A Happy Mother’s Day-Westcave Cellars

I woke up this morning to my husband doing dishes.  That might be the sweetest sound I can hear.  On Mother’s Day, I generally ask for one thing: no dishes.  When you are a SAHM that cooks three meals a day, at least six days a week, dishes become your nemesis.  This year, my husband has really knocked it out of the park: no dishes, a trip to see my best friend who will be visiting Chicago from France, AND a Saturday jaunt to a Hill Country Winery.  Doesn’t get much better than that for me.  If your favorite Mother is a wine lover, pack a picnic, and head out to one of your local wineries.  

Yesterday, we added a new favorite to the growing list.  I have been wanting to make it out to Westcave Cellars Winery for months.  I first read about it in March, but on the day we were planning on going, it was their Wine Club Member party, so we knew that it wouldn’t be the best day to chat with Margaret and Allan Fetty.  I waited patiently for an opportunity to head out west, on Hamilton Pool Road, and it was worth the wait.  The property is 65 acres, including over 8 acres of grapes.   Many of the grapes they use are estate grown.  They began their journey in 1999, growing Cabernet grapes to sell to other wineries.  Fortunately for us, they decided to enter the wine-making aspect, as well, and are producing some lovely wines.

We started with the Muscat Blanc.  A beautiful nose on this wine.  Sweet flowers and tropical fruit.  This is a delicious wine with hints of honeydew, dry tropical notes, and a long smooth finish.  We moved to the Viogniers.  From the Estate Viognier, I got a lot of honey on the nose and some green fruit, fig maybe?  Drier than expected, there was a lot of citrus, tropical fruit, and a clean finish.  In the High Plains Viognier, I noted green apple and lemon and a really interesting notes of caramel in the nose and the finish.

The Merlot is held in French Oak for 12 months.  It has a smoky, berry nose and tons of Bing cherry with a hint of spice.  A bit dry, but smooth with a super long finish.  The 2010 High Plains Cab was super tasty.  Allan told us he was really into aroma and it shows.  Lush, rich fruit, not too heavy on the tannins.  There is even a hint of watermelon with the plum, cherry, and berry.  It is rare for me to find a Cab that has this depth, but that I could still enjoy without food.  This is a winner in my book.  The Estate Cab was even richer.  Ripe, bright fruit, a huge mid-palate, balanced and juicy.  Delicious.

Westcave also does two sweeter wines: a White Merlot (2% residual sugar) and a White Zinfandel (3%).  If White Zin makes you think of a sweet, flat $7 bottle you drank in the 90s, think again.  The White Merlot was new to me.  The 2010 had notes of strawberries and roses.  The White Zinfandel had a crabapple nose.  If you aren’t familiar with this northern fruit, think cranberries and apples blended. A nice spicy honey finish.  Much more complex than I would have imagined.  Oscar, our host for the day, was able to let me taste the 2011 White Merlot that is ready to bottle.  Wow.  Like the perfect Rosé in my book.  Clean, pretty fruit, enough crisp to wake up your mouth, and great body.  I look forward to being able to buy a bottle and sit out in the vineyards.

After tasting, there is a lovely seating area with room for the littles to run, right next to the vines.  The setting is dreamy and the hospitality is top notch.  Margaret, Allan, and Oscar could not have been nicer.  They are all gifted and knowledgeable and I look forward to my next visit when I can really focus and learn from them.  Somehow that was a little challenging with my cherubs in tow.  It just gives me an excuse to go back.  

If you are here in Austin, and have not made plans to spoil your favorite mother today, head west.  If you have already discovered Westcave and want some other ideas, check out some other local favorites.:

Driftwood Estate Winery

Salt Lick Cellars

Duchman Winery (They are doing brunch this weekend, too!) 

Solaro Estate Winery

Spicewood Vineyards

 Happy Mother’s Day!

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

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