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Deep in the Heart of Texas…Wine Country???

Our second post with wining and dinning at 30,000ft and already I have decided to change it up a bit.  As I sit here writing this “currently cruising at 38,000ft with 3 hours and 20 minutes left, sunny skies and temperature of 80 at our destination” my thoughts drift back to the great week I just spent in San Antonio, Texas.  When you think of San Antonio or even Texas for that matter, wine is probably not what first comes to mind.  For me it was the Alamo, texmex and great BBQ. 

We arrived in San Antonio late Friday night a few days ahead of a conference.  I always like to travel at least a day in advance so I can get settled and check out the local scenery, especially if I have not been to that particular area before.  I had Saturday and most of Sunday to do a little exploring so following a stop at the Alamo, we decided to take a ride outside of the city.  I asked the bell hop where we could go to see “real south Texas,” I really have no idea what “real south Texas” would be, but I was looking for something other than the hustle of the city and I was also looking for some good BBQ!

He recommended that I take a ride to Fredericksburg, Texas, which is a quaint city 70 miles northwest of San Antonio.  The trip was only supposed to take around an hour, so with the best of intentions we set out on our journey.  Approximately 15 miles outside of San Antonio on I-10 we were at a stand still.  The digital sign read severe delays ahead and there was no sign of any type of a progress towards Fredericksburg.  I decided to get off I-10 and attempt to reset the GPS in an effort to get around the traffic.  After 20 minutes of intense negotiation, I had failed to convince the GPS that there actually was another way than I-10.  Failure accepted, I decided on another approach a $5.00 map of Texas courtesy of CVS. 

I took my “vintage” navigation device, spread it out on the hood of the rental car and planned my diversion around the parking lot on I-10.  The only significant road that I could make out that ran parallel to I-10 was 16 which would take me up to 46 and back onto I-10 above the traffic jam.  It was a 30 mile detour, but I was on a mission.  The ride along 16 and 46 allowed me to see the “real south Texas.”  There was a lot of open space, 70 mph speed limit and plenty of huge ranches.  Finally, we met up with I-10 and headed toward 87 north, through the town of Comfort, Texas and after approximately 20 more miles of wide open land and ranches we arrived in Fredericksburg.

After driving around we finally found a parking spot on a side street and proceeded to walk around.  Main Street Fredericksburg is very wide and lined with many different shops and restaurants.  The sole reason for taking the drive to Fredericksburg was to find some great southern BBQ, so we set out to locate the best of the best.  The bell hop back at the hotel had stated that there were many good BBQ restaurants.  Unfortunately, after walking the whole street, it was looking like I would have to trade my BBQ ribs for Weiner schnitzel instead. As the Fredericksburg Chamber of commerce website states, “The German families that settled Fredericksburg were proud of their education and culture. That spirit endures to the Fredericksburg of today.”  http://www.fredericksburg-texas.com/External/WCPages/

Instead of BBQ, you will find mostly German potato salad, bratwurst and other German specialties.  Another thing you will find in Fredericksburg is wine tasting rooms.  We stopped at several tasting rooms that promoted Texas wines.  Call me naive, but tasting wine never crossed my mind as I planned our road trip.  If you visit the Fredericksburg Chamber of commerce page listed above, there is a brief history on the Texas wine industry.  The history states that Texas wine making predates California wine making.  Who knew Texas even had a wine industry?!!  The history goes onto to state that “Texas is the country’s fifth-leading wine-producing state in the nation and is home to more than 54 wineries that produce over one million gallons of wine.” 

Some of the wineries located in the Fredericksburg area include:

Bell Mountain Vineyards http://www.bellmountainwine.com

Chisholm Trail Winery http://www.chisholmtrailwinery.com

Fredericksburg Winery http://www.fbgwinery.com

Grape Creek Vineyards http://www.grapecreek.com

For a more complete list visit: http://www.fredericksburg-texas.com/WineriesVineyards

After wining our way along the main street, I was overjoyed to see the most amazing site.  A little BBQ stand located right next to the World War II museum, I promptly ordered a plate full of ribs and sat back to enjoy the scenery.

If you are planning a trip to Fredericksburg check out the following sites for more information:

Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce www.fredericksburg-texas.com

Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest http://www.fbgfoodandwinefest.com/

Fredericksburg Texas http://www.fredericksburgtexas.info/

Following the BBQ, we piled back in the car and headed back to the Alamo City.  No delays this time and in just over an hour we were back at the hotel and headed for the Riverwalk. I would definitely recommend visiting Fredericksburg the next time you are in San Antonio, it’s a great day trip or even spend the night in one of their many bed and breakfasts. 

As I sit here condensed in my economy seat I am reminded of my last posting which listed the Continental Airlines wine list.  I wrote that on flights “lasting over 3.5 hours there you can pair any above selection with a hot meal at lunch/dinner.”  I feel it beneficial to inform you that on flights over 3.5 hours between Newark Airport and San Antonio your hot/meal dinner consists of a salad, turkey hotdog in a croissant and small Kit Kat bar.  If you can find a wine on their list that pairs well with a turkey hotdog wrapped in croissant, more power to you. Until next time, salude!!

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