Rock & Vine

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Rock&Vine & &Vine





in every issue



Pioneer families reinvent Hill Country

Publisher's Letter

Megan Willome




Grape growers in Texas see beautiful harvest in 2017


Steve Taylor

24 Comfort establishment offers backyard-style leisure Sheri Patillo

Drinkery Maps

62 Events

Find out what's happing in your area

76 End Notes

Little known facts about Boerne, Comfort, Kerrville. 4


ON THE COVER: Smoky goodness at Black Board Bar-B-Q: (clockwise from left) Angus brisket, deep freid charred corn fritters topped with candied jalapeños, St. Louis pork ribs and Jo's Asian slaw. Photos by ROBERT G. GOMEZ




DRINKERY Bold flavors make the grade in Boerne

QUESTION & ANSWER Sister Creek Winemaker Danny Hernandez talks grapes

OFF THE BEATEN PATH Texas Stonehenge sits in path of total solar eclipse

Lee Nichols

Matthew Esté

Steve Taylor




TASTE Slow, steady and simple are ingredients for BBQ success

IN THE HILLS Transformative architecture dots Hill Country Landscapes

EXPLORE Infiniti crossover vehicle delights drivers

Alexandria Randolph

Michael Barr

Valerie Menard

36 LIFE OF RILEY Exotic game ranches in Texas Hill Country are paradise for hunters Gayne C. Young

52 STOMPING GROUNDS Singing Water Vineyards' wines rate high Lorelie Helmke

76 HAUS Backbone Ridge home brings outdoors inside Angela Turner Rabke




Rock&Vine Featuring the best life has to offer in the Texas Hill Country. A product of Fredericksburg Publishing Company. Publisher/Editor Ken Esten Cooke Managing Editor Christine Granados Contributing Editor Sherrie Geistweidt Photography Editor Steve Rawls Design Editor Andrea Chupik Contributing Writers Michael Barr, Matthew Esté, Lorelei Helmke, Valerie Menard, Lee Nichols, Sheri Patillo, Angela Turner Rabke, Alexandria Randolph, Steve Taylor, Megan Willome, Gayne C. Young Contributing Photographers/Artists Dror Baldinger, Robert G. Gomez, Abigail Jones, Steve Rawls Account Executives Fredericksburg — Kimberly Giles, Ann Duecker, Kim Jung Dripping Springs — Suzanne Warmack San Marcos — Pam Gravis, Marcy Holt, Lisa Tanksley, Ronda Young Wimberley — Taffy Barker, Susan Sisson

Rock&Vine Magazine 712 W. Main St. | P.O. Box 1639 Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 Phone 830 997 2155 SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: $20 for two years COPYRIGHT: Rock&Vine Magazine is published by the Fredericksburg Publishing Company. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without permission of the publisher. Editorial content does not reflect the opinions of the publisher of this magazine. Editorial and advertising does not constitute advice or endorsement, but is considered informative. 6


A talented trio joins our staff By KEN ESTEN COOKE Publisher We continually strive to craft articles that tell the story of the Hill Country. As part of our ongoing efforts to improve and change with the rapidly evolving Hill Country population, we made some changes. First, we added a talented trio to our staff to help refresh our look and help us deliver more useful information. Veteran designer Andrea Chupik came to Fredericksburg from the Las Vegas market. She was tasked with giving the magazine the crisp, clear look of a Hill Country morning after a rain. She updated fonts, eliminated visual clutter and redefined our sections. Working alongside Chupik was Steve Rawls, a 25year commercial photographer. His artistic eye allowed us to showcase the splendor and beauty that surrounds us on daily basis. While Kimberly Giles, who worked with magazines in Arizona and New Mexico, settled in Fredericksburg and has become the magazine’s ambassador. Her experience in sales has her traveling all over the Hill Country and her wanderlust and natural curiosity helps to bolster our story selection. As you turn the pages, you’ll notice: We’ve created more distinct sections to sharpen our editorial focus on topics that matter to you, including travel, home, and a new back page. We’re offering more relevant information that helps you to discover and enjoy the best of food and drink in the Hill Country. We’ve widened our lens and you will begin to see more stories, from the wider world of food and drink in northern and southern Hill Country counties, by a more diverse set of writers. (See our revamped map on page 56 for our concentration area.) More than anything we wanted to give you a more useful read at every turn. Like any creative endeavor, R&V will continue to evolve, so feel free to email your thoughts. We’ll use your feedback to continue to refine the pages in the coming editions. Let us know if after reading this issue, if you’re able to smell the mesquite and BBQ that permeates our lives.

–R&V– We want to know what you think. Please send feedback and story ideas to




Visit us at and follow/like us

$20 for two years Send to 712 W. Main St., Fredericksburg, TX 78624 or subscribe at

Editorial submissions:

Michael Barr is a retired teacher and principal, living in Fredericksburg.

Lorelei Helmke is certified specialist of wine and member of the Society of Wine Educators, wine rating.

Andrea Chupik is a graphic designer / art director living in Fredericksburg. View her work at Matthew Esté is the Beer & Wine Manager for H-E-B in Fredericksburg. He holds a Level 2 certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust.

Robert G. Gomez is an Austin-based, Texas-raised photographer with a bachelor of arts in history from the University of Texas and an associate’s degree in photography from Austin Community College. His work can be found at

Valerie Menard is a veteran automotive journalist and the owner/editor of Lee Nichols is a freelance writer based in Austin. He loves beer and two-stepping in Texas dance halls, especially with his daughter, Lucy.

Sheri Pattillo holds designations of WSET-Diploma, Certified Sommelier, and CSW. She enjoys writing and teaching and is Director of Sales and Marketing at Calais Winery. Alexandria Randolph is a freelance journalist, photographer and aspiring novelist living in Lampasas.

CORRECTIONS In the winter issue of Rock & Vine Magazine, a photo misidentified a person in the shot, Rob Strain is pictured with Reed Williams in the story “From Vine to Wine.”

Steve Rawls is a professional photographer living in Fredericksburg. See his work at steverawlsblog.wordpress.come or Steve Taylor is a Fredericksburg freelance writer who works with Taylored Communications. More information is at

Megan Willome is a freelance writer and author of "The Joy of Poetry." Gayne C. Young is a writer, hunter, and adventurer living in Fredericksburg. He is an editor and writer for numerous magazines.

ORDER BACK ISSUES To order back issues of Rock & Vine Magazine email or call 830-997-2155.



Anne Stewart holds a photo of her freethinking ancestors, who came to Comfort in 1855. 8 Rock&Vine


Founding Families Pioneers, freethinkers reinvent themselves in the Hill Country In the 1850s, families came to the Texas Hill Country for a variety of reasons — some to escape wars in Europe, some hoping to live free from tyranny and some simply looking for work and land. These founding families reside in the communities of Comfort, Boerne and Kerrville and have helped cultivate the distinct characteristic of each city.

Foundation, inside the old Comfort State Bank. Stewart describes herself as a newcomer, although her family came to Comfort in 1855. Stewart describes Freethinkers by drawing an umbrella with different categories hanging off it, including Catholics, agnostics, Lutherans, deists, cradle Episcopalians, Methodists. She mentions a woman who fled Mexico for Comfort, getting away from both her husband and the church. Comfort “She was an Proof of Union uneducated Freeloyalty in the thinker — no use for region can be marriage or church,” seen in Comfort Stewart said. at the Treue der Comfort is still Union Monument, unincorporated. dedicated in “There is no 1866. It honors establishment,” 61 conscientious Stewart said. “It all objectors of the goes back to this Nueces Massacre The Biermann founding family of Comfort celebrate Freethinking thing (also known as the Karl Biermann's 80th birthday. Pictured, left to right, because we don’t care are siblings: Henry, Daniel, Karl, Erhard, Fanny, Battle of Nueces) what you think.” Julie and Louisa who were killed So how does the trying to flee to town work? How does anything get done? Mexico. “It’s the volunteers,” Stewart said. “People Comfort was founded by Freethinkers. sit up when we need something, then sit back The group of intellectuals had little use for down.” church or state. When German immigrant She gave the example of a woman who Ernst Hermann Altgelt laid out the town on raised money to purchase hydraulic rescue land owned by John Vles, plans were made for tools after three people needed emergency everything the property-owners needed. rescues in less than three weeks. Stewart says “They wrote out there was room for a town she sat up, raised twice the amount needed, park, a plaza, a school and a cemetery — not a donated the rest, and then sat back down. place for a government building or a church,” “Little and big things are taken care of by said Anne Stewart, of The Comfort Heritage people,” Stewart said.




Hal Harwell, holds up a photo of his direct blood line descendants of Kendall County. 10


Hal Harwell, top, stands for family photo with his parents Harold and Theodosia Harwell and brother Lee James.

Margaretha Hof and Michael Schwarz pose for a Daguerreotype photo in Houston. They were one of the founding families of Boerne.

They were slaves of a man in Kendalia, Daniel Rawls. They’re founders, from before the county was formed,” Harwell said. The family are descendants of Benjamin and Kitty Wren. Harwell was first contacted by a Wren descendant who lives in San Antonio.

Boerne The Genealogical Society of Kendall County, located in Boerne, collects and preserves genealogical records for the county. Harold (Hal) Harwell is the chair of the First Families of Kendall County Committee, which includes the neighboring communities of Kendalia and Comfort. “Almost everyone in Edge Cemetery is related to me somehow, for 150 years,” he says, of the cemetery near Kendalia. Individuals who want to show they are a “direct bloodline descendant” of either the first families (who date from Dec. 31, 1862 or earlier) or the first settlers (Jan. 1, 1863-Dec. 31, 1900, submit documentation to the society. Once verified, the family receives a certificate at a fall celebration. To date, 119 first families and 69 first settlers have been recognized. “At the celebration last year, the county judge, county clerk and the county commissioners all received certificates, or their spouses did,” Harwell said. Gustav Theissen laid out Boerne with John James, a FortyEighter, who came to Texas during the European revolutions of 1848. Many of the German families who settled in the area were called Lateiner, or “Latin ones,” because they had studied Latin. Other settlers came looking for opportunity. “A lot came for political reasons, to not get drafted in the wars and revolutions,” Harwell said. Boerne was named for a Jewish German poet, philosopher and political writer named Ludwig Börne. He died in Paris, never having visited the town named after him. The Family History Place, where the genealogical society is located, allows visitors to use the computers and other resources to research family history for free, although the society offers several levels of membership. This year’s Oct. 13 celebration will induct members of the Wren family, many of whom are coming from California. “It’s the first black family to be in the first families.

Kerrville The scenic valley where Kerrville is now located attracted settlers with its natural resources, including cypress trees and the Guadalupe River. The town grew from a shingle-making camp established by Joshua Brown. The shingle-makers who came first camped at Curry’s Creek, then attacks by Native American tribes caused them to move to a place they called Brownsborough. Laura Bechtel, library director for the City of Kerrville, said the shingle-makers used cypress trees for roof shingles. German immigrants brought a tradition of woodworking. Kerrville’s founding families included “pioneers and a lot of Germans, as well,” Bechtel said. After Kerr County was formed in 1856, Brown platted the settlement and named it Kerrville (originally, Kerrsville) for his friend and surveyor-general of a nearby colony, James Kerr. “James Kerr, who we’re named for, never lived in Kerrville,” Bechtel said. Originally, Comfort was the seat of Kerr County. Some records show families moving between Kerr and Kendall counties, but it was the boundaries that moved, not the people. An early mill had been established in the area by a Mormon colony, but a larger one was built in 1857 by a German immigrant named Christian Dietert, who originally settled in Comfort. The first Christmas tree in Kerrville — one of the first non-German families had ever seen — was in the Dietert home. The pioneers branched out from shingle-making to ranching sheep and Angora goats. Charles A. Schreiner invested in mohair, and Kerrville became known as the Mohair Center of the World. In 1861, Kerr County voted to secede from the Union by a narrow margin. Some German families, who opposed slavery, had not yet become citizens, so they could not cast votes. R&V SUMMER 2018




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SUMMER 2018 15







hile extreme weather devastated grape crops across the nation and world, Texas grape growers were spared and experienced perfect weather in 2017. “The High Plains had exceptional quality fruit this past year,” says Dabs Hollimon, a self-described “winemaker in training” who with her husband, John, owns 1851 Vineyards in Fredericksburg. “They probably had the best harvest year, as far as quality, that they’ve ever had. We (Texas wineries) are going to have some exceptional wines come out because of that.” Although swaths of the Texas coast were devastated by Hurricane Harvey, it may have helped High Plains vineyards by pushing dry air northwest from the Gulf Coast, helping to protect grapes from mildew and moisture-related diseases. High Plains vineyards supply more than three-fourths of the grapes to Texas wineries. “The weather was not mild on the High Plains last year, but spring was about a month early, as it was in the Hill Country,” says Nolan Newsom, owner of Nolan Vineyards’ winetasting room in Comfort. Much of the state’s grape crop was picked just before the storm arrived. “Last year was a fantastic weather year on the High Plains, where our vineyards are located,” says Newsom. “With many new acres of grapes planted there in the past few years coming online and with many new growers, the quantity and quality of Texas wine grape production has increased exponentially. For the High Plains, it was the biggest harvest by far.” Newsom Vineyards, where three generations have grown grapes for more than 30 years, now cultivates 150 acres of producing vines. In 2017, each acre’s production averaged a record three-tons of fruit, he says. Newsom’s vineyards provide fruit to 15 other wineries as well. This wasn’t so for all viticultors. Hurricanes also wreaked havoc in Florida and Puerto Rico, winds drove fierce wildfires up and down California and freezing winter cold repeatedly afflicted the Midwest and Northeast. Grape-growing regions elsewhere in the world also had a tough year. The International Organization of Vine and Wine, a Paris-based scientific and technical group, concluded production of 2017 vintage wines would dip three million bottles globally due to weather events such as severe spring frosts in France, Italy and Spain. Meanwhile, in High Plains and Hill Country vineyards, the weather gods smiled upon Texas grape growers and winemakers. Timing is Everything The timing of the hot weather and occasional freezes and rainstorms was serendipitous. No late spring freezes occurred, as they have in years previous, damaging young grapes, according to wine makers. No excessive rain fell before the summer harvest, which occurred about two weeks earlier than normal in the High Plains and about a month earlier in the Hill Country — ahead of Hurricane Harvey, which dropped no precipitation on the High Plains and produced about an inch or less of rain in different parts of the Hill Country. “It was an excellent harvest,” says Dick Holmberg, Singing Water coowner (with his wife, Julie). “We had either a record harvest or normal harvest for every grape we grow.”

SUMMER 2018 17

Singing Water Vineyards grows seven acres of grapes just south of Comfort on site. Adds Mark Whittemore, the Holmbergs’ operations manager, “For pinot grigio, we actually doubled production from last year. We average about 250 gallons of fruit and last year we had 438 gallons from 11 rows of vines (a little more than acre of pinot grigio grapes). The rains came in early, which allowed moisture to get in (the ground) and the vines to really grow — and they did quite well. The canopies were good, and grapes came in real nice.” “In the past, if we didn’t grow them here, we bought extra grapes to meet production requirements and customer demand. Last year, we bought less because our own estate vineyard was more productive,” Holmberg says. The result: bottles of Singing Water’s 2017 pinot grigio were available to tasting room visitors starting this past February. So will many other 2017 vintage white varietals made by other Hill Country It’s amazing how winemakers. Depending on the winery and the varietal, 2017 red wines largely many people we will be released between late 2018 and sometime in 2020.

Quality Improving Texas wine quality is expected to be high. Local winemakers hope that will further burnish Texas’ growing reputation for producing top notch wines. Notes David Prejza, Sister Creek Vineyards tasting room manager in Sisterdale, “Danny Hernandez, our winemaker and winery manager, has said these are really good grapes. He’s excited by wines we’ll make this year. He’s excited about last year’s, too, but really more this year. Seems like everyone upped their game and the weather pattern has made this a really spectacular year.” Another result may be more visitors travelling to Hill Country tasting rooms — especially if the 2017 wildfires discourage tourists from visiting California cellars. “It’s amazing how many people we have coming into the tasting room who said, ‘We had planned a trip to Napa, but we decided to come here instead,’” Dabs Hollimon says. “It’s very exciting, from a visitor’s point of view, to know that when you come to the Hill continued on page 20



have coming into the tasting room who said, ‘We had planned a trip to Napa, but we decided to come here instead,’ -Dabs Hollimon

Mon. - Thurs. 10-5:15 Fri. & Sat. 10-7:15 Sun. 12-5:15 Check website for Holidays Phone: (830) 990-8747 email:

2 47 W . M ain

(in t own - one block wes t of t he C ou rt hou s e) L arge p ark ing area in front R V p ark ing in back .

F red erick s bu rg, T X 786 2 4

continued from page 18

Country, you’re offered not only beautiful views and wonderful hospitality, but also, as a region, highquality Texas wines.” Like Singing Water, 1851 Vineyards will have 2017 vintage white wines available for tasting this year — and Dabs Hollimon expects to have more bottles available for sale because of the larger harvest last year. “Definitely,” she says. “We have an abundance of quality fruit, so it’s hard to resist making more wine.” John Hollimon, 1851’s co-owner/operator/ viticulturist noted they had 10 acres in production locally last year, plan to add five more this year and five more in 2019. This will ensure 1851’s continued commitment to producing 100 percent Texas wine. This year, it sourced 40 percent of its grapes in Fredericksburg, 60 percent from the High Plains. More Elbow Room Already, the Hill Country is getting visitors who prefer the less-crowded tasting rooms, compared to those in California, Prejza is finding. “I’ve had people come in and say, ‘This is the way Napa or Sonoma used to be back in the ’70s,’” he says. Occasionally, local tasting rooms can be crowded on weekends, but Prejza notes it shows how much Texas is attracting wine-loving visitors. “I started here 13 years ago, and it was fairly common back then to hear ‘Oh, I didn’t know there were wineries in Texas.’ It’s pretty rare to hear that now,” he said. Prejza predicts Sister Creek and other local wineries will see more tourists throughout 2018 than they’ve ever seen during any other year. Holmberg says he’s already “seeing more new faces, either first time winetasters or first time doing it in Texas” at Singing Water. Dabs Holliman finds it hard to believe that the Texas grape harvest was so blessed. “This absolutely could be a turning point year for Texas wine, so we’re looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s exciting to think about the possibilities, to think about what 2018 might hold.” R&V




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SUMMER 2018 23

Pull up a barstool and get Comfortable




Clockwise top left: Huckleberry's event center and night spot welcomes visitors. Live music venue is shared by Huckleberry's, Hill Country Distillers and Newsom Vineyards. Moonshine products are served at the distillery bar, along with iced cocktails.


There’s a place off Front Street in Comfort that offers a strong dose of relaxation. It’s known as The Comfort Backyard. This pleasant new venue provides picnic tables surrounded by trees and an outdoor stage where live music fills the air. Situated behind a wine-tasting room, a distillery and an upcoming brewery, all of which are connected by pathways to High Street’s restaurants and shops, the concept allows visitors to choose a beverage of choice to unwind a bit. The backyard notion came about when neighbors John Kovacs of Hill Country Distillers and Nolan Newsom of Newsom Vineyards at Comfort began envisioning adjacent businesses opening up the backside of their properties to create a common area and a feeling of togetherness. “I started talking to all the neighbors, and everybody bought in that this could evolve into a really nice venue,” says Kovacs, who along with wife Cayce is the proprietor of Hill Country Distillers. “It’s my Norman Rockwell picture,” says Kovacs. “— tables filled with people enjoying themselves, music in the air, kids and dogs running around, and people strolling down the sidewalks. It’s so very Americana.” Living near Comfort, Mary Anne Johnson and her husband, Mike, share a close friendship with both Kovacs and Newsom. They visit regularly, frequenting Hill Country Distillers, Newsom Vineyards and other businesses joined by the backyard such as an event center/boutique/ night spot called Huckleberry’s. “We go every Sunday night when the food trucks are there, and our daughter, Shelby, often joins us,” she says. “It’s easy, casual and comfortable. Similar to how Branch on High

does open Thursday night potluck dinners, the backyard is another way to bring the community together and for tourists to see what a great, friendly place Comfort is.” Kovacs frequently hears people comment that they appreciate an alternative to Fredericksburg that is laid back and relaxing. “We are a place where you can walk barefoot in the grass,” he says. Kovacs relishes creating successful new and different products — specialty distilled spirits from ingredients native to Texas, including prickly pear cactus and jalapeños. The distillery specializes in cocktails with an abundance of choices ranging from the Lemon Drop Martini to the Margaritas Por Favor to the Rosemary Gin Fizz. “I have fun talking with people and watching them enjoy the tastings and drinks,” says Kovacs. “That’s where I get pleasure – that sense of ‘We did this from scratch and people like it’.” Next door, Nolan Newsom — who along with his wife, Yanmei, owns Newsom Vineyards at Comfort — serves white and red Texas wines made by various winemakers, exclusively from grapes grown at Newsom Vineyards southwest of Lubbock. “I can only sell wine and Hill Country Distillers can only sell cocktails, but it’s nice for people to have options. John and I started talking about this idea that became The Comfort Backyard,” says Newsom. “We’re still individual businesses, but we’re working together. “Huckleberry’s has their beer, wine and cigars. Then there’s High’s Café for beer, wine and good food. You can go grab something for anyone and everyone and come back to sit in the middle to enjoy it, including a cigar, since it’s outside and wide open.” continued on page 26

We are a place where you can walk barefoot in the grass -John Kovac

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continued from page 25

With a nod to his neighbors, Newsom adds, “One of the things that challenges most wineries is not being able to serve other things. Here, you never leave private property. This is all craft — craft wine, craft spirits, craft beer — so we cater to a more educated, mature clientele.” Just around the corner on 7th Street, craft beer will be brewing in the former 1930s-era movie theater under the name of Stagecraft Brewing. According to Rhonda Cravey, wife of owner Russell Cravey, an ophthalmologist from Kerrville, Stagecraft Brewing plans to hire a brew master and open soon, along with a kitchen and beer garden. The former theater’s stage now supports the brewery’s large stainless tanks, and across from the stage will be a tasting bar and small seating area, with the front portion of the theater floor being kept for events. A side room will eventually hold a distillery. continued on page 28

Top, Hill Country Distillers offer free tastings and tours on the half hour. Agave nectar, left is the special ingredient in margaritas Por Favor. The Rosemary Fizz uses Texs Revenge Gin, fresh lemon juice, rosemary, simple syrup and club soda to refresh patrons during summer months. 26


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Finished Moonshine, right, line the distillery bar. Newsome Vineyards tasting room is open 10am-7pm, Thursday-Saturday.

continued from page 26

“The kitchen will offer comfort food to play on the name of the town, but the quality of food will be elevated to a degree,” Newsom pointed out. People can take food to-go or savor an unhurried meal around outdoor tables. Currently, the front of the building houses The Lobby Coffee Shop, a gourmet establishment they opened late-December. Using beans from Cravey’s business known as Rescue Dog Coffee Company, the shop both roasts its own beans and sells them to the public. “These things are passions of Russell. He likes to have a mountain to climb. For both of us, there are parts that are enjoyable, but it’s still a lot of work,” she adds. Regarding Newsom Vineyards at Comfort, Newsom says, “People say they like the nice, relaxing atmosphere along with great wine — and that we’re not covered up with people like other places. They say it’s a hidden gem.” He then adds, “With gourmet food trucks and live bands, it has become a destination. It’s Texas — we’re all pretty friendly.” With music in the air, a breeze through the trees, and a drink in hand, it’s easy to understand the allure of leisure. As Newsom likes to say, “If you can’t find comfort while you’re here, you’re not doing it right.” R&V




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635 Texas 46, #207 Boerne, TX 78006 (830) 336-2043 Friday 5-9pm Saturday noon-6pm




ou’ve probably seen the ads from a well-known beer urging you to “Be Bold.” It’s too bad Kinematic Brewing didn’t trademark that slogan first — if there’s any word that describes brewer John Beaumont, it’s bold. If you drop in to his tiny brewery just outside of Boerne for a drink, you’d better be adventurous. Most microbreweries offer up a light lager or pale ale for those just dipping their toes into the world of craft beer, but when Rock & Vine visited, his entire six-beer menu was heavy stouts and porters, a French farmhouse ale, and strong Belgianstyle brews. “I do go for heavy-flavor beers,” Beaumont admits. “For the breweries in the area, I’m definitely doing something different. I don’t have an IPA. I don’t have a pale ale.” It’s not that he looks down on his fellow brewers, or those styles. Quite the opposite — he avoids those craft beer staples because “there are so many breweries out there doing them better. That’s tough competition to get into. The field is just littered with IPAs and pale ales.” Instead, he’s searching for the niches less explored: “I like doing things a little bit differently and not doing your normal sort of beers.” And he doesn’t sit still on any particular style, either — by the time you read this, his lineup might be completely different. “Kinematics” is a field of study in physics and astronomy describing the motion of bodies, sometimes called the “geometry of motion.” “I equate that as not being stagnant,” Beaumont, a selfdescribed astronomy nerd, says of his brewery name. “Always evolving, thinking outside the box, always fluid, not always being the same beer.” The beer that knocked us out (a bit literally — it’s 9.65% alcohol by volume, so as always, a designated driver is a good idea) was Galileo’s Revenge, a Belgian-style dark ale aged for six months in 12-year bourbon barrels, obtained from nearby Rebecca Creek Distillery. And his Espresso Milk Stout was also aged in bourbon barrels, with hints of vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and toasted coconut.

drinkery Brewer John Beaumont is not afraid of bold flavors.

Other Good Beer Bets in Boerne DODGING DUCK BREWHAUS 402 River Rd 830-248-3825 Sun-Thu 11am-9pm Fri-Sat 11am-10pm


By the time you get there, he will have moved on to other styles, going where no brewer has gone before. “I enjoy getting to play a little bit with ingredients. I have a beer aging in French oak right now that’s a saison, but I fermented it with saki yeast, and then dry-hopped it with jasmine green tea, and now it’s refermenting on Fredericksburg peaches. “And I have another saison in which I added black truffle honey, and took mission figs, macerated those figs in pinot noir wine for a couple of days, and then smoked those figs over cherry wood. And now the beer is refermenting on those figs.” When the weather gets hot, Kinematic will offer up its popular and refreshing watermelon wheat beer. “Playing with a food element is a lot of fun,” Beamont says. “It opens up the creativity a bit. And it differentiates you from the other breweries.” The two-year-old brewery itself is in motion, as well. Currently located on Highway 46 east of Boerne, it’s about to move to a new location near Comfort in May. Moving from its almost hidden location in a small office park to a new one on a 50-acre farm will offer expanded possibilities — shifting from a tiny four-barrel brewing system to a 10-barrel one, and bringing in some food trucks (at the moment, popcorn is the only eating option at Kinematic). The larger brewing system will let Beaumont continue to “focus more on barrel-aging stuff, keep experimenting, doing one-off beers.” “Like, I just did an oatmeal stout made with beignets and cafe au lait. I actually baked beignets, used them in the mash and the wort, and added coffee with chicory. “It’s only going to get crazier,” Beaumont laughs. “I’ll continue to experiment and play and push. What’s new, what’s different, what can’t we get everywhere else?” Beaumont says being bold is paying off. “A few people told me that my idea was not going to make it, that I need to have an IPA and a pale ale. Instead, I’ve been really surprised. The people that walk in ask me, ‘What’s new? What have you come up with?’” R&V

Brewpub with a small but solid selection of house-brewed beers, a good wine selection, and a diverse menu of pub grub, steak, Hill Country sausage, and burgers. Enjoy their offerings on a wonderful, spacious porch overlooking the Cibolo Creek Trail. CIBOLO CREEK BREWING CO. 448 S Main St 830-816-5275 Closed Tuesdays Mon, Wed & Thu 11am-9pm Fri-Sat 11am-10pm Sun 11am-8pm Brewpub that prides itself on a diverse selection of food that is locally sourced and fresh, including house-made ice cream. As for the beers, the Creekside IPA and Tusculum Stout were delicious, the latter with a faint chocolate note. BOERNE BREWERY 9 Hill View Ln 830-331-8798 Friday 2-5pm Saturday 1-4pm

If you’re looking for good flavor but not quite the extremes of Kinematic, Boerne Brewery is for you. Brewer Fred Hernandez takes pride in very “balanced beers,” with just the right doses of hops or malts. In fact, his Willy’s ESB initials that normally stand for Extra Special Bitter — in this case stands for “Extra Special Balanced.”

SUMMER 2018 31

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Sunday - Chicken Fried Steak Monday - Steak Night Tuesday - New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Wednesday - Fried Catfish Thursday - Steak Night Friday - Chef Selection Saturday - Chef Selection

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culinary art studios Hill Country cuisine | over 30 wineries and tasting rooms | museums & historic sites | peaches & wildflowers German heritage | golf | sophisticated shopping | festivals & events | eclectic art galleries | cycling | live Texas music | 866 997 3600

SUMMER 2018 33

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2/7/18 4:08 PM


BLACK BOARD BAR-B-Q 1123 Sisterdale Rd Boerne, TX 78006 830.324.6858 Jake Gandolfo and Jo Irizarry brought big taste to the back roads near Sisterdale.

MAKING DISCIPLES Congregation of meat lovers worship at Black Board Bar-B-Q






t a roadside barbecue restaurant just south of Sisterdale, two classically trained chefs are “preaching the barbecue gospel.” On July 4, 2017, Jake Gandolfo and Jo Irizarry opened Black Board Bar-B-Q, an upscale twist on traditional smoked barbecue with a strong identity. “We pay homage to the ‘smoke low and slow’ but with upscale sides,” he said. The menu includes unique wild game offerings inspired by Gandolfo’s upbringing hunting, trapping and fishing in the woods of northeast Connecticut. “We were local-vores before it was cool,” he said. “My mother had her own garden … We raised hog and steer. We even had our own butchery.” After several mentorships by culinary experts, Gandolfo worked as a chef in Santa Cruz, California where he competed on “MasterChef.” He then became an executive chef at a ranch just outside of Sisterdale. Irizarry was an accountant before attending Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts. She then became a personal chef for professional athletes. “I never thought I would open a restaurant. Culinary school was just a bucket list thing,” she said. “When he retired from the ranch we planned on traveling and catering.” But after the closure of Maywald’s Sisterdale Smokehouse on Sisterdale Road, Gandolfo and Irizarry hosted a supper club at the restaurant, and then decided to reopen as Black Board Bar-B-Q. “There was harmonious synchronicity in the universe,” Gandolfo said. “It was clear this would be our path.” The restaurant gets a lot of traffic from travelers. “We’ve built it as a destination location,” Gandolfo said. Irizarry attributes the popularity of Black Board in part to exceptional service. “I personally greet everyone who walks through the door,” she said. The other reason, without a doubt, is the fare.

Carrot cake is just one of the out-of-the-ordinary, but far above average offerings. At right, the smoke pit.

Photos by ROBERT G. GOMEZ Even the renown San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez dines at Black Board. “We had the quail — that was excellent — and the brisket, and the boar sausage had some spice to it,” he said. “We really enjoyed it. You don’t expect this level of food in a small town. (Gandolfo’s) culinary skill is expansive.” Locals Franklin and Claudia Flato are Spring Branch natives. “I know barbecue, and this is barbecue,” Franklin Flato said. “You can get lean or fatty (brisket) and both are great. There’s just enough smoke and just enough tenderness.” Gandolfo slow smokes brisket and ribs, allowing the flavor of wood smoke to stand on its own. One popular side dish is Mama’s Mac ’N Cheese, a rich macaroni and cheese that will remind diners of potluck lunches at the church yard on Sundays. Luckenbach Lollipops are perfectly cooked, battered quail legs presented with a lemon garnish and a complex, flavorful sauce with a spicy bite. Also on the menu are wild boar links, chicken, Jo’s Asian Slaw and desserts, such as a cobbler of the chef’s choice. Aside from monthly supper clubs at the restaurant, the menu doesn’t change. Where other barbecue joints try to do too much, “we do a few things and we do them well,” Gandolfo said. “We stand tall with our identity. We stay focused on who we are and what we do best.” SPRING/SUMMER 2018 35

life of riley


The African addax is all but extinct in its native Africa, but can be found in vast numbers on game ranches in the Hill Country.


frican safaris are so passé. Much like with the shifting of Europe being the top destination for wine connoisseurs the world over, so to has the safari experience relocated to the Texas Hill Country. Visitors from around the world regularly travel to the hills of the Lone Star State to hunt exotic wildlife from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America roaming free in a natural setting, to experience world-class accommodations and gourmet meals, and to live the adventure of safari. Game ranching in Texas is big business with a Texas A&M University Economic Impact Study reporting that it pumps $3.3 billion into the state economy each year. The industry began in the 1940’s and 1950’s when

Texas landowners began looking for sources of income other than cattle ranching. Many turned to offering whitetail deer hunts. A few ranchers, who had been on safari overseas, noticed that the Hill Country terrain and climate was similar to that of Africa. They, brought the idea of safari hunting further by purchasing exotic animals from zoos to stock their ranches then offering hunts for them once the stock reached sustainable numbers. Hunts offered for these animals could occur outside of the normal deer hunting season and cost considerably more. They were met with huge success. Other ranches soon followed suit. Hill Country game ranches attract both hunters and non-hunters in search of an experience that’s less expensive and far easier to reach than those found abroad. continued on page 39



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FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS C.W. LEES SWBC Insurance Agent 609 N. Llano Street Fredericksburg, TX 78264 Phone: 830.307.4202

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KERRVILLE, TEXAS MONTY MELCHER SWBC Insurance Agent 924 Jefferson Street, Suite #4 Kerrville, TX 78028 Phone: 830.285.5439

Our downtown location provides a wonderful respite for Main Street shoppers. Main Street Tasting Room 113 East Main Street Fredericksburg (830)992-1404

Since 1976, SWBC has been providing individuals, businesses, and financial institutions access to insurance, mortgage, and investment services throughout the state of Texas and across the country. For more information, visit

© 2018. All rights reserved. 1045-A9494 02/18

Walk with us. SUMMER 2018 37

life of riley

Zebras are a common site on many game ranches.


Hunting with us in Texas is easy and allows more of your hardearned time to be spent hunting rather than sitting on a plane. -Jason Molitor The African bongo calls the Ox Ranch home despite it's species being indigenous to the Congo Basin.




life of riley

continued from page 36

As Ox Ranch manager Jason Molitor explains, “Time is more limited than ever. One of the benefits of hunting the Ox is that your travel time is greatly reduced. Depending on where you’re going to in Africa, it can take two to three days’ travel time and on top of that you’re often dealing with jet lag. Hunting with us in Texas is easy and allows more of your hard-earned time to be spent hunting rather than sitting on a plane.” Time and travel are also a consideration where trophies are concerned. “Shipping game from Africa to the U.S. is expensive and can take upwards of a year,” Molitor continues. “Hunters hunting with us don’t have those issues.” Other issues Molitor says should be considered when deciding between hunting Texas or Africa are the fact that some places in Africa are disease and parasite hot zones. “I know a guy that hunted bongo in the Central African Republic (CAR) who came back with worms in his eyes. That’s obviously not an issue here in Texas.” And while in CAR or Cameroon, Molitor points out that many hunters travel to Africa to hunt bongo and return after weeks of hunting and thousands of dollars spent without so much as even seeing one of the antelope. “That’s not an issue on the Ox. We can’t guarantee that you’ll get a bongo during a three-day hunt with us, but I can guarantee that you’ll at least see one.” Another factor when considering Hill Country game ranches as a hunting destination is the fact that some African animals can be hunted in Texas, but not in their native habitat in Africa. Animals like the addax, scimitarhorned oryx, dama gazelle and a host of other species are considered extinct in the wild in Africa but can be hunted legally on the Ox and several other game ranches in Texas. But game ranches offer far more than hunts. Many offer five-star accommodations, a classically trained chef, multiple masseuses, spa treatments, high speed Internet and more. Here’s a look at the best in Hill Country safaris in terms of hunting and amenities.

Giraffe travel in groups called a tower.

A herd of red lechwe traveling across a Hill Country plain.

continued on page 40

SUMMER 2018 39

life of riley continued from page 39

Ox Ranch Nothing compares to the Ox Ranch in terms of grandeur, available species, luxury and a unique experience. Located near Uvalde, the Ox Ranch has quickly become one of the premier game ranches in the world. More than 45 species of game roam the ranch’s 18,000plus acres and guest accommodations are second to none. Hunters travel to the ranch from all over the world and those looking for an African safari can do so by pursuing more than 20 species of African game. Hunters stay in historic 1800’s cabins relocated from Kentucky and refurbished by artisans and craftsmen specializing in period restoration. The 6,000-square-foot lodge features two massive stone fireplaces, an antique bar, dance floor and game mounts from the ranch and the world over. Meals are prepared by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and yoga classes and spa services are available as is a 5,800 ft. x 70 ft. instrument marked and painted runway for guests flying directly to the ranch. In addition to the unparalleled hunting that draws hunters from around the globe, the Ox Ranch also gives guests the opportunity to drive and fire an array of World War II tanks and weaponry. The ranch also offers skeet shooting, fishing, jet skiing, cave exploring, stargazing, kayaking and more. Champion Ranch Billing itself as a “Hunters’ Paradise,” Champion Ranch, at Brady, offers hunting for 45 species of game on 8,000 acres. The 7,500-square-foot resort-style lodge was designed by famed architect Greg Wyatt and is as palatial as it is inviting. Accommodations are five-star with guests staying in private casitas situated throughout the ranch for optimum Hill Country views.

Champion Ranch also offers chef prepared meals, onsite spa services, helicopter service to off-site resorts, a swimming pool with grotto and swim up bar, a 20-person hot tub, and an 18-plus acre lake stocked with Florida bass. Recordbuck Ranch At over 20,000 acres in size with an astounding 37 miles of exterior fence, Recordbuck Ranch is one of the largest game ranches in the Hill Country. Hunters can pursue over 50 species of native and exotic species. The main lodge features over 10,000 square feet consisting of a dining area, trophy room, restaurant-style kitchen and 10 bedrooms. The adjacent River Lodge features another seven rooms, three of which are ADA compliant. The ranch also offers chef prepared meals, spa services and a host of other luxuries. Star S Located on the edge of the Texas Hill Country near Mason, the Star S offers hunting for 30 species of native and exotic wildlife on 14,000 acres that ranges from 1,700 to 2,200 feet in elevation. Guests stay in private 400-square-foot casitas, complete with both indoor and outdoor sitting areas. The recently built lodge is spacious and elegant with an interior ceiling height of 32 feet. Walls are crafted from black walnut and are adorned with a multitude of art and game animals. The lodge also features a granite topped bar and buffet, several hand-hewn dining tables, a commercial kitchen, and gourmet meals. R&V

The main lodge of the Ox Ranch features over 6,000 meet of five-star amenities.



Breeding a TEXAS LEGEND®

Come view and feed the longhorns during your stay!

Longhorns for Sale


Fredericksburg Texas Hill Country Guest Houses

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City Guest Houses Available: H Sam Houston’s Retreat H Aunt Pam’s

For Reservations Call 866-427-8374 or 830-997-5612 Or Visit Our Website: SUMMER 2018 41


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Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 am to 7 pm | Sunday 12 pm to 7 pm 830.992.3036 | 312 E Austin Street, Fredericksburg, Texas SUMMER 2018 43

Q& question & answer


SISTER CREEK Diversity defines the 30 years Sister Creek Winery has been in business By MATTHEW ESTÉ

On the banks of Sister Creek between Luckenbach and Boerne sits the town of Sisterdale, once a German settlement, now a bar, dancehall and Sister Creek Winery. It was in Sisterdale that German immigrants in the 1800s planted what is believed to be the first riesling vineyards in the United States. Located on FM 1376, the winery is housed in an 1885 cotton gin which hasn’t changed much. The Sister Creek Winery hasn’t changed much throughout its 30-year history either; however, it has evolved, thanks in large part to Danny Hernandez. Hernandez is Sister Creek’s winemaker. He came to the winery following his service in the United States Army, track career and college education at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Hernandez played a key role in the establishment of Sister Creek Winery and is still the winemaker on their 30th anniversary.

Rock & Vine: How did you get into the wine business? Danny Hernandez: Prior to working for Sister Creek, I had just finished a tour in the Army, and I went to school at UTSA. I was a runner then — a long distance runner and running for UTSA. While I was in the Army, I was stationed in Germany and really started liking the riesling wines. I got some experience with the grape itself by visiting vineyards and touring wineries, with no plans of venturing into wine making at that time. I got out of the Army, and, since I was a runner, I got a scholarship to UTSA. After three years, I was not certain what I wanted to do. I started working construction in San Antonio but knew that I wanted to work in the country. In 1985, I put an ad in the Boerne Star. Within two weeks, the owner of this property called me. He was looking for someone to take care of this place it wasn’t a winery then. At first, we brought in cattle, but that didn’t really work. We planted five acres with vines cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, Chardonnay and pinot noir. A year later, we decided to start a winery; 1988 was our first vintage. 44


question & answer

Winemaker Danny Hernandez has worked on the Sister Creek property since 1985. He found his niche in 1988 when owner Vernon Friesenhahn decided to start a winery on the property. — Photo by Matthew Esté

R&V: How many cases of wine did you produce? DH: At that time, our maximum production was 3,000 gallons, or 1,500 cases. We are up to 15,000 cases. We’ve grown over the years. As you look around you can see the partitions and how the winery has grown. R&V: In those 30 years, what changes have you seen to the business? DH: Besides the growth, the diversity of the wines being made and the diversity of the people. Now, you’re starting to see tannat, Mourvédre and tempranillo, and people who are interested in grape growing and making wines from grapes grown in Texas. You are also seeing young people who are developing a taste for these wines. R&V: What kind of training do you have? DH: I didn’t get any formal education in wine making. We wanted to start off on the right foot. We wanted to start off on Chardonnay and pinot noir. We found an oenologist who had worked with others in Texas and he got us going on the right track. Over the years, we have learned and acquired more information. Sometimes we must tweak what we know, but the basic principles are always there for any winemaker. Learning about the qualities of the grapes coming from the vineyards for that particular year most of that is viticulture. R&V: What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the last 30 years? DH: I think what I’ve learned is that every year is different, and the challenge is working with that grape. The easy part is the experience, because you know what you can do. The challenge is matching that wine to the previous year. When you have a so-so year, you’re thinking in the back of your mind that you always want to produce a better product consistently. In the grape business, that is not something you can always do. You can always focus on another wine that did well. You want to make a good wine that is drinkable. If you have to produce a lesser quality wine, you at least want to try to produce a user-friendly wine that you can sell.

R&V: What is your favorite grape to work with? DH: I’ve been asked that question a number of times. I like to work with the muscat canelli. It is, followed by the red blends. I like making those because you can do so many things. Timing is important because getting everything right and in the right blend is important. The blend came to us as a happy accident. Our intention was to produce a cabernet sauvignon. We had a bad Cabernet crop our first vintage. We had a thousand gallons. What do we do? We went to Ste. Genevieve and bought some Ruby Cabernet. It was a great marriage, and from then on, we stayed with the blends. I think we did a mostly cabernet blend in 1994. Pretty much after that, we stuck with 60% to 70% cabernet-based blends. R&V: What do you think about the quality of the grapes now? DH: They are a lot better. In 1998, our focus was merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, Chardonnay and pinot. We ran into quality problems at harvest hail damage, freeze damage. For us, it was a challenge that we had to face. As the years went by, even though we had business for many years, the industry grew, and other wineries were establishing contracts with the better growers. We didn’t develop the relationships with growers that we should have. Over the past three years, we have been developing those relationships to acquire better Texas grapes. The biggest risk for us and many wineries is if you have a freeze in Lubbock, it can demolish your production. You have to find other sources. R&V: What advice would you give someone who is wanting to start growing grapes? DH: People told me not to do this, but I did. It’s hard. It’s a lot of work. It is very discouraging. You lose a lot, but it is exciting. It is really exciting. I’m in this for the long haul. I don’t want to discourage. Let them find out. I want to be positive. I’m in the industry, and it has been good to me. R&V

SUMMER 2018 45

in the hills







British architect constructs public masterpieces By MICHAEL BARR Photos by STEVE RAWLS

Delicate stonework rests below the pink granite imported from Italy.

The six-bedroom, two story house (left and top right) was the first limestone building in Kerr County. Charles Schreiner commissioned architect Alfred Giles to design his mansion in 1879.


lfred Giles, a sickly London architect, arrived in San Antonio in 1873 after a long and disagreeable stagecoach ride. Why would an artistic and aristocratic young man, who could have hung his shingle in any of the great cities of Europe, choose instead a rowdy Wild West backwater where contemporary architecture meant dirt floors, mud walls and a fully enclosed outhouse? For one thing, he liked breathing air he couldn’t see. Giles set up shop over Gamble’s Book Store at 114 West Houston Street. In the early years, he learned all about local building materials, particularly limestone, from renowned San Antonio contractor John Kampmann. First impressions aside, it was a good time to be an architect in Southwest Texas. The population was growing. Reconstruction was ending. Farmers and ranchers were making money. San Antonio swelled with well-heeled businessmen itching to build monuments to themselves. Counties that a few years earlier couldn’t afford to buy hay for the sheriff’s horse now tried to outdo each other building fancy new courthouses. The great Texas courthouse boom was on. Suddenly, trained architects were in short supply. Giles had more business than he could handle. Over the next 40 years, Giles designed magnificent stone courthouses for 10 Texas counties. His courthouses in Brooks, Gillespie, Live Oak, Webb and Wilson counties still stand. They are among the finest examples of 19th century public architecture in the United States. His creations are a mix of European styles, including French Second Empire, Italianate and Romanesque. He often blended different stylistic elements to fit the tastes of his patrons. Mary Carolyn Hollers George, in her book The Architectural Legacy of Alfred Giles, wrote Giles “… designed buildings reflecting a great variety of styles derived from architectural forms of the past, combining them in original ways.” Other architects of the period designed courthouses with pencil-like spires, lofty bell towers and stained-glass windows. More like cathedrals than seats of government. Giles’ buildings are more restrained. “Impressive,” Mary Carolyn Hollers George wrote, “but not ostentatious.” His 1882 Gillespie County Courthouse, now Pioneer Memorial Library in Fredericksburg, is simple and balanced. Its elegant features are a blend of architectural styles. continued on page 48

SUMMER 2018 47

in the hills continued from page 47

The arched windows, thick stone walls and symmetrical design are Romanesque. The pronounced eaves supported by many elaborate corbels and low-pitched roof barely visible from the ground are Italianate. Gillespie County commissioners paid $23,000 for their new two-story courthouse. Those Germans sure could squeeze a dollar. In addition to his public masterpieces, Giles produced graceful country homes, spectacular mansions and stylish commercial buildings for the movers and shakers of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country. His loyal clients, with deep pockets and egos as big as the Llano Estacado, included the Mavericks and the Terrells of San Antonio, Capt. Charles Schreiner of Kerrville and the Faltin and Ingenhuett families of Comfort. His private commissions were collaborative efforts, but Giles had the last word. He tempered the sometimes gaudy tastes of nouveau riche Texans with unpretentiousness and restraint. Giles’ residential designs ranged from massive Romanesque limestone castles, like the Charles Schreiner Mansion at 226 Earl Garrett Street in Kerrville, to the simple, classic L-shape of the William Bierschwale House at 110 North Bowie Street in Fredericksburg. The L-shape features two projecting wings built at a 90-degree angle. A double-decker porch draws attention to the entrance located near the corner where the two wings meet. The airy design was ideal for 19th century Southwest Texas. Most rooms had windows on two sides for cross ventilation. In 1889, Fredericksburg banker Temple Smith commissioned Giles to build the Bank of Fredericksburg at 120 East Main Street. The vault-like Romanesque building looks like a fortress complete with a corner watch tower. Giles designed the massive hewn limestone walls to project security, prosperity and permanence. A building that would endure anything — from hell and high water to the Hole in the Wall Gang. For a Texas touch, Giles added a distinctive shape atop the front wall like the one on top of the Alamo. Alfred Giles left his artistic imprint all over Southwest Texas. His buildings are a part of history. The first floor of the Giles-designed Masonic Building at 211 Earl Garrett Street in Kerrville once housed the C.C. Butt Grocery Store — a small company that would one day become food giant H-E-B. In San Antonio, Giles designed the 1909 addition to the Menger Hotel, the Pershing House at Fort Sam Houston and a new roof for the Alamo. continued on page 50

Constructed in 1907, the Comfort State Bank, top photo, on Seventh and High street shows off the hand-cut stone craftsmanship of local stonemason Richard Doebbler. The Masonic building in Kerr County, bottom photo, has remained property of Schreiner family until 1959. It is now a historic landmark. 48


The August Faltin private commission in Comfort by Giles shows of the permanence of his designs.

SUMMER 2018 49

in the hills

The two-story commercial building, left, designed by Giles was once a saloon, confectionery, grocery, ice cream parlor and dry goods store. Gile's flair for mixing red brick and limstone can be seen in Comfort's old post office, built in 1940. It is now a bistro.

continued from page 48

Julius Joske commissioned Giles to expand his department store between the Alamo and Commerce Street. In the King William District, Giles designed a house for Carl Wilhelm August Groos, founder of the Groos National Bank, and the Sartor House for jeweler Alexander Sartor Jr. One day in 1911, Giles caught a glimpse of the San Antonio River from the Houston Street Bridge, one of the ugliest sights in San Antonio. That view of the polluted, overgrown waterway inspired him to propose an early version of the world famous River Walk. Alfred Giles married Laura James, the daughter of an English-born surveyor living in San Antonio. The couple had eight children. When his mother died in 1885, Giles moved his family to London to look after her considerable estate. He and Laura lived like aristocrats. They traveled extensively in Europe and hobnobbed with royalty. But each morning, they woke up homesick. They missed the sweet smell of the rain in a country that thirsts for moisture but too often gets damn little of it. They longed to breathe air they couldn’t see. In less than a year, they were back in San Antonio. Using the proceeds of his inheritance, Giles bought land and sunk his roots deep in the rugged Hill Country north of Comfort in Kendall County. His ranch, called Hillingdon after the borough west of London where he was born, would one day cover 13,000 acres. The sickly London architect who transformed the architecture of San Antonio and the Hill Country was himself transformed. He was, at last, a Texan. R&V



108 East Main Street • Fredericksburg 830.990.7955

Your home comes together here, with distinctive furnishings, elegant accessories and exquisite design, (830) 997-6750

uniquely inspired for extraordinary living.

Auer Haus • 402 East Main • Fredericksburg, TX 78624 • Corner of Washington Main SUMMER and 2018 51

stomping grounds

Porch Sipping Wines G O O D S T O R I E S K E E P C U S T O M E R S E N T E R TA I N E D By LORELIE HELMKE Amazing views, wonderful stories, great entertainment and impressive wines await at Singing Water Vineyards. The winery offers some impressive spirits along with stories of American heroes. Owners Dick and Julie Holmburg, their daughter, Ann, and her husband, Mark Whittemor, have created a place of respite for hurried lives. Every weekend they host a different musician and on Veterans Day, they have a large celebration for veterans. They have dedicated an entire room to service members called the Freedom Room. It’s easy to get lost while sipping wine and looking through all the photos and posted stories in this special place. Plan to spend some time here. It is well worth the journey over the steep hills and winding roads.



stomping grounds




Texas Hill County

Estate Grown – Comfort, Texas



Estate Merlot and Temecula Cabernet Sauvignon

A brilliant nose filled with honeydew melon, apples and white flowers. This is not your ordinary pinot grigio. This wonderful wine is balanced with bright acidity, nothing flabby here. This finish is clean and makes your mouth water. A perfect white wine to serve with a shrimp or crawfish boil.

Upfront, Syrah aromas give way to abundant strawberry and honey kissed melon. It is a blend of estate grown viognier, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio and Syrah, so perfectly blended that each varietal is tasted, yet transformed into a sassy libation that truly pleases the palate. Perfect by itself, but wonderful paired with a light salad or salmon dish.

Voluptuous body and a nose of black plum, dark cherry, blackberry and tobacco with hints of spice. This marvelous blend lays softly on the tongue with silky tannins enveloping the palate. It finishes long and notably balanced. Perfect pairing for the classic beef tenderloin and Stilton cheese.




Aromas of grapefruit and melon greet you as the wine opens. On the tongue, the racy acidity rushes in. There is a hint of herb to tickle the palate. Stainless steel fermentation and aging allows the wine to maintain its brilliant acidity. It is light in body and a perfect accompaniment to sea bass, red fish, shrimp or caviar.

Texas High Plains

In memory of their yellow Lab, Lupe.



Powerful dark cherry aromas jump from the glass. Cigar box and a touch of graphite follow close behind. This bottling is bold and rugged with sweet smoke to soften the edges. Elegant tannin structure and long finish complete this mouth-watering wine. It was oak-aged for 24 months before release. Perfect for Veterans Day and Memorial Day grilling: steaks, fajitas and hamburgers. Proceeds from this wine support veterans’ charities.

Ever the Diva of the winery, Lupe served as Director of Hospitality. Those of us who were fortunate enough to meet her remember her fondly. She was delightful, The Wall Street Journal published an article on her.



2017 VIOGNIER Texas High Plains

 White peach and apricot aromas rise from the glass followed by a balanced wave of tangerine scent. There are notes of honeysuckle and orange blossoms here. Delightfully light in body, a fresh approach to Viognier. A perfect wine for poultry, it would pair with grilled chicken or turkey as well as our Texas favorite, bacon wrapped white-winged dove

Sweet Lupe is a semi-sweet red wine produced with three percent residual sugar. It offers up essential Merlot aromas and flavors with a hint of sweetness. This is a perfect wine to use in the preparation of red sauces, like Bolognese.

2015 MERLOT Estate Grown – Comfort, Texas

½ Rich black cherry and brooding flavors of plum and dark cherries abound in this glass. The combination of a dry summer and some 20-year-old vines produced juice with beautiful structure, satinlike tannins and a lush finish. This is a fabulous food wine. Pair with roasted lamb or wild game.

SINGING WATER VINEYARDS 316 Mill Dam Road Comfort, TX 78013 830-995-2246

SUMMER 2018 53

2017 State Awards Including: Best Kitchen, Best Interior Design, Best Custom Home, Best Parade Home Awarded Best of Parade/Best of Category 6 out of 7 years Awarded People’s Choice Award 2 times

Todd Stephens 304 N Adams St.

Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 830-889-7900 website: 54

Rock&Vine & &Vine

Hill Country Wineries

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G A S S U P P LY C E N T E R S SUMMER 2018 19

drinkery maps Pontotoc

29 San Saba


Lake Buchanan



Buchanan Dam





Horseshoe Bay



Round Mtn.






64 1 93 42

Johnson City






23 12





14 18



28 29

Sisterdale 183 San Marcus

Spring Branch



74 25 98




Dripping Springs




58 Vanderpool

Bee Cave


46 13

Center Point



11 Henly 26




Jonestown Lago Vista


55 84 67









Lake Travis


Cypress Mill

50 17

Travis Peak



Willow City


Canyon Lake

Canyon City



24 52 Bulverde




Smithson Valley



Gruene 46

New Braunfels


21 Seguin




Hill Country Wine Region The Texas Hill Country region now has over 100+ breweries, distilleries, wineries and vineyards combined and continues to grow exponentially. With this growth, Rock & Vine has also expanded its reach with coverage to the northern counties of San Saba and McCullouch, on down south to Bandera, Kendall and Comal, and out west to Mason, Kimble and Menard, and even east to Hays, Williamson and Travis counties. Highlighted areas on page 60





Marble Falls 71


Liberty Hill


Granite Shoals





Sunrise Beach


Rogers 35

68 Lake LBJ






Inks Lake

35 & 75











Listing numbers correspond with numbers on map. Locations are approximate not to scale. 1. 2. 3. 4.


5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26.

290 Vinery 300 W. Main (Hwy. 290) Johnson City, TX 78636 Altstadt Brewer 6120 East US Hwy 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Alexander Vineyards 6360 Goehmann Lane Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Andreucci Wines 2 Locations 8898 US Hwy. 290 308 E. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Andalusia Whiskey Company 6462 North Highway 281 Blanco, TX 78606 Arc de Texas 4555 Hwy. 281 Johnson City, TX 78636 Armadillo’s Leap Winery 2 Locations 134 East Main Street 6266 E. US Hwy. 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Baron’s Creek Vineyard 5865 E. US Highway 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Becker Vineyards 464 Becker Farms Road Stonewall, TX 78671 Bell Mountain Vineyards 463 Bell Mountain Rd. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Bell Springs Winery 3700 Bell Springs Rd. Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Bella Vista Ranch 3101 Mount Sharp Rd. Wimberley, TX 78676 Bending Branch Winery 142 Lindner Branch Trail Comfort, TX 78013 Boerne Brewery 106 Sage Brush Boerne, TX 78006 Branch on High 704 High Street Comfort, TX 78013 Calais Winery 8115 W. US Hwy. 290 Hye, TX 78635 Chisholm Trail Winery 2367 Usener Rd. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Cibolo Creek Brewing Company 122 North Plant Boerne, TX 78006 Comfort Brewing 523 Seventh Street Comfort, TX 78013 Compass Rose Cellars Inc. 1197 Hye Albert Rd. Hye, TX 78635 Copper Star Cellars (Off Map) 13217 FM 1117 Seguin, TX 78155 Dancing Bee Winery (Off Map) 8060 W. US Hwy. 190 Rogers, TX 76569 Deep Eddy Vodka 2250 East Highway 290 Dripping Springs, 78620 Dodging Duck Brewhaus 402 River Rd. Boerne, TX 78006 Driftwood Estate Winery 4001 Elder Hill Rd. Driftwood, TX 78619 Dripping Springs Vodka 5330 Bell Springs Rd. Dripping Springs, TX 78620

27. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards 1741 Herbelin Rd. New Braunfels, TX 78132 28. Duchman Family Winery 13308 FM 150 W. Driftwood, TX 78619 29. Fall Creek Vineyards 2 Locations 18059-A FM 1826 Driftwood, TX 78619 1820 County Rd. 222 Tow, TX 78672 30. Fat Ass Winery Tasting Room 153 E. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 31. Fat Ass Ranch Winery 51 Elgin Behrends Rd. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 32. Fawncrest Vineyard & Winery 1370 Westside Circle Canyon Lake, TX 78133 33. Fiesta Winery 2 Locations 147A East Main St. 6260 US Hwy. 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 34. Flat Creek Estate 24912 Singleton Bend East Rd. Marble Falls, TX 78654 35. Fly Gap Winery (Off Map) 2851 Hickory Grove Rd. Mason, TX 76856 36. Four Point Cellars 10354 E. US Highway 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 37. Fredericksburg Brewing Company 245 East Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 38. Fredericksburg Winery 247 W. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 39. Georgetown Winery 715 Main St. Georgetown, TX 78626 40. Garrison Brothers 1827 Hye Albert Rd. Hye, TX 78635 41. Grape Creek Vineyards 2 Locations 97 Vineyard Ln. 223 East Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 42. Hahne Estates Winery 104 E. Pecan Ave. Johnson City, TX 78636 43. Hawk’s Shadow Estate Vineyard 7500 McGregor Ln. Dripping Springs, TX 78620 44. Hilmy Cellars 12346 E. US Hwy. 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 45. Hill Country Cellars & Winery 3540 Highway 16 South Ste 2D Bandera, TX 77803 46. Hill Country Distillers 723 Front St. Comfort, TX 78013 47. Hye Meadow Winery 10257 US Highway 290 W., Hye, TX 78635 48. Hye Rum 11247 Highway 290 West Hye, TX 78635 49. Inwood Estates Winery 10303 Hwy. 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 50. Iron Goat Distillery 817 Usener Rd. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 51. Kerrville Hills Winery 3600 Fredericksburg Rd. Kerrville, Texas 78028

52. Kinematic Brewing Company 635 Highway 46 East Suite 207 Boerne, TX 78006 53. Kuhlman Cellars 18421 E. US Hwy. 290 Stonewall, TX 78671 54. La Cruz de Comal Wines 7405 FM 2722 Canyon Lake, TX 78312 55. Lewis Wines 3209 W. Highway 290 Johnson City, TX 78636 56. Longhorn Hills and Winery 555 Klappenbach Rd. Johnson City, Texas 78636 57. Lost Draw Cellars 113 E. Park St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 58. Lost Maples Winery 34986 Farm Market 187 Vanderpool, TX 78885 59. McReynolds Winery 706 Shovel Mountain Rd. Cypress Mill, TX 78663 60. Mendelbaum Winery/Cellars 10207 E. US Hwy. 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 61. Messina Hof Winery 9996 E. US Highway 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 62. Narrow Path Winery 2 Locations FM 1623 (South of Hye) Albert, TX 78671 111 E. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 63. Newsom Vineyards 717 Front Street Comfort, TX 78013 64. Pecan Street Brewing 106 East Pecan Dr. Johnson City, TX 78636 65. Pedernales Brewing Company 97 Hitchin Post Tr. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 66. Pedernales Cellars 2916 Upper Albert Rd. Stonewall, TX 78671 67. Pelota Wines, Inc. 3209 US Hwy. 290 Johnson City, TX 78636 68. Perissos Vineyards 7214 Park Road 4 West Burnet, TX 78611 69. Pilot Knob Vineyard 3125 CR 212 Bertram, TX 78605 70. Pint & Plow Brewing Company 332 Clay St. Kerrville, TX 78028 71. Pontotoc Vineyard 320 W. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 72. Rancho Ponte Vineyard 315 Ranch Road 1376 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 73. Real Ale Brewing Company 231 San Saba Court Blanco, TX 78606 74. Salt Lick Cellars 1800-C FM 1826 Driftwood, TX 78619 75. Sandstone Cellars (Off Map) 211 San Antonio St. Mason, TX 7685 76. Santa Maria Cellars 12044 Hwy. 16 S Fredericksburg, TX 78624 77. Singing Water Vineyards 316 Mill Dam Rd. Comfort, TX 78013 78. Sister Creek Vineyards 1142 Sisterdale Rd. Boerne, TX 78006

79. Six Shooters Cellars 6264 US Hwy. 290 East Fredericksburg, TX 78624 80. Solaro Estate Winery 13111 Silver Creek Rd. Dripping Springs, TX 78620 81. Spicewood Vineyards 1419 CR 409 Spicewood, TX 78669 82. Stone House Vineyard 24350 Haynie Flat Rd. Spicewood, TX 78669 83. Texas Heritage Vineyards 3245 U.S. 290 East Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 84. Texas Hills Vineyard 878 RR 2766 Johnson City, TX 78636 85. Three Dudes Winery 125 Old Martindale Rd. San Marcos, TX 78628 86. Torr de Lochs 7055 W. State Hwy. 29 Burnet, TX 78611 87. Torre di Pietra Vineyards 10915 E. US Hwy. 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 88. The Vineyard at Florence 8711 W. FM 487 Florence, TX 76527 89. The Vintage Cellar 6258 E. US Hwy. 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 90. Thirsty Mule Winery & Vineyard 101 CR 257 Liberty Hill, TX 78642 91. Timber Ridge Winery 2152 Timber Creek Rd. Pipe Creek, TX 78063 92. Treaty Oak Distilling Company 16604 Fitzhugh Road Dripping Springs, TX 78620 93. Vinovium 214 Edmonds Avenue Johnson City, TX 7863 94. Wedding Oak Winery (Off Map) 2 Locations 316 E. Wallace San Saba, TX 76877 100 Legacy Rd., Fredericksburg, TX (Located inside Wildseed Farm) 95. Westcave Cellars Winery 25711 Hamilton Pool Rd. Round Mountain, TX 78663 96. Western Edge Cellars 228 W. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 97. William Chris Vineyards 10352 Highway 290 Hye, TX 78635 98. Wimberly Valley Winery 2825 County Road 183 Driftwood, TX 78619 99. Wines of Dotson Cervantes 13044 Willis Street Pontotoc, TX 76869 100. Winotus 115 E. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 101. Woodrose Winery 662 Woodrose Lane Stonewall, TX 78671 102. Ron Yates Winery 676 Highway 290 West Hye, TX 78635 103. Zero 815 Winery 11157 West US 290 Hye, TX 78635 104. 1851 Vineyards 4222 S State Highway 16 Fredericksburg, TX 78624

SUMMER 2018 57

drinkery maps




RD Cain City






RD 1623



97 67











53 48 103









8 72

87 44 36 31

4 61


Pedernales River



89 2 33 79

LBJ National LBJ State Historical Park Historical State Park Ranch




Rocky Hill






Pedernales River













20 40












Pioneer Museum







62 100 33 30


16 N











Visitor Information Center


Museum of the Pacific War





















6469 RANCH ROAD 12, SAN MARCOS, TX | 512-213-2110 | WGW.COM

Texas Tech University now offers WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Qualifications WSET Level 1 (Award in Wine) and WSET Level 2 (Award in Wines and Spirits) Courses offered in Fredericksburg and Lubbock, Texas. Visit for details.

SUMMER 2018 59

off the beaten path

Earthworks celebrate ancient monument

Stonehenge II is located south of State Highway 39 in front of the Hill Country Arts Foundation, 120 Point Theatre Road South.



off the beaten path By STEVE TAYLOR


Stonehenge, the British prehistoric monument of huge, standing stones, 80 miles southwest of London, has been studied for centuries, yet a significant mystery remains: How did its builders, who used antlers for tools, move rocks weighing an average of 25 tons to the site from 150 miles away? In 1989, just west of the tiny Kerr County community of Hunt, Stonehenge II started with a leftover limestone patio slab. Doug Hill, an insurance company owner, gave the slab to his neighbor, Al Shepperd, a former Dallas hotel owner who stood it up in a field on his property, within eyesight of vehicles traveling FM 1340. It didn’t seem to garner any attention, so Shepperd showed Hill a photo of England’s Stonehenge and asked, “What if we do this?” Shepperd found another large limestone slab while Hill and some assistants created the other “stones” from steel frames, plaster and paint over the next nine months. Two 13-foot Moai head statues, replicas of those on Easter Island off the coast of Chile, were added a year later. Now, FM 1340 travelers were noticing, as well as taking photos and walking among the arches. Stonehenge II — 90 percent as wide and 60 percent as tall as the original — became a widely known Hill Country curiosity. Shepperd passed away in 1994. His nephew — also named Al Shepperd — took ownership and in 2010 decided to sell the property. After a potential buyer declined to purchase the land with the “rock star” remaining on it, the nephew offered to donate Stonehenge II to Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram, of which the original Al Shepherd was a longtime supporter. The field in front of the foundation’s main building, near the banks where Johnson Creek merges with the Guadalupe River, was sizable enough to accommodate it — but not everyone in Ingram liked the idea. At one city council meeting, one person opposed supporting a reproduction of what may (or may not) have been a pagan ritual site. The specter of human sacrifices was raised. Nonetheless, a successful fundraising campaign led to Stonehenge II being moved, stone by stone along with its Easter Island sidekicks, and rebuilt in 2012 at its current location. It is open from dawn to dusk, free of charge, but also can be rented for weddings, concerts and other large gatherings. According to Wikipedia, Stonehenge II sits directly in the path of the total solar eclipse expected on April 8, 2024, six years hence. It also isn’t the only Stonehenge in Texas. Another replica was erected in 2004 on the campus of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa. R&V

SUMMER 2018 61

Events June 1-10—47


Annual Kerrville Annual Folk Festival, 3876 Medina TH

Highway, Kerrville, Texas 78028; 830.257.3600;

22—Kelly Willis at Gruene Hall, 8PM, 1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, Texas 78130; 830.606.1281;


Annual Hill Country Food Truck Festival, noon-9:30PM, Luckenbach, TH

Road, Boerne,


City Park, 106 City Park Texas 78006; 830.249.3644;

Annual VFW Rodeo, 5:30PM,

Chester Franklin Rode Arena, 401 Jacobs Well Road, Wimberley, Texas 78676; 512.847.6441;

Street, Marble Falls, Texas 78654; 888.503.8842;



Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666;


—Soul Machine, PCAA Concert in the Park, 6:30-8pm, Marktplatz, North Adams at West Austin, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624; 830.997.8515;



412 Luckenbach, Town Loop, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624; 830.997.3224;

San Marcos Metaphysical and Holistic Fair, 11 AM -5 PM , 105 Bintu


4—Fourth of July Fireworks,


Clark, 9PM, Brass Hall, 909 3rd




211 Mercer Street, Dripping Springs, Texas 78620; 512.829.4723;

August 2

—25th Annual Harry Wickersham Golf Tournament, 8AM-3PM, Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Golf Course, 341 Golfers Loop, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624; 830.896.8500;

12—Boerne Market Days, 10AM-6PM, Main Plaza, 100 North Main, Boerne, Texas 78006


Gillespie County Fair,

Gillespie County Fair Grounds, 530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624; 830.997.2359;


110th Birthday, 10AM-3PM, LBJ

State Park and Historic Site, 199 Park Road 52, Stonewall, Texas 78671; 830.644.2252;

September 1—Frontier Days 5K, 8AM, Harper High School Track, U.S. Highway 290 and North Park Street, Harper, Texas, 78631; 830.864.5048;


Annual Gunner Thames Memorial Rodeo, 3—7:30PM, VFW Rodeo Arena, 401 Jacobs TH

Well Road, Wimberley, Texas 78676; 512.289.0724;





Burnet Municipal Airport, 2302 South Water Street, Burnet, Texas 78611; 512.963.1826;


Annual Dripping Springs with Taste Wine and Food Festival, noon-6PM, TH

Dripping Springs Ranch Park Events Center, 1121 DS Ranch Road, Dripping Springs, Texas 78620;

SUMMER 2018 63



Your Hill Country Corvette & Silverado DESTINATION!

N E W A N D C E RT I F I E D P R E - O W N E D

VISIT US TODAY 1225 S State HWY 16


Fredericksburg, TX


844.826.4170 SUMMER 2018 65


Infinite Pleasure Luxury, comfort gives premium ride The 2018 Infiniti QX60 seats up to seven people and has 75 cubic feet of cargo room for those summer car trips.




The Infiniti QX60 brings a comfy, roomy interior to a car that is far more stylish than the average family coach.

By VALERIE MENARD Crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) rival minivans as the Only one engine powers the QX60, a 3.5-liter V6 with favored family car, especially for road trips. On a recent 295 horsepower, 270 pound-feet of torque and matched drive to Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country, the 2018 Infiniti to an electronically controlled continuously variable QX60 CUV offered a cozy ride that floated along Interstate 10 transmission. West. “The QX60 got a new engine in the past model year, Refreshed in 2016, the QX60 bears a handsome sculpted which increases performance more than 10 percent, while exterior, distinguished by chevron design cues on the grille still retaining one of the best fuel economy figures in its and rear side windows. Its plush interior includes standard class,” says Kyle Bazemore, director, Infiniti Americas quilted leather seating with heated seats in the front, a corporate communications. welcome feature in the winter, even Infiniti simplifies the selection in Texas. When temperatures rise, process by offering only two trim levels Kerrville, Texas based on the QX60’s configuration, cooled or ventilated front seats, i.e. front-wheel or all-wheel drive included on the test model, as well Many visitors to Kerrville will descend (AWD). The test model came with as a heated steering wheel, maple upon the town during the Kerrville the latter and should achieve an EPAwood accents, and the Around View Folk Festival this May 24-June 10. estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg on Monitor that offers a bird’s eye view Other attractions include the newly the highway and 19 mpg in the city. around the CUV for improved safety refurbished Louise Hays Park, On the test drive, the average fuel and parking ease, are also available. kayaking on the Guadalupe River, economy came to 18.3 mpg. “The handcrafted interior is AWD models also include the often compared to the interior of shopping and wine tasting. Drive Mode Selector that allows the a luxury jet,” says Greg Warrick, driver to choose among Standard, general manager at Principle Infiniti of Boerne. “The hand-stitched leather and dash, real maple Sport, Eco and Snow modes. While the Sport mode did add wood and material that feel warm and inviting, make the extra power for the hilly climb along the 65.5-mile drive to Kerrville from San Antonio, the power loss in Eco mode was interior really stand out.” With three rows of seating, the QX60 can seat up quite dramatic. Standard entertainment features include Bluetooth, an to seven. The split second and third rows also fold flat to create 75.8 cubic feet of cargo room. Adding convenience, AM/FM/CD stereo with an eight-inch touchscreen interface, the second row moves forward for easier access to the third and tri-zone air conditioning. Family essentials include row that returns upright automatically with the push of a eight cup holders, six bottle holders, and four USB ports. button. A new innovation for 2018 includes the standard While selecting a trim level may be simplified, selecting Rear Door Alert that reminds an owner, with a series of options, like a blind spot monitor, will be costly. Pricing for distinctive honks, to check the back row before locking the the 2018 Infiniti QX60 starts at $44,295, while the as-tested price came to $60,670. vehicle. SUMMER 2018 67

830-997-5302 6 . i co t. it • ic s 83 .997-53 2 • www. i co t wi owsa


as oo


ac m t i ows o stom cia ists ic s a o o tact s o a

oo s i

ot to a

Locally owned & operated by certified installers SUMMER 2018 69










The Devil’s Backbone is a legendary length of highway stretching between Wimberley and Blanco. Tall Texas tales of mischievous ghosts give the area its name, but the panoramic views that define this place are simply heavenly. The sweeping landscape and biodiversity of the area drew Austin designer Jack Carson and his wife Jackie to purchase 50 acres for the construction of their primary residence, Backbone Ridge. The couple was determined to maximize their connection to the surrounding countryside, so Carson set out to design a home that blurred the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. “The property is fairly isolated,” says Jack. “Without any homes nearby, I was able to design with lots of glass to take advantage of the views and the privacy.” Carson reached out to Grady Burnette, a custom home builder based out of Wimberley, to help him bring his vision to life. Although the two had never worked together before, Burnette’s familiarity with the sometimes challenging Texas landscape, together with a track record of working with architects on contemporary homes, made him an easy fit for the project. “It was an intriguing project with interesting plans,” says Burnette. “There were quite a few unique features, and I was really excited to build it.” One of those unique features was the use of site-specific stone. The acreage had an ample amount of stone that the couple was eager to use in construction, despite their knowledge that the stone’s coloration would be a bit of a surprise. “We quarried everything from the land, and we got what we got – we knew we wouldn’t get to pick the stone colors,” shares Carson. “Once the colors were established, we could move forward and pick other finishes.” Carson incorporated the local stone, which has hints of red and rust colors, on both interior and exterior walls. He also used the stone to create a gentle contrast in the pool design with a sloping wall that draws the modern edges of the pool back into the rugged landscape. continued on page 72

SUMMER 2018 71


continued from page 71

Ipe wood, which is known for its strength and durability, was selected to compliment the stone and add rich color throughout the 6 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom home. The wood finish is especially striking on the sweeping 1,800 SF exterior awning, which slopes up in such a way that it blocks the sun but doesn’t obstruct from the view, which is made possible because of the 100% steel construction design. “Working with a galvanized steel structure that is laid out using a grid system is very different than a traditional wood frame structure,” Grady shares. “We had to be very exact, especially in the construction of the fireplaces. It was a good challenge.” Another unique feature of the property is the decision to use six smaller (3,000 gallon) rain tanks instead of relying on one larger one. The tanks are integrated into the design of the house and leave the landscape uninterrupted. Rainwater, pure and gentle on pipes, is used inside the home for drinking and showers, and a separate well provides water for irrigation. Backbone Ridge is very site specific, and Carson noted that the design would not be as successful on another site. “We were able to use so much glass to take advantage of the views, because we didn’t have to worry about privacy.” The home doesn’t have a true front or back side, so each of the four elevations were designed to purposefully integrate into the landscaping, which was not planned by a landscaping firm, but by nature. “We took great care to leave what was already there undisturbed and let the natural landscape come right up to the house,” shares Carson. “The land is beautiful and we really wanted the house to look like a part of it—they had



cleared the cedar in the 1930's, and because of that, there is a great diversity of plant life that you don’t always see in the Hill Country.” Now settled in, the couple is delighted with the result. With 5,100 square feet of conditioned space available between the main house and the two separate guest suites, they still find themselves spending most of their time outdoors. Friends and family are often gathered in one of several outdoor entertainment areas, and the Carsons have found that the outdoor fireplace is the one they most often use. Despite Texas’ scorching summer heat and the abundance of glass, utility bills are relatively low, thanks to smart orientation that takes advantage of southeastern winds, and the ample shade structure. “We are really happy with the results. The main thing is we love being on the land, enjoying it, and taking care of it. The design was predicated on taking advantage of the land, natural settings, and being outdoors, and bringing the outdoors in,” says Carson. R&V


Opposite page: A little piece of paradise nestled near the Devil's Backbone road between Wimberley and Blanco. This page: Bold, dramatic lines and unique materials define the style of designer Jack Carson, brought to fruition by builder Grady Burnette.

SUMMER 2018 73

My experience in property is not only as a Realtor, but as a land owner who is familiar with agricultural exemptions, farming/ranching, and 1031 exchanges. Let me help you become a part of this community whether it is land, farm and ranch, or a home in town.

Fred Hild Cell: 830-456-3510

With a lifetime of experience in ranching and dedication of helping others, I can work for you to find all your real estate needs. If you live here or you’re looking to join our community, please allow me to help you find that perfect piece of property.

Steve Wetz Cell: 830-889-5858

Fred Hild

Steve Wetz

150 E Main Street, Suite 217 • Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

2818 East US Highway 290 Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 (830) 990-2717

Pursue a Career in the Wine Industry it stat o t a t aciliti s inclu in in la s an a t ac in in a outstanding hands-on learning experiences through three education options.




TEXAS VITICULTURE CERTIFICATE: Two-year program for wine industry entrepreneurs and prospective vineyard managers. TEXAS WINEMAKING CERTIFICATE: Two-year program for winemakers, cellar workers, and prospective winery employees. VITICULTURE & ENOLOGY SPECIALIZATION: The only four-year undergraduate program in Texas focused on the science and technology of grape and wine production. Major in Plant & Soil Science with a specialization in Viticulture & Enology.



Sip, Taste, Stay. 830-997-9591

An eclectic collection of Fine Art alongside Fine Craft by Texas Artists.

Pottery, Paintings, Fused Glass, Sculpture and More

Barry Bradley

SUMMER 2018 75



Prolong your life

by reading more books. A study published in Social Science & Medicine’s September 2017 issue, entitled: “A Chapter A Day: Association of Book Reading with Longevity” found that reading books yields a greater lifespan. The study concluded that readers of 3.5 hours or more/week were 23 percent less likely to die than non-readers. “First, it promotes ‘deep reading,’ which is a slow, immersive process; this cognitive engagement occurs as the reader draws connections to other parts of the material, finds applications to the outside world… Second, books can promote empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence, which are cognitive processes that can lead to greater survival,” according to the survey.

In a ranch near Kerrville, a calf resembling KISS frontman Gene Simmons was born in 2017. The Associated Press news services reported that Simmons was “udderly thrilled” by the calf’s black-and-white markings that are similar to the face paint he wears on stage. Simmons tweeted his admiration for the calf on Sunday, saying, “This is real, folks!!!” Heather Taccetta, who lives at the ranch with her family, said the calf is named Genie, in honor of Simmons and won’t be sold for slaughter.

A newborn calf named Genie with facial marking that resemble Gene Simmons, bass player for the rock group KISS, is shown in Texas. (Photo by Heather Taccetta)

This 2009 photo shows the Hygieostatic Bat Roost in Comfort. It was built in 1918. (Photo/Wikipedia); AP News; Wikipedia; and Erinn R. Barefield, MA thesis: The Kerrville Folk Festival: The Path to Kerr-version, May 2010.




Comfort, Texas is home to a 30-foot, shingle-style tower used to help eradicate malaria in the Hill Country. This Hygieostatic Bat Roost was one of 16 built in the U.S. in 1918. It was designed by Charles A.R. Campbell to house bats, which are the natural enemy of the mosquito, which carry the disease malaria. One bat can eat 1,000 mosquitos a night.

St. Peter’s Church in Boerne, Texas, was embroiled in

a constitutional controversy in 1997, when the Archbishop of San Antonio sued the city of Boerne for violating his rights under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), when the zoning board denied him a permit to expand his church. Archbishop Patrick Flores claimed that by preventing the building of a larger church the city was restricting the freedom of religion. The city denied the permit because the church, a 1923 mission-style building, was located in a historic district and cited the ordinance that restricted additions and new construction in a historic district. After a series of lawsuits the case made it to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the city and rendered the RFRA unconstitutional and made it easier for states to enforce historic preservation laws.

Kerr-azy is one way to describe the Kerrville Folk Festival community’s 1985 dictionary Kerrictionary. It includes over 120 words formed from the root word Kerr. Festival goers and devotes created what they call Kerr-culture and named many things such as, “kerr-virgin,” a first-time festival goer; “kerr-vert,” those who love the annual musician showcase and “kerr-version,” a person who has had a mystical spiritual conversion at the festival.

July 4th Chili Cook-off Aug. 4th Culinaria Rambling Rose August 25th & 26th September 1st & 2nd Grape Stomp

Winery Tasting Room 464 Becker Farms Rd Stonewall

Tasting Room 307 E. Main St Fredericksburg


SUMMER 2018 77

Indulgences in Artful Living

201 East San Antonio - One Block off Main 78



Indulgences in Artful Living


SINCE 1965, FREDERICKSBURG REALTY HAS BEEN A PREMIER REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY. The Hill Country was a well-kept secret for many years, but word of its natural beauty and small-town charm has spread across Texas and far beyond. Long-term residents know what they have, setting down roots here by purchasing homes, ranches, waterfront property and raw land. Now others are trading in their busy city lives for a more easygoing lifestyle. Over the years, we’ve helped both families and investors discover the property of their dreams, whether they were seeking a modest home or a sprawling ranch. Our eleven agents have over 100 years of combined experience selling the Hill Country, and they understand the nuances of residential, ranch and commercial real estate. Let us help you with all of your real estate needs. Contact us today.


201 East San Antonio - One Block off Main 2

Rock&Vine & &Vine



The Lodge



Sisterdale joint offers meaty mains & singular sides

The Hill Country’s Premier Destination for Weddings and Events



KICK BACK & get cozy in Comfort


Accommodates over 300 Guests • Located Minutes from Downtown in Fredericksburg, TX Ceremony Sites • Bride/Groom Suites • Sound System Located on 200 acres with Accommodations on site for up to 150 guests Stay. Play. Get Married.






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