailer so that I can take some of this home with me. 
Gorgeous plants for sale 
Here is a photo of Jan & I, a self-portrait, at Wildseed Farms. 
Jan & Heather at Wildseed Farms 
I wish I could redo my wedding and have it here, it'd be the perfect location for such an event:
Wildseed Farms - plants for sale 
Through the shop they have lush gardens with paths you can walk through. 
Lush in Texas 
I took a lot of these self-portraits in Texas. I think I might just have to do a collage of all these shots just for fun...
At Wildseed Farms 
If nothing else, Wildseed Farms provided a tranquil, beautiful place for us girls to chat and get to know each other a little more. It was a calm, uneventful outing, but I think it was just what we needed. 
Jan & Edie 
Here we all are, except for Jan, who took this picture...
Lutheran Ladies at Wildseed 
But of course, after a nice relaxing stroll through Wildseed, we all had an urge to wet our whistles. What we needed was a winery. 
Walking around the beautiful Wildseed Farms 
While we were originally planning on hitting up the countryside for good wineries, toward the end of the day we decided that it might be better to stay in Fredericksburg itself and visit a winery located in town...
The Fredericksburg Winery 
So we ended up at the Fredericksburg Winery on the main street...and we had a bit of an interesting experience.
Fredericksburg Winery 
I have to say, this was my first official wine tasting at an actual winery. 
We were traveling with Gretchen, who writes food & wine articles, and most of the other girls had been to a winery, I think. As for me, I had no idea what to expect. Upon first inspection, the winery looked interesting...
The pretty wines at a very strange winery. 
This winery offers tastings for free--you can sample five of their wines, but there is a catch...
You CANNOT go backward! 
Sidetracking, here is a photo of Kellee & me at the winery.
Heather & Kellee 
I have to admit, I hesitated about posting this. But after reading so many reviews on this winery's Yelp page that mirrored our experience {and go read some, they are amusing}, I decided that you know what? It's already out there, so I'm going to tell it like it is. 

Our first wine tasting in Fredericksburg went like this: We walked in, were greeted and encouraged to sample their wines. The employee at the counter informed us that we must taste wines in order from dry to sweet, we cannot deviate, we cannot taste a sweet wine and then go back to dry. We must only progress from DRY to SWEET. There will no jumping around! {Keep in mind, this is my first time at a winery...}
Fredericksburg Winery 
So we started tasting wines... but when one of us asked to taste one that was drier than the one before, we were reprimanded, "This is why I told you you cannot go backward!!!" 
Wow, I thought, this wine tasting business is intense!
As we tasted our first and second wines, we were moved down the counter, left to right, just like the Mad Hatter insisted on in Alice in Wonderland--we had to move down the table, and we were ordered to do so. 

But then, another party walked in behind us, and they made the very grave mistake of heading toward the right end of the counter! Oh no! They were starting at the WRONG END! What were they thinking?!

Obviously, our ever-legalistic winery employee jumped on them right away. "What are you doing down there? You need to start over here! You cannot go backwards! No sweets before dry!!!" Then she snapped at her co-worker while pointing at the group, "Get them away from there!"

It. was. intense. 
Just when I was thinking that I really should have done more research on proper winery etiquette before this trip, Lauren and Gretchen started leading us out. 
"Let's go, this lady is crazy..." they said. 
"You mean this isn't normal?" I asked with relief. 
Apparently not!

So we did, in fact, drive out to the country after all. 
We ended up at a wonderful little winery called Messina Hof.
Grape vines  
Here am I, at Messina Hof:
Heather at Messina Hof 
It was much classier, and had less of a boot camp feel and more of a yay-we're-on-vacation feel. Perfect. 
Messina Hof Winery 
A charming man with a big personality greeted us from behind one of the bars, and we told him about the experience we'd just had with the...ahem...very uptight winery we'd just been to. 
 He responded with a smile, and told us many a customer had come to Messina Hof after experiencing the craziness at the Fredericksburg winery. Well, shoot...
Messina Hof 
While the tasting wasn't free (only $10) at Messina hof, it was just so worth it and so much better. And you know what? We went from dry to sweet and back again, and no one yelled at us! I am still in shock over how good their sherry tasted, and how impressed I was with their private reserve port. Their wines were SO good. 
I brought a bottle of the port home with me, in fact.
Messina Hof Winery 
Now I can say I've been wine tasting, and I know it's actually not supposed to be scary at all.  
Wine tasting at Messina Hof!
I don't regret the first wine tasting experience at all, it gives us a funny story to tell and something crazy to reminisce about. But, I'm very glad we ended up at Messina Hof, too. 

It was wine-derful. 
Haha. Get it?

4 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, that's so funny. And a little awkward too! I've never been wine-tasting either, but your second experience looks much more enjoyable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amber! I think the first experience actually made the second one a little bit more special :)

      Delete
  2. That was a wine-derful day. :) I don't know how a woman that habitually crabby can stay in business.

    How fun would it be to be able to do a wine tasting like that with those ladies a couple times a year? Next time I crack open a bottle I'll toast to you and the other lovely ladies of our Texas Trip of Awesomeness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love that! It's a fun outing. Maybe if you come out to visit Kellee soon we should hit up one of our local wineries, yes?

      Delete

What do you have to say for yourself?

Blogging tips