Life & Travel

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I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend! I know the holiday shopping has already started, and there are only about 25 days left until Christmas, so it’s time to check off those items on your list.

I feel what’s the most difficult part about the holiday season is finding what in the world to buy for your family and friends. It’s incredibly stressful trying to find gift that are thoughtful (and not a gift card). This is why I created this post to help out all of my readers. Enjoy!

Ladies

Gentlemen


Check out my Pinterest page with even more gift ideas available (all under $100).

One last helpful hint, if you’re traveling by plane for the holidays, have your gifts shipped to the host or hostess’s home (with permission, of course). This will save you not only a large amount of space in your suitcase, but a hassle at the airport security point. I personally buy almost all gifts on Amazon.com and have it shipped for free (with my prime membership).


Due to the amount of information gained from this weekend this will be a two-part wine post (yay!).

Part-one will consist of reviews of some of the top vineyards outside Fredericksburg, Texas (Texas Wine Country).

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We (my girlfriends, Emily, Victoria and myself) decided to see what Texas Wine Country had to offer, so we visited some of the top rated vineyards near Fredericksburg:

Rancho Ponte Vineyards
Becker Vineyards
Pedernales Cellars
4.0 Cellars
Rancho Ponte Vineyards

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Photo credit: Ranchoponte.com

This was the first stop on the tour, and I would say by far the best place to be educated about wine.

Rancho Ponte Vineyard was started by a husband and wife team, Roberto and Rachel Ponte, in 2009. Rachel has a culinary background and used to work at Williams-Sonoma. Roberto was raised in the wine growing business, and is a fourth generation winegrower. Together, they make the perfect pair; Rachel works on the food side, and has cooking classes, and Roberto has the expertise with making the wine as well as the wine pairings.

Photo credit: Ranchoponte.com
Photo credit: Ranchoponte.com

The people who work at Rancho Ponte Vineyards are so incredible helpful. They want to take the time to answer your questions about how they process the wine, which wine pairs well with what cheese, why certain wines taste a certain way, etc…

I would recommend that everyone visit this vineyard. The experience was delightful.

Click HERE to buy Rancho Ponte Vineyards wine

Photo credit: txwinelover.com
Photo credit: txwinelover.com

Becker Vineyards

Becker Vineyards is by far the largest vineyard we visited. The facilities are gorgeous, consisting of a restaurant, wine tasting room, barrel and bottle house, lavender fields and expansive veranda.

The veranda was my favorite place to spend our short time in this blissful place. The airy space has a refreshing breeze with wrought iron chandeliers- the perfect place to sip a glass of chilled wine while looking out on the fields of chrysanthemums.

My favorite wines here were The Raven-a blend of 75% Malbec and 25% Petit Verdot from the Tallent Vineyard, and the White Wing- a blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc.

Click HERE to shop their selection of wines.

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The downside to this special place is that almost all wine-tasters to think this place is quite special too. This place is packed on the weekends, so get here early before the rush.

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Chrysanthemum fields at Becker Vineyards

Pedernales Cellars

Photo credit: facebook.com/pedernalescellars
Photo credit: facebook.com/pedernalescellars

This vineyard was quite a short stop. This is about 3 miles off of Hwy 290, and when we arrived, there happened to be an event which made the seating minimal. This is definitely the place to be if you’re looking for beautiful views of sprawling Texas Hill Country and a select menu of wines.

Click HERE to shop Pedernales Cellars wine.

Due to the short time spent at Pedernales Cellars, we decided to pull over and play on the hay bales.

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Never challenge a girl from the Midwest to jump on top of a 6 foot hay bale…

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Victory!

4.0 Cellars

Photo credit: Archinect.com
Photo credit: Archinect.com

4.0 Cellars is a fresh, airy and contemporary wine-tasting room that combines three different wineries: Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery and McPherson Cellars.

The goal of 4.0 is to create the perfect line of wines. In addition, 4.0 Cellars carries delicious Veldhuizen Cheese from Dublin, Texas. A perfect pairing with their vast wine selection.

Click HERE to shop

I hope this blog post was helpful for your next trip out to Texas Wine Country, or has helped you find a new wine to try this month. Texas Wine Adventures- Part 2 will be posted later this week!

With Love,

Jenna

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Posing amongst the grapes at Becker Vineyards