Wine & Spirits Issue | Waterways Magazine | October 2021

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WATERWAYS THE INSIDER’S LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO WEST AUSTIN

Festive Fall Flavors DELICIOUS APPS FOR AUTUMN

Taking it SLO

SIP AND SWALLOW IN CALIFORNIA’S SLO COUNTY

Sip, Sip Away THE TEXAS WINE COUNTRY

Cocktail Culture COMFORTING SPIRITS FOR FALL SIPPING




benefiting

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Wishing Lake Travis High School a successful and safe football season for its players, coaches, staff & fans. Go Cavs!


CONTENTS

36

ENTERTAINING 8 / FESTIVE FALL FLAVORS

LIQUID ASSETS 12 / STORING WINE UNTIL IT’S TIME

COCKTAIL CULTURE 18 / THE TRUE SPIRIT OF TEXAS 22 / A NEW RANCH WATER POURS INTO TOWN 26 / TRUE “HOUSE WINE” HAS ARRIVED 30 / SIP, SIP AWAY

IN GOOD SPIRITS 34 / RAISE THE BAR

ESCAPES 36 / TAKE IT SLO

STYLE FILE 40 / FABULOUS FALL FINDS

MINDFULNESS

26

34 18

8

30

18

WATERWAYS THE INSIDER’S LIFESTYLE GUIDE TO WEST AUSTIN

Festive Fall Flavors DELICIOUS APPS FOR AUTUMN

Taking it SLO SIP AND SWALLOW IN CALIFORNIA’S SLO COUNTY

Sip, Sip Away THE TEXAS WINE COUNTRY

ON THE COVER: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue isn’t just a saying

for blushing brides. Desert Door Distillery has borrowed a centuries old Sotol, given it new life, a Driftwood home and a beautiful blue bottle. To top it off, the distillery team created a recipe for Waterways readers to enjoy with family and friends all season long….and beyond! 4 WATERWAYS | October 2021

Cocktail Culture COMFORTING SPIRITS FOR FALL SIPPING

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PHOTOGRAPHY BY ACACIA PRODUCTIONS; HEATHER GALLAGHER; COURTESY OF DESERT DOOR DISTILLERY; COURTESY OF REPUBLIC; COURTESY OF BOXT WINES

46 / ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE


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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald As temperatures drop and leaves turn orange, yellow, and red, we welcome the departure of summer and the arrival of fall. Autumn marks the time of year where we gather what we’ve sown throughout the year, where we reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. This year has seen us face tremendous adversity and yet… we have endured. Now is the time for celebration of all that has been overcome and all the simple, but fine things in life we have to enjoy. The addition of good wine and spirits helps make moments into memories that stay with us long after the last drop has left the bottle. And that is what Autumn is about- the family and friends beside us and the love between us. With our Wine & Spirits issue, we hope to inspire you to gather with your nearest and dearest and use the recipes and ideas we provide to grow closer, bond, and take a moment to be happy. Because in the end, it is the little things in life that make the big In a year, we won’t remember how much the wine cost or even what we drank, just that it made our friends smile as we shared stories in front of the fire. And to our friends and family, it won’t matter if we spent ten hours or ten minutes creating that charcuterie board, just that we took the time to enjoy it and each other. So may you raise a glass and toast to your friends and family and the start of good things to come, and may Waterways continue to be a part of that for you.

PUBLISHER: Jackie McGrath jackie@waterwaysmagazine.com COPY EDITOR: Bob Cooper editor@waterwaysmagazine.com OPERATIONS MANAGER: Jamie Twitchel jamie@waterwaysmagazine.com SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Christy Scott christy@waterwaysmagazine.com

JACKIE MCGRATH PUBLISHER | jackie@waterwaysmagazine.com

6 WATERWAYS | October 2021

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Heather Gallagher, Manda Levy of A Fine Grain, Knox Kronenberg, Kim Ortiz Portrait Art

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIM ORTIZ PORTRAIT ART

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ENTERTAINING

Festive Fall Flavors Delicious apps for autumn By Jamie Twitchel Autumn has arrived and, as the weather cools, we’ll soon be drawn towards fireplaces and lattes and all things warm and cozy. Autumn also begins the holiday season, when we begin spending more time with family and friends. Whether your soirees are spontaneous or planned, you will surely rather be part of the party than cooking in the kitchen. The following festive fall appetizer ideas will save you time and frustration while still letting guests enjoy a flavorful bounty of fun, filling food.

FALL FOR FIGS Fig season begins in summer and runs through fall. Mildly sweet and packed full of fiber and nutrients, these fragile, plump beauties are an obvious choice to pack onto party platters. It’s best to keep them at room temperature until you’re ready to serve them, preferably within a day or two of purchase. While figs are excellent eaten raw, dried or as a minor ingredient in recipes, we offer two recipes that feature figs in all their goodness that are party-perfect.

Fig and Prosciutto Skewers Makes 32/Serves 8, 4 per guest • 8 Figs • 32 1-inch Mozzarella balls or cubes • Mint leaves • Prosciutto • Skewers Wash the figs, then slice them into quarters. Roll a slice of prosciutto so it fits on top of the fig. Wrap a mint leaf around a Mozzarella ball and place it on top of the prosciutto. Skewer through all layers to keep them together and to permit guests to easily grab them.

8 WATERWAYS | October 2021


Fig and Brie Bruschetta Makes 32/Serves 8, 4 per guest • Baguette • Honey • Walnuts • Figs • Brie • Mint (as garnish) Slice baguette into 32 portions. Toast under broiler for 5 minutes if desired. Cut figs and Brie into thin slices (approximately ¼ inch). Lightly cover the baguette slices with Brie, then a couple of slices of fig. Chop walnuts into small pieces and sprinkle over the bruschetta, then drizzle with honey. Garnish with mint if desired.

BACK TO THE CHARCUTERIE BOARD For appetizers requiring even less effort, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful cheese, fruit, vegetable, charcuterie or antipasto board. Full of flavor and color, they’re a delight to the senses and easy for guests to graze from. Fill a platter or large cutting board with your favorite combinations of finger foods. Charcuterie has long been defined as pâtés and meats, but the term has evolved to include a bevy of ingredients—meat or not. Still, for the purists among us, there are enough dry-cured meat options to fill any size board. Want something mellow with a soft texture? Reach for coppa, a Corsican pork salami. Feeling spicy? Then Spanish chorizo, a pork sausage packed with salt, garlic and paprika, may be to your liking. Prosciutto, with its delicate sweet taste and silky texture, is also welcome on any board, as is smoky, juniper-flavored speck salami. For as many meats as there are to choose from, there are even more cheeses. Together, they are a match made in heaven for snacking and grazing. The longer a cheese ages, the deeper and more >>

October 2021 | WATERWAYS 9


ENTERTAINING

intense the flavor. Gorgonzola aged longer than three months features a strong, sharp flavor, while Manchego’s flavor profile ranges from fruity to nutty to sweet to tangy, depending on its age. Both cheeses pair well with mild meats. To contrast spicy meats, look to creamy, buttery cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola (aged less than three months), Edam, Havarti, Gruyère or Munster. For more savory options to fill out your board, try adding a combination of any of these ingredients: • Green, Niçoise or Kalamata olives • Cornichons • Cherry tomatoes • Marcona almonds • Pistachios • Marmalades • Artichoke hearts • Cucumbers • Crackers and baguette slices Seeking something sweeter? Mix and match the following: • Strawberries • Blackberries • Raspberries • Grapes • Figs • Dried apricots • Apple and orange slices • Walnuts • Hazelnuts • Dark chocolate chunks Truly, you’re only limited by your imagination and the amount of space on your board. 10 WATERWAYS | October 2021

Whether your soirees are spontaneous or planned, you will surely rather be part of the party than cooking in the kitchen.


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LIQUID ASSETS

Storing Wine Until It’s Time Keep it cool, dark, still and sideways

From the first time people figured out that fermented fruit was better to drink than discard, there has been wine. And since that time, we’ve needed a way to store it. Wine kept in the right environment will taste as if you just purchased it, regardless of whether that was a week or a decade ago.

wind of family activity, temperature fluctuations caused by appliances and the barrage of light from windows and overhead lighting. So, despite how cozy those wine bottles might look in that cute little rack on your counter or on top of the refrigerator, neither spot is a safe or effective storage place.

Time is a Wine Killer

Okay, but why?

Unless it’s properly stored, most wine spoils, even if unopened, after about a year. So don’t bank on that $20 bottle being worth $20,000 if you just wait long enough. If you want to start and age a wine collection (instead of storing it purely for consumption), it’s best to confer with a sommelier or knowledgeable wine vendor and invest in storage in a wine cellar. There’s a reason you consistently hear that wine is best stored in cellars, basements or caves because the best home for unopened wine is a place that’s consistently cool, dark, moist and undisturbed. None of the defining characteristics of these places describe the modern kitchen, with its whirl-

Light—both from the sun and kitchen lighting—oxidizes wine, ruining its aroma and flavor. Light can also be a source of heat, which degrades wine, and heat is amplified by the very glass bottle the wine comes in. Heat comes from other sources too. It radiates from the oven and stovetop every time you cook and from the refrigerator motor as it works to cool your food. Wine left in the vicinity of these appliances is repeatedly exposed to that heat, and over time, it slowly gets cooked. Degradation begins at temperatures around 70 degrees so, even in an air-conditioned home, any wine left out is put at risk. Heat also accentuates the tannins in a wine, making >>

12 WATERWAYS | October 2021

PHOTOGRAPHY BY REAGAN/UNSPLASH

By Jamie Twitchel


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LIQUID ASSETS tend to remain dark and maintain a relatively constant temperature, and you can lay the bottles on their sides. Why sideways? Because wine kept on its side touches the cork, keeping it moist and expanded while keeping oxygen out and staving off degradation. If all of those spaces are spoken for but you have a lower cabinet in your kitchen that’s expendable, install a cabinet-sized wine refrigerator in its place. These beauties are purpose-built to keep wine in its optimal storage conditions—a dark environment on its side at around 55 degrees with humidity at about 65 to 70 percent—until you’re ready to drink it. For oenophiles with hundreds of bottles in need of a home, there are larger refrigerator options that come with additional features such as multiple temperature zones— perfect when you want to keep red wines at one temperature and whites at another. Wine refrigerators range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, but you’re sure to get every penny back if and when you sell your home. According to real estate agent Bertina Schreiber of Highlands Realty Austin, “They are a real plus. Buyers are excited when they see a built-in wine refrigerator because even if they don’t drink wine, they’ll use them to hold waters and soft drinks. They’re great for use in media and game rooms, too.”

will taste as if you just purchased it, regardless of whether that was a week or a decade ago. it taste tangy and astringent. A wine that normally tastes smooth now feels rough in the mouth. And that’s just the taste. Heat also causes wine to expand, which can push the cork or stopper out of the bottle, create leaks and expose the remaining wine to air and oxidative damage. The same can happen if there isn’t enough humidity to keep the cork moist and expanded. That’s not all. Wine kept above a refrigerator vibrates along with the motor, preventing sediments in the wine from settling and contributing to a gritty taste when you finally go to drink it.

Wine-storage options So, if wine shouldn’t be stored on the counter, on top of the refrigerator or out in the open, where should it be kept? If you’re short on space, store unopened bottles of wine in your closet, under a bed or in unused drawers. Those spaces 14 WATERWAYS | October 2021

You’ve stored your wine correctly for savoring later, and later has finally come. While oxygenating wine after opening it can improve the taste, continued oxidation will ruin it. To keep wine fresh, it’s best to not open the bottle, at least not in the traditional manner. Instead of reaching for a wine opener, reach for a Coravin. The Coravin comes in many models, but it’s essentially a wine preservation system. Here’s how it works: The device features a lengthy needle, which is inserted into the cork and down into the bottle. Once inside, a couple of puffs of argon gas from the device will form a seal at the top. Pour your wine and then remove the needle. The cork will seal itself off again, and it’s like you never opened the bottle. If that sounds like too much trouble, pour the wine you didn’t finish into a smaller bottle. Wine comes in 750 ml bottles, so if you’ve polished off half a bottle, transfer the remainder to a smaller sealable container, such as a 375 ml wine bottle (available on Amazon). This ensures the wine has less surface area exposed to oxygen, resulting in less degradation. Then pop it into the refrigerator, preferably on its side so the wine touches the cork. The cold air will slow oxygenation further and keep your wine fresher for up to two days. If you don’t have a smaller container, keep the wine in its original bottle and stow it on its side in the refrigerator to minimize degradation. If you treat your wine right, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth, flavorful glass long after you bought the bottle.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF TYLZA

Wine kept in the right environment

Storing opened wine


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Inspired by the walk-up crêperie stands and sidewalk cafés lining the streets of Paris, Cotê d’Azure and Brittany, Vivel brings the same passions and flavors of France and the real French crepe to Austin. One bite and all you’ll be missing is the Eiffel Tower! : @vivelcrepesandcoffee vivelcrepes.com

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W INE AND S P IR ITS

all T HE WAY

FEATURING: TEXAS SOTOL, A NEW ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE > EPIC WESTERN COCKTAIL CO, TEXAS RANCH WATER > AND TEXAS AVA TASTING ROOM, A JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN C.L. BUTAUD AND WINE FOR THE PEOPLE

October 2021 | WATERWAYS 17


The

TRUE

Spirit

of TEXAS Welcome to the Wild World of Texas Sotol By Cindy Brzostowski

You may enjoy trying new brands and flavors of your favorite alcoholic beverage, but when was the last time you tasted an entirely different type of liquor? Made from a spiky desert shrub, sotol may not be as well-known as tequila or mezcal in the U.S. (at least not yet), but its enjoyment as an alcoholic beverage dates back centuries, if not millennia. Opened in 2017 as the first commercial sotol distillery in the country, Desert Door Distillery in Driftwood is building on the spirit’s rich history and trying to take their version of Texas sotol mainstream. >>

18 WATERWAYS | October 2021


PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF DESERT DOOR DISTILLERY

October 2021 | WATERWAYS 19


THE STORY OF SOTOL While tequila and mezcal come from agave plants, sotol is made from the sotol plant, also known as desert spoon, which is native to the Chihuahuan Desert. The word “sotol” stems from “tzotolin,” a Nahuatl word meaning “palm with long and thin leaves.” For thousands of years, indigenous peoples used the sotol plant for weaving, food, making weapons and ceremonies. Evidence of fermenting the plant into an alcoholic beverage has been found from 800 years ago, and some even say that sotol was the first alcoholic beverage ever consumed in Texas. Over the years, the introduction of distillation by the Spanish allowed sotol to be transformed into a strong spirit. During Prohibition, sotol liquor was smuggled across the Mexican border, and Texans were said to have made sotol moonshine. In 2004, Mexico enacted a designation of origin (DO) for sotol, meaning that the spirit can only be produced in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila and Durango—similar to the protected designation of origin (PDO) for Champagne in the European Union for certain wines produced in the Champagne province of France. But, as political discussions continue over the acceptance of this recognition in the U.S., you can find a sotol producer, Desert Door Distillery, right in Austin’s backyard.

says Campbell. “The flavor is earthy and herbaceous. You’ll taste citrus and sage with a minty finish. Someone once told us our spirit reminds them of West Texas after a rainstorm, and that’s one of our favorite descriptions. It speaks to the flavor notes of sotol and also its transportive nature.” Campbell and most of his team prefer drinking sotol straight in a chilled copita (sherry glass), but you can ease your way into sotol with a cocktail instead. Campbell recommends enjoying sotol in ranch water, Palomas or margaritas. Another option? Try The Hermosa (see recipe), a special cocktail developed for Wild Spirit Wild Places, the nonprofit Desert Door Distillery founded to preserve Texas’ ranch lands and rangelands.

INTO THE WILD Wild Spirit Wild Places is rooted in the Desert Door team’s passion for the land they harvest. Campbell says Desert Door wouldn’t exist without land conservation as more wild range is lost every year. “Wild places are so incredibly important to our world and fundamental to our survival as a species,” Campbell says. “We only have one earth; it should be our duty to look after it.” Working with ranchers and land stewards, the organization aims to protect Texas’ wild places through education, research >>

It all started at the University of Texas at Austin. While working on a group project for a business course about new ventures, future Desert Door cofounders Ryan Campbell, Judson Kauffman and Brent Looby were challenged to find something missing in the market—any market. “We wanted to do alcohol because, well, why wouldn’t we?” Campbell says with a sly grin. The group noticed that compared to beer, not many new varieties of craft spirits were being launched. “Jud mentioned that while growing up, he used to hunt with his uncle in West Texas, and he remembered a plant out there called sotol,” Campbell explains. “His uncle would say, ‘You can make alcohol from it, but you can’t drink it.’ So, the project started as a challenge for sure.” Over time, Campbell says it turned into a bit of an obsession as they learned more about this plant’s history and started tinkering with recipes. Fueled by their enthusiasm and the support they received from family, friends and UT professors, the school project became a real-life venture in the form of Desert Door Texas Sotol.

TASTE OF WEST TEXAS Desert Door “wild harvests” their sotol in West Texas, harvesting only 10 to 20 percent of their acreage at a time and returning to the same land only once every 12 years. Campbell says they generally harvest the plant when it’s at full maturity, when the plant is between 30 and 50 pounds. This wild harvesting also contributes to the spirit’s taste as flavors are drawn from the plant’s terroir. “We find it very reflective of the land [where it’s harvested],”

20 WATERWAYS | October 2021

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF DESERT DOOR DISTILLERY

DESERT DOOR’S DEBUT


THE HERMOSA 1.5 ounces Desert Door Oak Aged Texas Sotol 1 ounce Honey Syrup .75 ounce Lime Juice 1 dash Bitters Top with Prosecco Garnish with dehydrated lime wheel and rosemary Combine Desert Door Oak Aged Texas Sotol, honey syrup, and lime juice into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a Nick&Nora cocktail glass. Top with Prosecco and one dash of Bitters. Garnish with dehydrated lime wheel with a sprig of rosemary pulled through the center.

Honey Simple Syrup 1 Part Water 2 Parts Honey (your choice of honey) Mix water and honey in a small pot over low heat on a stove until combined. Cool and pour into any container of your choice. Any honey of choice will do for this cocktail, and some may produce different flavors than others. Consider using honey sourced from a local apiary or farm in support of conservation efforts near you.

and conservation practices. These projects have also inspired a Conservation Series of their spirit, with a portion of the proceeds from each purchase of these limited edition bottles going toward future conservation efforts. “Our team’s interest in getting involved in conservation led us down the path of identifying different projects we could not only donate to but get involved in,” Campbell explains. “Those projects inspired new iterations of our spirit while allowing us to share stories of land stewardship with our drinkers. It also gives them a chance to contribute to keeping wild places wild.”

SAY CHEERS Drinking sotol isn’t just about savoring its unique taste; it’s also about recognizing and appreciating the spirit’s special history. “I still get excited when I share Desert Door with people for their first time and watch as the flavor and the story sparks in them the same thing that was sparked in us,” Campbell says. “It’s a sense of discovery, and it’s a real honor to be able to share that.”

October 2021 | WATERWAYS 21


POURS

into Town

Ten-percent alcohol, 100-percent blue agave bliss By Cindy Brzostowski

22 WATERWAYS | October 2021

countless ways, and for Royce Itschner, Adam Love and Dub Sutherland—the cofounders of Epic Western Cocktail Co.—it gave them the time they needed to think… about ranch water. During gatherings with family and friends, Itschner, Love and Sutherland took on the role of bartenders, fulfilling requests for their version of the ranch water cocktail: two shots of 100-percent Blue Agave Tequila, real lime, mineral water and a dash of salt. During one drink-making session in 2019, they wondered why there wasn’t a ready-to-drink product on the market that tasted like theirs. After speaking with a friend in the spirits industry, they learned that if they wanted to produce canned ranch water with pure tequila, not mixto (tequila made with sugars rather than agave), it would need to be distilled, canned and packaged in Mexico and then exported to the U.S. to be ready for store shelves. With that in mind, they put the idea on the back burner. Then, the pandemic hit, and they had a lot more time to figure out the logistics and make some calls. Eventually, they found a family-owned distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, that >>

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KNOX KRONENBERG

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24 WATERWAYS | October 2021

ingrained in the culture of the Texas Exes daily,” he says. “The way that UT invested in creating an organization that so deeply supports and uplifts its alumni is a really special thing.” This partnership means that you’ll be seeing Epic Western’s ranch water at Texas Exes tailgates and at bars in DKR–Texas Memorial Stadium. The ranch water can also be found at liquor stores and all six of Austin’s Tacodelis, so you can wash your Frontera Fundido chicken taco down with ranch water now. “We wanted to give people everywhere a taste of our Texas heritage through our ranch water,” Love says. “We can’t be everywhere at once making our signature cocktail, so we wanted to make it available to everyone.” The cofounders recommend enjoying their ranch water ice-cold. “Personally, we like it just as is—take it out of your fridge and head to your back porch, and you’re good to go,” says Sutherland. “Unlike the differences you’ll experience from bartender to bartender, Epic Western is right every time.” Learn more at epicwestern.com

PHOTOGRAPHY BY KNOX KRONENBERG

dates back to 1905—and conveniently has a well on its property from which they could also source mineral water. Fast-forward to this past summer when Epic Western launched their canned ranch water. “The process of actually getting the product on shelves has taken a lot longer than if we had cut corners and made our product in the U.S.,” says Love. “But we have a great team both in the States and in Mexico, all working relentlessly to make this dream into a reality.” Aside from using 100-percent Blue Agave Tequila, another big difference between Epic Western’s product and other canned ranch waters you’ll find on shelves is that the former comes in at 10% ABV (alcohol content), giving you quite a hit in one 12-ounce can. “Our recipe mirrors the same homemade cocktail we make for our friends and family, but now it is convenient, ready to drink and tastes right every time,” says Sutherland. Epic Western recently secured the title of “Official Ranch Water of the Texas Exes,” a particular source of pride because both Love and Sutherland are University of Texas alumni. So, what does Itschner, a Texas Tech Red Raider, think? “While I don’t have the Exes title, I am becoming more



BOXT WINE CLUB OFFERS A SMARTER WAY TO SIP AT HOME By Jamie Twitchel

26 WATERWAYS | October 2021

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF BOXT WINE

TRUE ‘HOUSE WINE’ HAS ARRIVED


Strolling through the wine section at the supermarket, these questions may have popped into your head: “Is that bottle too big?” “Do I want a red or a white?” “Will I like it?” Such questions ultimately lead to the biggest one: “I just want a good glass of wine. Why is that so hard?” It’s a problem BOXT Wine aims to solve as founder Sarah Puil asked herself these same questions as she tasted her way through the wines of Napa Valley and the world. It was at the cafés in Europe that the answer began to form. “At the cafés, you order a carafe of the house wine, and it always tastes good,” Puil says. “It’s normal to order house wine there as they’re less worried about social stigma and more focused on taste.” It was an experience she wanted to bring back to the States—the experience of always knowing you’ll be drinking a great glass of wine. But where does one start?

BOXT Begins From the outset, Puil knew that whatever wine she might create wouldn’t be going into bottles. “Common sense rules my life,” she says, “and to me, boxed wine is a smarter way to drink wine.” It’s hard to argue otherwise considering that each box of BOXT holds the equivalent of four wine bottles. Once opened, the contents stay fresh for up to 6 weeks. As a bonus, the box is made from eco-friendly compostable wood and the packing peanuts used in shipping are made of cornstarch. Because boxed wine doesn’t have a great reputation, Puil understood it was imperative that BOXT should be premium in every part of the consumer’s experience. To that end, the packaging is simple and clean, yet aesthetically pleasing. Whether it’s in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter, it doesn’t distract the eye and never looks out of place. Then there is the wine itself. Puil emphasizes that she didn’t choose seven types of wine to offer; she chose seven taste profiles. Profiles 1, 2 and 3 are whites, profiles 4, 5 and 6 are reds, and profile 9 is a rosé. Wait…what about 7 and 8? Profiles 7 and 8 have yet to make their debut, but when they do, wine #7 will be a white and wine #8 will be a red. Each profile comes with a description of the taste you can expect from the wine. Words like “crisp,” “buttery,” “sweet” and “bold” proliferate, chosen for their accuracy and universal comprehension. “We source our wine against these taste profiles,” Puil says. “When we’re in sourcing

cycles, I sample 2,500 to 2,700 different wines so that year over year, you’ll find yourself saying, ‘This meets what I expect of a 4.’ We’re great at consistency.”

Premium except the price To Puil, all the pretty packaging and profiles in the world mean nothing if the wine doesn’t taste good. But premium wines don’t come cheap, so she had to figure out how to offer great wine at a great price. By offering BOXT directly to consumers and cutting out distributors and retailers, Puil was able to direct the savings into the quality of the wine. “Each box of BOXT [priced at $70-$89 depending on your subscriber status] holds four bottles of wine valued at $30 to $45 each, but you’re getting it for the equivalent of $18.50 a bottle.” While members may be buying wine, that isn’t all they’re getting. Members of the BOXT family also get perks like access to a member concierge. With a simple text, the concierge can change their wine profile, pause the delivery or send the delivery elsewhere—perhaps as a gift to a family member or to the hotel you booked so it’s waiting for you at your vacation destination. You can even cancel your subscription. “It’s a no-hassle situation,” Puil says. “If you don’t want it, we don’t want to force it on you.” With every BOXT delivery to your doorstep, a full experience awaits. That’s because in every package, Puil has a letter enclosed that features what she calls “wine-utainment.” This might be a profile-specific Spotify playlist or reading list, craft projects (such as turning your empty box into a birdhouse or a planter with all the necessary instructions and components included) or recipes (such as instructions on how to turn your rosé into frosé). “All these things help tell our story and help you understand the wine a little more because our senses work together,” Puil says. “These are my wine babies, and they should conjure up an emotion. Our mission is to be your house wine. For that to happen, our wine has to be like a friend—an old faithful friend— that you need to get to know.” The idea of “getting to know” what you like is an overarching theme. Even though Puil has years of experience >>

October 2021 | WATERWAYS 27


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tasting wines, she admits she doesn’t know everything there is to know about wine and doesn’t expect BOXT members to either. “Wine tastings produced this weird culture where we pretend to understand and experience something we [don’t necessarily understand],” Puil says, “and then we feel intimidated when the only question that matters is, ‘Do you like it?’” As members get to know their favorite wine profiles, Puil hopes they’ll be able to take what they’ve learned to find additional wines at restaurants and stores that they’ll enjoy. She freely admits that there is a bevy of beautiful wines in the world to enjoy in a variety of ways and wants everyone to experience that. However, for those looking to unwind after a long day, BOXT is perfect. “With BOXT, all the pieces to the puzzle fit together, and they tell this great story,” Puil says. “To me, it’s just a smarter way to enjoy a glass of wine every day.”

HOW TO MAKE AN EASY APPLE & GINGER WINE SPRITZER FOR FALL

For more information, visit drinkboxt.com

Add the wine, Lillet, apple cider, ginger beer to the glass and stir.

This easy fall cocktail has only 6 ingredients and takes less than 1 minute to make! 3 ounces BOXT Profile #2 1 ½ ounces Lillet 1 ½ ounces apple cider 1 ½ ounces ginger beer 1 small slice of fresh ginger 1 apple slice for garnishing

Drop-in large ice cubes. Garnish with fresh slice of ginger and apple. 28 WATERWAYS | October 2021



SIP, SIP AWAY

TWO WINERIES, ONE NEW TASTING ROOM By Cindy Brzostowski

Living in Austin means being a stone’s throw away from one of the nation’s most notable wine regions: the Texas Wine Country, where dozens of wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms await oenophiles amid rolling green hills. Sampling the variety that Texas winemakers have to offer just got even easier with the opening of the Texas AVA Tasting Room, a joint venture between C.L.

Ripe with Opportunity Once you drive south to the Texas AVA Tasting Room, you’ll find that it’s in good company as it’s surrounded by other popular imbibing destinations, including Revolution Spirits, the Last Stand Brewing Company and Jester King. You might also recognize the tasting room as the former Argus Cidery location. Randy Hester, the co-owner and winemaker at C.L. Butaud, and Rae Wilson, the founder and winemaker at Wine for the People, were both on the hunt for their own tasting rooms when they learned Argus Cidery was preparing to close its taproom. 30 WATERWAYS | October 2021

A transplant from Napa Valley, Hester first heard about Wilson when he was still living in California and making trips to Texas to work harvests. The two didn’t formally meet until Wilson’s release party for her Dandy Rosé at Umlauf Sculpture Garden in 2018. Having worked closely together during the harvests since then, they saw the building’s vacancy as a great chance to team up and share a space. “I thought our focus on sustainable winemaking and passion for the industry would make us great friends and partners,” says Hester. Rather than going by the lengthy “C.L. Butaud and Wine for the People Tasting Room,” the duo found >>

PHOTOGRAPHY BY HEATHER GALLAGHER

Butaud and Wine for the People—two local, small-batch wine producers.


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A Perfect Blend

inspiration in an industry term. AVA is the acronym for American Viticultural Area, a designated wine grape-growing region in the U.S., and the Texas Hill Country is one such AVA. Wilson says that she and Hester felt this name reflected their brands’ emphasis on 100-percent Texas grapes and their dedication to building on the region’s reputation.

Wine O’Clock At Texas AVA, you can decide between a flight of either C.L. Butaud or Wine for the People wines or opt for a flight that features wines from both. Wilson says that her wines are influenced by the traditional wine regions she studied during her career as a sommelier—places in Europe and the Middle East with thousands of years of winemaking history. Hester says that C.L. Butaud’s primary goal is to highlight the beauty of Texas and its unique terroir, and adds that their wines are balanced between ripe fruit and savory influences. 32 WATERWAYS | October 2021

Regardless of any differences you might discern in taste between these two brands, one similarity of their founders is their approach to winemaking. Both practice minimal intervention or low-impact winemaking, allowing the grapes to shine through. The two winemakers are also eager to educate tasting room visitors about the growers they work with and the grape varietals they use, and they want to showcase the delicious possibilities for Texas wines. Says Hester, “Each wine presented at Texas AVA is a unique expression of farming and winemaking, and exhibits the shared conviction of minimal intervention in the process.” Don’t worry if you don’t know much about wine when you stop by. Wilson says their knowledgeable team is eager to welcome and enlighten you. “We have a relaxed but elevated vibe,” she says. “We want people to come, enjoy and learn, and come back the following weekend.” Planning a visit? They offer both indoor and outdoor seated tastings, and reservations are encouraged. texasava.com | clbutaud.com | wineforthepeople.com

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PHOTOGRAPHY BY HEATHER GALLAGHER; MANDA LEVY OF A FINE GRAIN; HEATHER GALLAGHER

For newcomers, Wilson recommends the shared tasting so that you can determine which wines please your palate the most. “Our shared tasting menu offers a great representation of the Hill Country and High Plains terroir,” she says. “Our wines are distinctly our own, and guests will leave with a sense of place and a deeper knowledge of each brand’s style.”



IN GOOD SPIRITS

Raise the Bar

glass. Add 2 dashes of bitters; garnish with

Bring Your Home Bar Up to Par

TWANG-A-RITA RIMMING SALT BLENDS

By Cindy Brzostowski

Love a good cocktail at home but need some help expanding your horizons? Stock your bar with these products to kick your mixology up a notch.

dried citrus wheel and a leaf of basil.

Adding a salt rim to your margarita is a nice touch, improving both appearance and taste. If you want to go above and beyond, though, there’s no reason to settle for plain salt when you can get creative with a Twang-a-

Twisted Alchemy

Sure, you could make the effort to

Rita cocktail rimmer blend made by San Antonio-based Twang. Twang-A-Rita flavors include

squeeze some fresh fruit juice for

Citrusplash (a salty-sweet blend

your cocktail—or you can simply pour

with lemon and lime), Sunrise Spice

in some of Twisted Alchemy’s natural

(a piquant blend with chilies and

cold-pressed juices. Twisted

spices) and Nectarberry (a fresh

Alchemy’s process ensures a con-

blend with strawberries and lime).

sistent level of sweetness with each

Get creative to determine your

batch (without the bitterness of citrus

favorite combination!

oils and pith), allowing you to whip

twang.com

up the perfect drink every time. The company’s crown jewels are

Grilled Watermelon Margarita

their 100%-hand-squeezed Persian

from Twang

lime juice and their cold-pressed Persian lime sour craft mixer, which match well in margaritas, mojitos and Moscow mules. twistedalchemy.com Twang-a-Rita

“One in a Melon” Margarita from Twisted Alchemy 1 oz Twisted Alchemy Watermelon Juice 2 oz Twisted Alchemy Persian Lime Sour 1½ oz Blanco Tequila 2 dashes Angostura bitters Fresh basil Dried citrus wheel, habanero salt, fresh basil for garnish

Muddle fresh basil. Add a handful of ice. Add watermelon juice, lime sour and tequila. Rim glass with habanero salt using a lime slice. Shake and pour over ice in the 34 WATERWAYS | October 2021

½ cup fresh grilled watermelon 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice ¾ oz agave syrup – adjust to your taste 2 oz Blanco tequila 1 cup of ice

Add all ingredients to blender on high speed. Rim glass with Twang-A-Rita Sunrise Spice or your favorite Twang salt. Pour into your rimmed glassware and enjoy!

THE BITTER HOUSEWIFE COCKTAIL BITTERS Cocktail bitters are an essential addition to any home bar as they give drinks a more complex flavor profile. The Bitter Housewife handcrafts their cocktail bitters in small batches, and you won’t find any

CLOCKWISE FROM CENTER-LEFT: PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF TWISTED ALCHEMY; TWANG-A-RITA; THE BITTER HOUSEWIFE; WITHCO; FEVER-TREE; REPUBLIC.

TWISTED ALCHEMY COLD-PRESSED JUICE


The Bitter Housewife

added artificial preservatives, flavoring

These all-natural mixes are perfectly

or coloring inside.

paired with tequila, although there’s

When deciding among their offerings, consider the Old Fashioned Aromatic, Cardamom or Orange

WithCo

no stopping you from trying them with other spirits. From the Classic Lime Margarita

cocktail bitters. The first works

Mixer to more adventurous flavors like

particularly well with dark spirits,

Prickly Pear and Pineapple Jalapeño, you

while the other two are fun to play

can have fun mixing and matching during

with in a variety of drinks.

your at-home bartending sessions.

thebitterhousewife.com

spiritblends.com

Pear Manhattan from The Bitter Housewife 1 ½ oz bourbon 1 ½ oz pear juice ½ oz sweet vermouth ½ tsp sugar 4-6 dashes The Bitter Housewife Cardamom Bitters

The Spiky Armadillo from Republic Spirit Blends 2 oz Republic Spirit Blends Prickly Pear Mixer 2 oz Republic Spirit Blends Jalapeño Lime Mixer 2 oz mezcal 6 oz ginger beer

Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice cubes. Strain into a chilled cocktail

Say you love cocktails but aren’t the

Rim glass with salt using lime juice. In a shaker, combine Republic Spirit Blends Prickly Pear Mixer, Republic Spirit Blends Jalapeño Lime Mixer and mezcal over ice. Shake vigorously until well-combined. Pour mixture evenly between two glasses. Pour ginger beer into the glasses until the drink reaches the top of each glass. Stir. Garnish the drink with a few

biggest fan of mixing them yourself.

jalapeño slices for added bite.

glass. Garnish with a pear slice.

Fever-Tree

WITHCO COCKTAILS COCKTAIL MIXES

With WithCo Cocktails’ bottled mixes in hand, you’re more than are the alcohol and ice. To make

FEVER-TREE CARBONATED MIXERS

things even easier, recipes are

When making mixed drinks, the soda

printed on each of the bottles.

plays just as big a role in your bever-

halfway done; all you need to add

We recommend trying one of Republic

age’s taste as the alcohol. Promoted as

the brand’s bestsellers: Ellis Old

“the world’s #1 premium mixer brand,”

Fashioned, Ginger Mule or Bouquet.

Fever-Tree’s carbonated mixers can

Whichever one you choose, you can

take your drink from good to great.

count on it being made with fresh

The brand is most famous for its

ingredients—and free of preservatives

tonic waters, but those who don’t

and additives.

drink gin and tonics can also find plen-

withcococktails.com

ty to enjoy. For example, their newly released Distillers Cola is excellent

REPUBLIC SPIRIT BLENDS

with rums and whiskeys, while their Sparkling Lime & Yuzu is a refreshing

Another option for mixes is Dripping

pairing with vodka and tequila.

Springs-based Republic Spirit Blends.

fever-tree.com

October 2021 | WATERWAYS 35


ESCAPES

Take it SLO Halfway between L.A. and San Francisco is a place where the pace is nice and slow. That place is also called SLO, short for San Luis Obispo, by locals. No longer a mere bathroom break between California’s two major metropolises, San Luis Obispo County has emerged as its own vacation destination. Credit the perfect yearround climate, countless activity choices, authentic farm-to-table cuisine and wow-worthy wineries. You can even fly there nonstop from DFW—or make it part of a longer California coastal vacation that takes in L.A., San Francisco or both cities.

OUTDOOR FUN BY LAND AND SEA SLO County’s temperate climate makes it ideal for activities ranging from hiking, cycling or mountain biking in six coastal state parks to surfing, standup paddleboarding or kayaking at dozens of ocean beaches or in calm Morro Bay. Montana de Oro State Park is laced with well-marked trails that trace the craggy coastline or ascend small 36 WATERWAYS | October 2021

by Bob Cooper

volcanic mountains. The popular Bluff Trail follows a wildflower-strewn promontory above crashing surf and sea arches, and at one point, you can take a stairway down to a beach cove for tidepool explorations. More ambitious hikers can tackle the Valencia Peak Trail, which starts at the same spot and rewards hikers with a commanding view from the 1,347-foot mountaintop. Each trail is a reasonable 4.2 miles roundtrip. You can relish a different perspective of the landscape from the water. Kayak (as well as bike) tours are offered by Central Coast Outdoors, which launch from a pier near the charming town of Morro Bay. Expect to paddle past sea otters, sea lions, egrets and white pelicans in the long, narrow estuary that lies in the shadow of 581-foot-high Morro Rock. The Rock (not to be confused with Dwayne Johnson) is also worth a visit. It towers over the town and adjacent Morro Strand State Beach, a superb sunbathing, surfing and dune hiking spot. Pismo, Avila, Cayucos and Moonstone are also outstanding beaches in the county.

PHOTOGRAPHY (L-R) BY VISIT SLO CAL; TANVEER BADAL; CELESTE HOPE

Sweat, Sip and Swallow in California’s SLO County


VINE-TO-WINE PARADISE Heated by the Central California sun by day and cooled by coastal breezes at night, more than 250 wineries scattered throughout the county have made it a world-class wine tourism destination. Most line the quiet country roads that surround Paso Robles (pop. 32,000), the county’s second city to SLO (pop. 48,000). Some, like the three described here, require appointments weeks ahead. Wines are poured in a barn and at private outdoor view cabanas at Hope Family Wines, best-known for Cabernets that Wine Enthusiast has rated among the world’s seven best. Owner Austin Hope, whose family has farmed in the region for decades, met his wife at an Austin wine festival, where he was pouring wines, so there’s an Austin connection. He’s a leader in promoting wine sustainability certifications in the county. Halter Ranch is known for tasting experiences that pair Rhones and Bordeaux-style wines with tastes and meals that draw heavily from the property’s organic garden and olive and walnut orchards. Separate tours explore the 100-percent solar-powered winery and barrel caves (the most extensive in the county), on-property art installations (including an Alexander Calder piece) and the vineyards—by jeep. On the vineyards tour, you’ll also see the Swiss owner’s elaborate mini-train collection and the world’s largest coast live oak (the 600-year-old Ancestor Tree). Halter will open a tasting room pouring both SLO and Hill Country wines next year in Fredericksburg. Even a party of one is assigned a personal tasting guide at Sixmilebridge. Besides estate-produced Cab-

ernets and Bordeaux-style wines, the winery is known for its sustainability efforts; all wine grapes are organically farmed and hand-picked. Visitors can instead bring a lunch and purchase wine by the bottle or glass to enjoy on a deck that overlooks the surrounding vineyards.

TRUE FARM-TO-TABLE DINING Central California has always been an agricultural region, and even as many farmers have shifted from orchards to vineyards, farming still flourishes. So, when farm-to-table dining became a dominant trend in California and then nationwide, SLO restaurateurs were perfectly positioned. Most of the county’s best restaurants are walking distance apart in bustling downtown SLO. Piadina, a scintillating spot inside Hotel SLO, serves farm-fresh fare with ingredients heavily drawn from the hotel’s edible vegetable and herb garden and served at spacious tables indoors and out. Chef Ryan Fancher, who trained under the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, created the Italian-inspired menu. And creative it is: a Finocchiona and Egg pizza and a Blue Cheese and Brussels Sprout pizza are two examples. Musicians entertain diners five nights a week. Brasserie SLO at Hotel Cerro serves Mediterranean fare at indoor, outdoor and patio tables, plus there’s a pared-down menu at the rooftop pool and lounge. Mussels, scallops, octopus and oysters accompanied by local vegetables enliven the Brasserie menu. As they are at Piadina, most of the wines and craft beers are local. Park 1039, which opened in March, sources its menu globally as well as locally. Equal parts lunch spot, >>

October 2021 | WATERWAYS 37


ESCAPES

weekend dinner spot, wine bar and cheese shop, expect to find items such as French teas, Russian caviar, Italian cheeses, and rare beers and wines from 27 countries—but also salad bowls and tartines that incorporate local vegetables. To burn off the calories, you can walk two blocks and take the free tour (1:15 p.m. daily) of well-preserved Mission San Luis Obispo, established in 1772 as California’s fifth mission.

All three of these hotels, which have all opened since 2019, feature luxurious rooms and rooftop bars. Hotel Cerro in downtown SLO offers 65 sumptuous guestrooms, many with fireplaces and balconies or patios, plus a sea-inspired spa. hotelcerro.com Hotel SLO, also in downtown SLO, features spacious rooms, two restaurants, a pool, a spa and complimentary bikes. hotel-slo.com The Piccolo on Paso Robles’ downtown square has an Italian fine dining restaurant, a wine lounge, and balconies and chandeliers in every room. thepiccolo.com

38 WATERWAYS | October 2021

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ACACIA PRODUCTIONS (TOP); HOTEL CERRO

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STYLE FILE

Loose-Fit Denims

Sequins For Daytime

Sweater Vest

Fabulous Fall Finds Ten pieces you need this fall—and why

By Edith Henry, Stylist and Image Consultant

Every season arrives with a plethora of trends—and just as many questions about which ones should influence what goes into our closets. Not all of these trends work for every body type, however, and some just don’t translate well from runway to reality. Enter autumn 2021. We are all finally able (and beyond ready) to get back out to be seen—and not just on Zoom. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the fashion industry as we have been bombarded with new and revisited trends. All are prevalent on the runways this fall; here’s just a partial list: Loafers, printed pants, sweater vests, knit sets, corsets, mesh tees, mini-dresses, lilac, leopard-print coats, kneehigh/over-the-knee boots, baggy cargo pants, marble prints, acid-wash denims, printed tights, cutouts, skirt sets, wide-leg pants, pink, crop tops, clogs, lug-sole boots, saturated hues, loose-fit denims, puffy and quilted handbags/jackets/coats, sequins and sparkles (for daytime), platforms and flat-forms, lace, chunky knits, fringe and whimsical pieces.

40 WATERWAYS | October 2021

So, where do you go from here? How can you possibly decide which pieces are the most versatile “must-haves” for you? Although adding any of these items to your wardrobe will add fall fashion flair, we’ve narrowed it down to these top ten, which can be easily incorporated into your wardrobe regardless of your personal style. Here are the whats and the whys.

Knit sets: If any lesson was learned in 2020, it’s that when given the option, people will choose comfort. But, instead of tracksuits and athleisure wear, think luxe knitwear in skirts, maxi-dresses and two-piece sets. Sets worn together offer chic sophistication, yet worn with other pieces, they can create a variety of looks suited for a wide range of settings.

Loose-fit denims: A little more breathing room in our denims is welcome, right? Skinny jeans will always have their place, but looser styles such as straight-legs, flares, boot cuts and boyfriend jeans are the go-to fashions this fall. Loose, straight-leg and flares are the most popular >>


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STYLE FILE silhouettes as they flatter all body types. To balance out extra fabric on the bottom, pair with a slim-fit top and tailored blazer or a cropped sweater or elegant blouse tucked in.

silhouette option is giving us a reprieve from skinny jeans and skintight pants. They are geared to all preferences, from low at the hips for a relaxed look to high-waisted and tailored pants for more formal occasions.

Sweater vests: Seen on trendsetters and the runways, sweater vests have never enjoyed a bigger moment. Oversized or structured, worn over midi-dresses, turtlenecks or collared tops—or under jackets or blazers—it’s a trend that’s as cozy and comfortable as it is chic. And when the weather does warm up, sweater vests will look equally as cool worn on their own.

Platforms and flat-forms: Platform loafers and boots, as well as clogs and Seventies-esque heels, will give you a chic lift, and they’re easier to walk in than stilettos (thank God). Flat-forms are “stacked sole” footwear such as espadrilles and sneakers that also offer elevation while still providing comfort. Various styles are suited for almost any ensemble.

Sequins and sparkles in the daytime: Who says we can only sparkle and shine at night? No one in fall 2021! This look is glittering but covered up (these aren’t club dresses). They make a statement though. Think long trousers, jackets, skirts or a sparkly tee. Paired with subtler pieces such as denims, a tailored blazer over a crisp white shirt or an oversized sweater and knee-high boots, this bold choice will add a bit of glitz to your daytime activities. And who doesn’t want to shine all day?

Leopard coats: Yes, leopard coats. Still? It’s the fashion trend that doesn’t ever seem to go away, and we’re okay with that. Take your outerwear for a walk on the wild side. Be bold with a three-quarter-length coat or jacket in faux fur, or something a bit more tailored, such as one of this year’s killer trench coats. Either way, worn as a coat, it’s purr-fect to showcase this feline’s most famous feature: spots! And be assured that a leopard print is neutral. Move over orange; leopard print is the new black.

Saturated hues: Transitioning from summer to fall fashions usually means swapping pretty pastels and tropical shades for navy, khaki, green, burgundy and other dark tones. This year, vibrant shades reign, but with a twist. Think deeper jewel tones, magenta, mustard-yellow and other rich options. Rock this trend by mixing unexpected combinations. Consider honey-orange and bright blue or bubblegum pink and marigold, combinations that are both colorful and seasonally appropriate.

Leopard Coats

Printed tights: Printed tights might be this season’s most unexpected yet wearable trend. They can add just a touch of pattern when worn with skirts and boots, or culottes and pumps, under ripped jeans, or make a statement when paired with a mini-dress. Offered in a range of colors, prints and patterns, there’s something for every fashion palate and lifestyle. Puffy and quilted handbags, jackets and coats: Looking for some variety? If a puffer coat or jacket feels like it’s a bit too much for you, opt for a vest or a fun “of the moment” handbag to incorporate this trend on a smaller, more manageable scale.

Wide-leg pants: Yoga pants may have been the default trend of 2020, but we’re ready to dress up a bit more. Continuing in popularity from the spring and summer are wide-leg pants. From chic suits with extra-wide trousers to retro-inspired, wide-leg denims, this comfortable

42 WATERWAYS | October 2021

Puffy and Quilted Handbags


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MINDFULNESS

Attitude of Gratitude Uplevel Your Success and Well-being with Gratitude Gratitude has become a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. But, like anything, its true meaning can get lost, leaving most people unaware of just how powerful it can be. Gratitude isn’t just something that makes you feel nice or makes you a good or kind person. It is those things, but it is also so much more. Beyond just a feeling, gratitude is a state of being that allows you to create long-lasting, soul-fulfilling success and well-being. And, it’s not a mystery for the select few who have cracked the code. It is available to anyone who understands what it is, how it works and how to apply it. So, let’s take a look at the three types of gratitude, the impact they can have on you and how to practically apply them in your daily life for real-world results. There are three types of gratitude: gratitude “when,” gratitude “for” and gratitude “in.” Gratitude “when” is the type of gratitude you feel when something positive happens that triggers a feeling of gratitude in you. Examples: your significant other surprises you with your favorite meal, you have a fun night out with your friends, or the person in front of you pays for your coffee at the cafe. 46 WATERWAYS | October 2021

By Stephanie Puente, Certified Life Coach

Feeling gratitude when positive things happen is great, but there’s a flip side. If your level of gratitude is determined by events, then just as positive situations can cause you to feel expanded, negative situations can cause you to feel constricted. This puts the outside world in control of your inner state, which is not ideal. To avoid relying on others to let us feel gratitude, we move to the next level of gratitude, which can put you in a grateful state no matter what is happening. Gratitude “for” is a longer-lasting state of gratitude in which you are not just moved by something the moment it happens but are consistently grateful for all of the blessings life has offered you. You can feel gratitude for nature, for your health and for the amazing people who have touched your life. This is a deeper, more profound type of gratitude, but it is still limited to gratitude that involves things that are outside of you. Gratitude “in” is being in a state of gratitude without needing a reason why. It is simply choosing to be grateful for the sake of being grateful. It is the most all-encompassing state of gratitude because it is not dependent on circumstances. >>


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MINDFULNESS down. You accept and appreciate life for exactly what it is. As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “All the water in the world cannot drown you unless it gets inside of you.” To put this awesome power to work in your life, it just takes consistency. Choose one of the following practices that inspire you, and notice the changes that take place in you.

Beyond just a feeling, gratitude is a state of being that allows you to create long-lasting, soul-fulfilling success and well-being. And, it’s not a mystery for the select few who have cracked the code. It is available to anyone who understands what it is, how it works and how to apply it. 1. Morning Gratitude Practice

This pure type of gratitude, by its very nature, puts you in a state of being deeply connected and in tune with yourself and the world around you. It creates a feeling inside that is abundant and freeing. And, the success you create from that state is genuine and extremely satisfying. Why does this state of inner being create success and well-being in your outer life? Gratitude makes you magnetic. People who are in a state of gratitude are self-fulfilled, open and kind. They are not demanding, manipulative or judgmental, and the people around them can feel it. Think of a person in your life who everyone wants to be around all the time. They probably encompass those qualities. When you are magnetic, you attract higher-level opportunities, and you are in a state to be receptive to them. Gratitude puts you in the zone. In a state of gratitude, you are focused on purpose. All of the frivolous worries and concerns have dropped away, and you have access to the clarity and focus you need to live from vision instead of circumstance. You see opportunities you would miss if you were focused on what’s wrong or what’s not working. This is the state of being where true vision lives and is expressed. Gratitude is empowering. You are the best version of you, and it feels amazing! You feel good in your own skin, and nothing outside of you has the power to take you 48 WATERWAYS | October 2021

This is for the person who wants a simple, consistent routine that creates results. Each morning, before you get out of bed, think of 10 things you are grateful for. It can be as simple as your spouse’s smile, your warm bed or the coffee you’re about to drink. The important thing is that you feel grateful. This is how you learn what gratitude feels like and, over time, that feeling can expand into the rest of your day.

2. 30-Day Gratitude Challenge This is for the person who likes a challenge to stay on track. On day one, write five things you’re grateful for. Each evening, add one more thing to the list, and read the list to yourself each night for a month. You might find that you keep the challenge going because it feels so good and you’re noticing real change within yourself.

3. Scavenger Hunt This is for the free spirit who avoids routine and goes with the flow. To make gratitude fun and adventurous, treat it like a scavenger hunt. Look for gratitude everywhere throughout the day, and reward yourself for finding it. When you have a list of 50 things, treat yourself to something fun, like a concert or a spa day. This will motivate you to continue looking for the good in the world, and being in a state of gratitude will become the new normal. Gratitude can only elevate and enhance your life. Have fun with it, and enjoy all of the blessings and opportunities that come your way.


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