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Part 3: Duchman Family Winery

Duchman Family Winery

The Duchman Family Winery was founded in 2004 by Lisa and Stan Duchman in Driftwood, Texas. The winery is set in the middle of the beautiful Hill Country and was built with a dedication of bringing the unique Italian grapes to central Texas. Texas is unique in its ability to support the Italian grapes as we share a similar weather environment to the original location.  This has allowed the winemakers, Dave Reilly and Mark Penna to experiment with a wide variety of wines, such as Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto. The Duchman Family Winery sources much of their fruit from the Texas High Plains, where the temperature is a bit cooler and ideal for the types of grapes they wish to grow.

Duchman Family Winery grows their grapes with an Italian influence

 

The Duchman Family Winery is dedicated to providing a wonderful experiments to customers who make the trip to Driftwood to sample their wines in person. All of their wines are available to sample in their tasting room, which is in the design of a picturesque Italian villa. It combines the feel of an old-fashioned setting while melding it with new, giving customers a chance to peek into what goes into producing their tasty wine. They offer guided tours of the entire fermentation and bottling process. Once you’ve gotten your wine, the grounds offer beautiful views of the Texas Hill Country where you can enjoy a nice picnic. Every Thursday starting on the 19th of September they will be hosting the  Throwback (wine) Thursday Movie Series where they will be screening Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and sampling their Rosso and Bianco wines.

The Tasting Room gives off the inviting feel of an Italian villa

 

The winery has been honored with numerous awards, among them:

  • 2010 Viognier – Dallas Morning News 2012 Gold/San Francisco International 2012 Silver
  • 2010 Vermentino – Dallas Morning News 2012 Gold/San Francisco International 2012 Silver
  • 2009 Moscato – Lonestar Wine Competition 2010 Silver/Dallas Morning News 2010 Bronze
  • 2009 Bianco – Lonestar Wine Competition 2010-11 Silver/ San Francisco International 2011 Silver
  • 2009 Anglianico – San Francisco International 2011 Bronze
Duchman Family Winery's 2010 Aglianico

Duchman Family Winery’s 2010 Aglianico

Duchman Family Winery is the second stop on Star of Texas’ first ever vineyard tour. It is sure to provide great times, excellent wine, and beautiful views. Be sure to book now:  $75 for a solo ticket, $65 for a ticket when booking with 3 other people, the price of the wine tasting is included.

 

Part 2: Wimberley Valley Winery

Wimberley Valley Winery was founded in 1983 by Dean Valentine, the resident winemaker, in the Texas Hill Country. The vineyard has become a family affair, with two of Dean’s children, Carisa and Daniel, employed at Wimberley Valley. From its humble beginnings, the winery has grown massively, currently sitting on over 30 acres of prime real estate in the Texas Hill Country and having a bottling capacity of 25,000 gallons.

The Wimberley Valley Winery tasting rooms

Because the precinct where the winery is located was dry until 2009, the team built a tasting room apart from their vineyard in Old Town Spring, Texas which continues to operate; however, they have opened up a tasting room at the vineyard proper as a result of the “dry” laws being repealed in 2008. Now, Wimberley Valley Wines are available to taste and purchase at both locations.

The Wimberley Valley Winery tasting room offers an inviting and comfortable atmosphere to try their wide variety of wines.

The tasting room at the vineyard proper offers views of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, with miniature horses grazing on the 30 acres of Wimberley Valley Winery property. It offers a wonderful respite from urban downtown Austin and allows its patrons to experience a wonderful calm and tranquility you can only get in such an area.

2012 edition of Wimberley Valley Winery’s Viognier

Wimberley Valley Winery is the second stop on Star of Texas’ first ever vineyard tour. It is sure to provide great times, excellent wine, and beautiful views. Be sure to book now:  $75 for a solo ticket, $65 for a ticket when booking with 3 other people, the price of the wine tasting is included.

 

Part 1: Driftwood Estate Winery

Driftwood Estate Winery was founded by Gary Elliott, planting the first grapes of the vineyard in 1998. Driftwood Estate received its wine license in 2002 and the very first harvest was bottled in February of 2003 and it was opened commercially on March 1st of that same year. Initially, they had five different varieties and produced 1,200 cases of wine, now that total is up to 4,500 cases per year.

Patrons can enjoy a glass of wine from the bluff that overlooks the picturesque vineyards below.

Set in the Texas Hill Country, Driftwood Estate is a brilliant place to sip on a glass of wine and take in the beauty that is central Texas.  The estate is incredibly integrated into the area that surrounds it, not making too much of a footprint and truly allowing its visitors to enjoy the comforts of a vineyard while not sacrificing a connection with nature that is inherent to this part of Texas.

An excellent way to kick back and enjoy the beauty of Texas

An excellent way to kick back and enjoy the beauty of Texas

Driftwood Estate Winery has been very successful in wine competitions, here’s a list of their top finishes:

  • #5. 2010 Lone Star Cab – Silver, Best in Class – 2013 Houston International Wine Competition
  • #4. 2012 Orange Muscat – Silver Medal – 2013 Dallas Morning News Wine Competition
  • #3. 2011 Cuvee Blanc – Silver Medal – 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
  • #2. 2010 Alamo Red – Double Gold, Best in Class – 2013 Houston International Wine Competition
  • #1. 2011 Muscat Canelli – Gold Medal – 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Be sure to check out one of these award winning wines while visiting Driftwood Estate.

2011 Muscat Canelli was a huge success at 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, taking home the gold

2011 Muscat Canelli was a huge success at 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, taking home the gold

Driftwood Estate Winery is the first stop on Star of Texas’ first ever vineyard tour. It is sure to provide great times, excellent wine, and beautiful views. Be sure to book now:  $75 for a solo ticket, $65 for a ticket when booking with 3 other people, the price of the wine tasting is included.

Austin Aztex – 2013 PDL Champions!

The Austin Aztex won the PDL championship on August 4th at House Park

The Austin Aztex  completed a remarkable season last season wtih a victory over the Tampa Bay Chill to clinch their first ever PDL (Professional Development League) title, which is the fourth tier of American soccer. This incredible nature of this achievement is compounded by the fact that the 2013 season was only the Aztex second as a club.

House Park- Home of the Austin Aztex

The Aztex play their home matches at House Park in downtown Austin, the backdrop of which is a skyline of downtown. The supporters of the Aztex, meanwhile meet at The Tavern, http://www.tavernaustin.com/, on 12th and Lamar, right next to House Park. Before and after a match you can always meet up there with other supporters to chow down on some food, have refreshing drinks . The support for the team is incredible, with the team averaging around 2,000 fans in attendance over the whole season.

 

The Austin Aztex had huge numbers in attendance for them this year

The Austin Aztex had huge numbers in attendance for them this year

 

The Aztex have had some great victories this year, this is a list of their biggest victories of the 2013 season:
5. June 18, 2013, Austin Aztex 3 : Houston Dutch Lions 0
4. June 29, 2013, Austin Aztex 4 : Houston Dutch Lions 0
3. July 13, 2013, Austin Aztex 4 : Oklahoma City FC 0
2. July 18, 2013, Austin Aztex 6 : West Texas Sockers 0
1. June 15, 2013, Austin Aztex 8 : El Paso Patriots 0

The Aztex are always certain to entertain and for the price, it simply can’t be beat, make sure to look into getting tickets for the 2014 season from the official website: http://austinaztex.com/ticket-information/. It’s also the perfect opportunity to have Star of Texas Bus chauffeur you there, so you don’t have to worry about getting home.

 

Fun Fun Fun Fest – November 8-10, 2013

Fun Fun Fun Fest’s 8th annual show kicks off November 8th at Auditorium Shores

This November thousands of avid music, comedy, and skateboard fans will descend upon Auditorium Shores in downtown Austin for the 8th annual Fun Fun Fun Fest. While it is a bit less known than the leviathan that is Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest still attracts a huge crowd every year, recently setting their own record of 17,000 daily attendees and just over 55,000 total over the 3 day event in 2012. This is in no small part due to the event moving from its previous location at Waterloo Park to the much larger Auditorium Shores. Moreover, Fun Fun Fun Fest expanded the lineup of the event to include a wider variety events for attendees, including the increased size of the action sports section, attracting over 350 riders.

Over 350 riders showcased their skills at last year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest

Fun Fun Fun Fest is odd in its approach to who they book for the festival, focusing upon a huge variety of acts, from mainstream pop bands like MGMT and MIA to punk bands like Bad Religion and The Dwarves to rap groups like Run-DMC and Snoop Lion to comedy acts like Hannibal Buress and Doug Benson. As a result they are able to offer something for everyone, no matter their tastes.

This year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup.

This year promises much more of the same, with headliners MIA, Snoop Lion, and Slayer, and many other exciting bands and performers appearing at the festival. Tickets can be purchased for individual days or for the entire weekend, and can be found at http://funfunfunfest.queueapp.com/events/664. Fun Fun Fun Fest runs November 8th-10th at Auditorium Shores. If you’re planning on going make sure to get your tickets early as they tend to sell out quickly!