Updates on the upcoming winery Harvest Festivities.
Central Texas grape growers spent early July checking the sugar concentration in their fruit, and many folks began harvesting white grapes in mid-July. Moderate weather during most of the growing season and evenly spaced spring rains followed by consistent but not overwhelming June heat should deliver a good yield at most Hill Country vineyards. As usual, the winemakers have all kinds of harvest festivities planned for August weekends, with the official Wine Harvest Trail set for the weekend of August 19-20. For full details on the wine trail and each winery's plans, check out www.texaswinetrail.com.
That weekend, the Manigolds at Spicewood Vineyards (Burnet County Road 409 near Spicewood, 830/693-5328, www.spicewoodvineyards.com), will invite their guests to get out in the vineyard and pick some grapes that have ripened since the harvest and stomp them themselves! Madeleine Manigold cautions that it was just such an experience in California years ago that sealed their fate as vineyard owners. Up at Fall Creek Vineyards (Llano County Road 222, 2.2 miles north of Tow, 915/379-5361, www.fcv.com), a delectable duo of area chefs will perform in tandem to demonstrate cooking with wine. Chef David Garrido of Jeffrey's in Austin and Jason Felton of Epicurean Express in Fredericksburg will create separate dishes with Fall Creek red and white wines. The chefs will work on consecutive Saturdays, August 19 and 26, and there will be two seatings each day, at noon and again at 2pm. The cost of $15.95 per person includes wine, and reservations are suggested. The Delectable Duo presentation is a new addition to the annual Grape Stomp Festival at Fall Creek, which will also include grape stomping, winery tours and tastings, hayrides through the vineyards, a children's petting zoo, and access to Vanishing Texas River Cruises on both weekends.
Down to our southeast, the friendly folks at Messina Hof Winery and Resort (4545 Old Reliance Road in Bryan, 979/778-9463 #34, www.messinahof.com) have their upcoming weekends packed with events where chef Eric Segura of the Vintage House Restaurant will create new and challenging meals to complement Messina Hof's many award-winning wines. On Friday, August 4, the Bonnarigos honor the legendary Robert Mondavi with a winemaker dinner which will be followed on Saturday evening, August 5, with one of their hilarious "Who Killed the Winemaker?" events. The Harvest Grand Finale Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, August 12. Call the harvest hotline listed above for details and reservations.
Austin's favorite chef/food scientist, Dr. Foo Swasdee, welcomes renowned European chef and author Mridula Baljekar to the kitchen of Satay Restaurant (3202 W. Anderson Lane, 467-6731) on Tuesday, August 8, at 7pm. The good friends will prepare a fascinating four-course Asian dinner complemented by the wines of Silverado Winery. This dinner should be of real interest to Asian food lovers who want to learn more about pairing Asian flavors with wine. Reservations are necessary.
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