Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Mulling Over Glühwein

By Connor Brown at The Grapevine in Gruene

      A New Year in New Braunfels is always in accompaniment with new memories, hope, and love as we all wander into another year of exploration and improvement. With it we enjoy some cooler weather, chilly nights by the fire, and all the wonderful beverages that simply belong to the season. Nothing is better than walking through Gruene as the sun sets, enjoying a piping hot cup of Glühwein, and being surrounded by people and things we love. But what is Glühwein, and why should we love it?
      Many of us are familiar with the world of mulled wine or are at least familiar with the concept, but those who aren’t fear not! Mulled wine is called many different things across the world, but as proud New Braunfelsers, we like to adhere to our German heritage and simply call it Glühwein. Traditionally, Glühwein is made from dry red wine and mulling spices like clove, star anise, cinnamon, orange zest, and sugar. Letting these ingredients simmer creates an aromatic and delectable warm beverage to sip through holiday markets and other outdoor activities, keeping us warm and motivated. However, this can be a process for those less handy in the kitchen, and luckily this elixir is available by the bottle ready to heat, then drink.

      Schmitt Söhne is a notable winery from Longuich, Germany that has been making wine along the Rhone for over 200 years, and with the wonders of industry, excellent and authentic German wine can be found especially in New Braunfels- and their Glühwein is on the menu at The Grapevine! This particular Glühwein is semi-sweet with notes of cinnamon and orange zest that makes for the perfect porch companion. Simply pour from the bottle, heat (don’t boil!), and serve!
      For hundreds of years Glühwein has been served across the world, and wine drinkers rejoice to have their own winter beverage. But even if wine’s not your thing, most people can agree on its effectiveness to combating cold weather and keeping the festive spirit alive. So, grab your favorite mug, pour up a cup of cheer and enjoy the season while it lasts!

Friday, December 27, 2019

2019 Gruene Hall Year in Review

      What a year! In 2019, the Gruene Hall stage hosted everything from new favorites like Charley Crockett to old faithfuls like Pat Green, the southern soul of Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears to the rockabilly swing of Two Tons of Steel. And don't forget about the special shows: the birthday parties (Roger Creager!), festivals (Tanya Tucker at Gruene Music & Wine Fest), and holiday specials (Wynonna and the Big Noise Rockin' Roots Christmas). We were named Best of New Braunfels and partied with friends in low places.

      We could be here all day talking about the good music that's filled the Hall this year, but who wants to read it? How about a playlist you can listen to whenever you want? We did it. Take a look back at a year's worth of music with the 2019 Gruene Hall Year in Review playlist! It includes the most-played song of each ticketed show this year

Just the hits, y'all, so sing it if you know it!

Visit the Gruene Hall Gallery or follow us on Instagram to see more pictures from 2019.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Playlist: Deck the Hall

Can't get enough Christmas music? We've got you covered!

A unique soundtrack for the season, hear some Gruene Hall favorites and their Christmas cheer. Sing along to classics and originals from Willie Nelson, George Strait, LeAnn Rimes, Dale Watson and more!

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Willie Door

A true German-style dance hall, Gruene Hall is the classically simple structure: a long building, doors at one end, stage at the other, open-air side flaps along the walls in between the two. A no-frills structure built for one simple thing: pile in and have a good time! Not just a dance hall, the spacious building has always served as the social center of the community hosting everything from official meetings and friendly gatherings to birthday parties and badger fights.

This straightforward layout means everyone would enter at the front of the building and musicians are no exception. (There wasn't another option because there is no "backstage door" or green room in an 1878 dance hall!) The artists meander through the crowd on the dance floor, making their way to the stage at the rear of the building. Like so many things in the music industry, all that changed with Willie Nelson.

In 1998, Willie was scheduled to play Gruene Hall for a flood relief benefit concert. That night, the house was packed, showing no clear path through which made Willie a little nervous. They had to figure out another way to get him to the stage. With a spontaneous stroke of brilliance, the window flap next to the stage was opened, chicken wire cut, and make-shift stairs were pushed against the building. He climbed in through the window and The Willie Door was born!

Getting the invitation to use the Willie Door is seen as a symbolic right of passage. For some artists, even after getting the nod, they won't use the Willie Door out of reverence for the iconic star. It's one of the many things that adds to Gruene Hall's iconic history.

Friday, November 8, 2019

2019 Best of New Braunfels

The 33rd annual Herald-Zeitung's Reader's Choice awards came up Gruene this year! 

Best Margarita

Frozen or rocked, a Cantina del Rio margarita is exactly what you want when you're craving a margarita. Don't believe me? The proof is in the pudding…I mean, tequila. It's been voted Best Margarita in New Braunfels every year since 2012! When you set the standard, you better bring it on…and these do!

Best Patio

Housed in the bones of an old cotton gin, the Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar is charmingly historic but the patio really takes the iconic restaurant over the top. Tucked in the trees on the bluff overlooking the Guadalupe River where thousands of tubers float by every summer, it's a breathtaking juxtaposition to be surrounded by nature but also "in" a restaurant. It's really something special, making it the Best Patio in New Braunfels.

Best Chicken Fried Steak

There's good chicken fried steak, then there's the BEST chicken fried steak. Voted the Best Chicken Fried Steak in New Braunfels, the Gristmill serves it up crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, flavor all around. The only thing you should be worried about is how much gravy you'll need!

Best Attraction

It isn't a big, flashy building. But, waiting at the end of the street, Gruene Hall will pull you in like a magnet. Whether you're looking for history (it's over 100 years old), music (that stage is a right of passage for many musicians) or just a cold beer (and signature sangria!), it is everything you think it should be…and more! With so much history, it's no wonder the oldest dance hall in Texas was voted Best Attraction in New Braunfels.

Best Live Music Venue

Cold beer? Check. Seasoned dance floor? Check. Legendary musicians? Check. The Gruene Hall stage has hosted everything from superstars to up-n-comers, from country to rock, from solo artists to full bands. Every spot in the house feels like the front row, creating a genuine intimacy between audience and performer. With a growing number of new music venues in the area, being voted Best Live Music Venue in New Braunfels is definitely a tip of the hat to the one that started it all.

Best Place to Dance

Is there any doubt? The floor boards at Gruene Hall are the same boards laid when the dance hall was built in 1878. With over 140 years of dancing and stomping, every shoe has left its mark. In the beautiful old wood, you can see all the soles, and all the soul. To dance on that floor really is something special.

Best Sliders

Have you ever had a hamburger so good, you wished you had another…and then maybe another? Mozie's knows! Order the Best Sliders in New Braunfels, and you get 3! Soft bun, juicy patty, melty cheese. Times 3.

Best Hill Country Day Trip

In a region so abundant in natural beauty, cultural richness, and day trip-worthy destinations, it's an honor for Gruene Historic District to be named Best Hill Country Day Trip out of them all! Whether you're looking for food, wine, shopping, music, or just plain "taking it easy" floating the river, there truly is something for everyone here.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Playlist: November on the Gruene Hall Stage

November is here and it brings a TON of great music to the Gruene Hall stage! Hear from favorites like Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Drive-By Truckers, Wade Bowen, Cory Morrow,  and more. View the full calendar and start planning!

For a mix of the November Shows at Gruene Hall, check out this playlist >>


12 Simple German Phrases for Wurstfest

    Wurstfest in New Braunfels started 58 years ago and continues to be an iconic celebration of German food, drink, music, and culture. Here in Gruene, we are proud of our German roots and love being so close to the festival happenings. If you are heading to Wurstfest, here are some easy German phrases to try out when you get there!

Explore the food and drink!

Ich habe Hunger!
(I am hungry!)

Möchtest du eine Wurst?
(Would you like a sausage?)

Ich habe Durst! 
(I am thirsty!)

Möchtest du ein Bier?
(Would you like a beer?)

Wo kann ich Essen kaufen?
(Where can I buy food?)

Ready to join in on the fun?

Ich liebe die Musik!
(I love the music!)

Willst du Tanzen 
(Want to dance?)

Gehen wir! 
(Let's go!)

Hast du eine gute Zeit?
(Are you having a good time?)


Time to go home?

Wo ist der Wurst Wagen? 
(Where is the Wurst Wagen?)

(Bye!) This is a casual goodbye for when you are among friends, and at Wurstfest that's exactly where you are! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Beer Guide for Wine Lovers

If you typically opt for a glass of wine over a bottle of ale, you might be surprised by just how much you actually would enjoy a cold beer! The trick is knowing what to look for and where to start. Use this handy guide to help you decide what beer you might like based on your wine preference.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Playlist: October on the Gruene Hall Stage

October is packed with great music at Gruene Hall! (Have you seen the calendar?!) No matter your taste, we'll have toe-tappers of every sort. Come hear everything from red dirt country of Stoney LaRue to the southern soul sound of Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears.

Check out this playlist from artists in the October lineup >>

Friday, September 27, 2019

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

The weekend isn't over yet! Sunday wraps up the festival with our +Craft Beer Event & Music Fest, giving new meaning to the phrase "Sunday Funday"! Here are the details:

  • The +Craft Beer Event & Music Fest is held on Sunday, October 13 on the Grapevine grounds and Gruene Hall.
  • There are 2 ticket options: Grapevine + Gruene Hall combo or Grapevine only.
  • Each ticket option includes:
    • Grapevine + Gruene Hall combo: access to 8 hours of music on two stages + 5 tasting tickets + access to "Le Cordon Gruene" Food Trucks + access to the Artisan Market
    • Grapevine only: access to the Grapevine stage + 5 tasting tickets + access to "Le Cordon Gruene" Food Trucks + access to the Artisan Market
  • Doors open at 1:00pm on the Grapevine Grounds. Combo ticket holders are also allowed admission to Gruene Hall starting at 2:00pm.
  • CLEAR BAGS ONLY. Bags will be restricted to clear bags smaller than 12" x 6" x 12". (More details here.)
  • Additional tasting tickets, as well as wine by the glass or bottle are also available for purchase.
  • Over 80+ craft beers for tasting.
  • Artists performing include Walt Wilkins & the Mystiqueros, Warren Hood Band, Zac Wilkerson Trio, Kody West, Mike & the Moonpies, Seth James Band, Jamie Lin Wilson, Bart Crow, Zack Walther Band, and more!
  • This is a 21+ event only— no one under the age of 21 will be admitted.
  • Don't miss the Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist that morning, before the +Craft Beer Event kicks off!
Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event: Sunday

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Garth Brooks Day in Gruene

Photo credit: Jessie Slaten

    It started as a quiet rumble. Garth Brooks was going on a Dive Bar Tour, playing small honky-tonks and bars across the country. Would he come to Gruene Hall? He certainly should! With strong roots in the old wooden floor boards of the Hall, he played here in the 80's before the wheels of his career really started rolling, like many others including George Strait. After much speculation, Garth finally announced that he WOULD be bringing his Dive Bar tour to the iconic Gruene Hall on September 23, 2019. And we were all in for a wild ride!

Garth Brooks at Gruene Hall
Photo credit: Jim Flynn

    The day of the show, Gruene Historic District evolved in phases, getting ready to host thousands of Garth Brooks fans on their way from all over the country. First, the streets were shut down at 10am. This is also when the most loyal ticket-winning fans showed up at the Hall to start the line for entry. Next came the 2 jumbotron screens set up in different locations. With the screens set, lawn chairs started popping up with non-ticket concertgoers ready to wait hours to have the best view of 10-feet worth of Garth'y goodness. Pop-up bars, snack tents, first aid headquarters, and port-o-potties were all set up nearby, too. All the amenities anyone might need were here. Now we just need the star of the show!

    Garth's crew started equipment set-up and soundcheck at 4pm that afternoon. By then, the street party crowd was growing. More chairs, more coolers, more Garth Brooks fans. The Gruene Hall doors opened to ticket winners at 5:30 and as they filed into the dance hall, the excitement grew. Showtime was scheduled for 8pm. Just a few minutes after 8, a shiny black car was seen driving slowly towards the Hall. And the crowd held their breath...

Garth Brooks at Gruene Hall
    Rolling down his window for a quick wave to the fans outside the Hall, then crawling through the Willie Door on the side of the building, Garth was here and ready to rock! After taking the stage, and looking out at the crowd, absorbing the moment, Brooks said, "To be here in Texas, it just feels so right." And we were off!

    The planned set list included 13 of his biggest hits, but Garth had moments of overwhelming nostalgia and asked his band to add a few spontaneous songs: "Amarillo by Morning" (which he prefaced by saying "Last time I was here, I wanted to be George Strait so bad. ...And today I'll still leave here wanting to be George Strait so bad!"), "Much Too Young" (which he played at Gruene Hall for a less enthusiastic crowd in the 80's), and "Beaches of Cheyenne."

    While the last crowd he played for at Gruene Hall didn't know every word to every song, this crowd made up for it in spades. At several points, Garth stepped away from the microphone with hat over heart, relishing the moment, letting the crowd continue the song without his help. "This is exactly the way I wanted it," he said. Us too, Garth, us too.

Full set list:
"All Day Long"
"Two of a Kind"
"Two Pina Coladas"
"The River"
"Dive Bar"
"Ain't Goin' Down (Til the Sun Comes Up)"
"Unanswered Prayers"
"Amarillo by Morning"
"That Summer"
"Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)"
"Callin' Baton Rouge"
"The Thunder Rolls"
"Beaches of Cheyenne"
"Friends in Low Places"
"The Dance"

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Friday, September 20, 2019

Music & Wine Fest, Saturday: Texas Tastings & Tunes

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event

With over 40 vineyards offering 100+ wines for tasting, day 3 of Gruene Music & Wine Fest cannot be missed!

  • The Texas Tastings & Tunes event is held on Saturday, October 12 on the Grapevine grounds and Gruene Hall.
  • There are 2 ticket options: VIP and General Admission
  • Each ticket option includes:
    • VIP: wine tote + commemorative t-shirt + pocket koozie + souvenir wine glass + 8 tasting tickets + automatic entry into VIP drawing for a Night on the Town in Gruene for 4
    • General Admission: souvenir wine glass + 5 tasting tickets
  • Doors open at noon.
  • CLEAR BAGS ONLY. Bags will be restricted to clear bags smaller than 12" x 6" x 12". (More details here.)
  • Additional tasting tickets, as well as wine by the glass or bottle, are available for purchase.
  • Shop the artisan market and feast at "Le Cordon Gruene" food trucks.
  • Artists performing during the day will include: The Dirty River Dixie Band, Brian Pounds Band, Hot Texas Swing Band, Bo Phillips, and more.
  • Casey Donahew Band will go on stage at Gruene Hall at 9pm. Tickets to this concert must be purchases separately. (Click here to purchase.)
  • This is a 21+ event only—no one under the age of 21 will be admitted.
Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event

Gruene Music & Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Gruene Hall: 1988

Check out this calendar for Gruene Hall from September 1988!

Gruene Hall 1988

Notice Hal Ketchum listed a few times, with just a $3 cover! (Can you imagine?!) This was only a few years before his early hits "Small Town Saturday Night" and "Past the Point of Rescue" launched him into stardom in 1991.

Other names you may recognize are Jerry Jeff (Walker) and Robert (Earl) Keen. On their way to becoming icons of Texas country music, they were both cutting their teeth on the Gruene Hall stage.

If you close your eyes and turn up our Gruene Hall: 1988 playlist, you can almost feel a cold drink in your hand and the wooden dance floor under your feet. >>

Friday, September 13, 2019

Music & Wine Fest: Rockin' with Texas Wine & Food on Friday

Day 2 of the Gruene Music & Wine Fest is the much-anticipated Rockin' with Texas Wine & Food event. Here's what you need to know!

  • This event is held on Friday, October 11 and is hosted entirely at Gruene Hall.
  • There are 2 ticket options: Reserved Table and General Admission
  • Things included with each ticket...
    • Reserved Table: a reserved seat + private show with Tanya Tucker + catered dinner by The Gristmill + 3 taste tickets (wine tastings offered by Texas Southwind, Llano Estacado and Messina Hof wineries) + silent auction access + the Great Guitar Auction access + admission to the 2nd Tanya Tucker performance
    • General Admission: private show with Tanya Tucker + catered dinner by The Gristmill + 3 taste tickets (wine tastings offered by Texas Southwind, Llano Estacado and Messina Hof wineries) + silent auction access + the Great Guitar Auction access + admission to the 2nd Tanya Tucker performance
  • At 8:30, the dinner tables will be put away and the Hall will be cleared to prepare for Tanya Tucker's 2nd performance of the night.
    • Tickets to the late show can be purchased separately.
  • This is a 21+ event only— no one under the age of 21 will be admitted.

**Update: Tickets to this event are now SOLD OUT.**

Gruene Music & Wine Fest

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Gruene Music & Wine Fest Playlist

Are you getting geared up for the 33rd Gruene Music & Wine Festival? We are, too!

Check out this playlist with music from the artists included in the lineup this year! We've got The Bacon Brothers, Tanya Tucker, Casey Donahew Band, Bart Crow, Jamie Lin Wilson, Kody West, Mike and the Moonpies...and more!

(It's going to be a rockin' good time!)

Friday, September 6, 2019

Gruene Music & Wine Fest: Thursday Kickoff Event

Gruene Music & Wine Fest- Kickoff Event at The Grapevine

Gruene Music & Wine Fest is a 4-day affair and the fun starts with the Kickoff Event. Here's everything you need to know!

  • The Kickoff Event is held Thursday, October 10 on The Grapevine Grounds.
  • There are 2 ticket options: General Admission and VIP
  • Things included with each ticket are...
    • VIP: early admission + souvenir wine glass + 5 tasting tickets
    • General Admission: 3 tasting tickets
  • Doors open at 5:30pm for General Admission ticket holders. VIP ticket holders are allowed early admission starting at 5:00pm.
  • Print your tickets for faster entry.
  • CLEAR BAGS ONLY. Bags will be restricted to clear bags smaller than 12" x 6" x 12". (More details here.)
  • This is a 21+ event only no one under the age of 21 will be admitted.
  • Additional tasting tickets, as well as wine by the glass or bottle, are available for purchase.
  • Craft beer will also be available for use of taste tickets or purchase.
  • Enjoy music by Prophets and Outlaws on the Grapevine stage.
  • The Bacon Brothers go on stage at Gruene Hall at 8pm. This concert is not included with the Kickoff Event tickets.

Gruene Music & Wine Fest: Kickoff Event

Gruene Music & Wine Fest- Kickoff Event

Gruene Music & Wine Fest- Kickoff Event

Gruene Music & Wine Fest- Kickoff Event

Friday, August 30, 2019

33rd Gruene Music and Wine Fest +Craft Beer Event

The Gruene Music & Wine Fest began as a one-day event in 1986 with the purpose of promoting Texas and Americana music in a fun and relaxed setting while raising funds for the United Way of Comal County. Over the years, it has become a four-day celebration not only of Texas and Americana music, but also a celebration of Texas wine, craft beer, food and gift items hand made in the Lone Star state. 

4 Days. 4 Distinct Events.

The "Kickoff Event" marks the beginning of the festival on Thursday, October 10th. Featuring wine tasting from ten of Texas’ favorite wineries, two craft breweries and live music by Prophets and Outlaws! VIP and General Admission tickets are available. Immediately after the Kickoff Event, The Bacon Brothers will be performing at Gruene Hall.

On Friday, "Rockin' with Texas Wine & Food" features a dinner catered by The Gristmill and a private performance by Tanya Tucker on the Gruene Hall stage. Also included in the night’s events are a silent auction and The Great Guitar Auction— including signed guitars from artists including: George Strait, Loretta Lynn, Jerry Jeff Walker, Midland, Maren Morris, an autographed fiddle by Charlie Daniels, and more.

In recent years "Texas Tastings & Tunes" on Saturday has expanded to include over 40 vineyards offering 100+ wines for tasting. Enjoy live music, shop the artisan market and chow down at “Le Cordon Gruene” food trucks. Music on The Grapevine Stage includes The Dirty River Dixie Band, Brian Pounds Band and Hot Texas Swing Band. Hang out after Saturday’s tasting event and enjoy Casey Donahew Band live at Gruene Hall.

On Sunday, it’s time for all things Texas Beer. The +Craft Beer Event & Music Fest features 80+ Texas craft beers for tasting and live music on two stages for more than 8 hours! The event happens in tandem at The Grapevine and Gruene Hall. Shop the artisan market, enjoy “Le Cordon Gruene” food trucks and watch live football on a big screen TV all while you enjoy the best in Texas craft beer. Artists performing Sunday include Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros, Warren Hood Band, Zac Wilkerson Trio, Kody West, Mike & The Moonpies, Seth James Band, Jamie Lin Wilson, Bart Crow, Zack Walther Band and more to be announced!

Gruene Music & Wine Festival +Craft Beer Event

We wine, they win.

Although the event itself has evolved through the years, the benefiting charity has always primarily been the United Way of Comal County, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people in Comal County by generating resources to meet the needs of the community.

In 1986, a mere $450 was raised for the United Way, but as the event has grown, so too have the funds given. The events now raise nearly 500 times that amount and have been able to double our funds raised just in the past ten years. In 2018, a total of $153,323.01 was donated.

This festival is a toast to Texas music, wine, and craft beer– come raise a glass with us!

For details and tickets to each distinct event, visit www.gruenemusicandwinefest.org.
Aaron Watson at Gruene Hall - Gruene Music & Wine Fest

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Sipping on Sauvignon Blanc

Sipping on Sauvignon Blanc - The Grapevine in Gruene, TX

By Connor Brown, The Grapevine in Gruene

Sauvignon blanc is one of the most popular grape varietals known to just about anyone who drinks wine. Originally from the Bordeaux region in France, sauvignon blanc dominates vineyards all over the world for its versatility and variety in flavor. And of course, with so many different climates and conditions in the world, no two wines will be the same, as flavor profiles are distinctively different depending on the region they’re from. 

New Zealand is one of the most prominent producers of sauvignon blanc. The Marlborough Region is responsible for close to 270,000 tons of fruit that eventually made its way into a nice, chilled bottle of wine. The flavor of New Zealand sauvignon blanc tends to be very crisp and refreshing, with very prominent citrus notes depending on how ripe the fruit is when produced. A particularly good example of New Zealand sauvignon blanc is from Echo Bay Vineyards. This wine expresses an herby bouquet with rich notes of grapefruit and lemongrass on the palate. This zesty beverage is perfect for summertime sipping, or pairing with lighter fare such as seafood or chicken.

The United States is also very well known for its production of sauvignon blanc. This grape can be grown in every corner of the country – including Texas. However, while this varietal demands sunshine, it cannot thrive in high temperatures. Therefore, one of the largest and most reputable wineries in Texas, Llano Estacado, grows their fruit in the high planes so it won’t be pummeled by the extreme Texas heat. Llano Sauvignon Blanc boasts beautiful tropical fruit aromas, with a ripe lemon citrus flavor that carries a balanced acidity into a pleasantly full-bodied mouthfeel. This wine carries a complexity found in other full bodied white varietals while maintaining its light and zesty delicacy, making it a unique and great example of an American sauvignon blanc.

With all the different climates, regions, and other factors that go into making a good sauvignon blanc, winemakers have relied on this varietal to please the palates of the masses, and express their mastery of terroir. Come and taste your way into sauvignon bliss the next time you’re in our neighborhood, and find your favorite summertime sipper!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards – Come and Taste It!

Come and Taste It- Gruene, Texas By Connor Brown

Now that summer is almost officially here, many of us are thrilled for what’s to come. The season of summer vacations, lazy days by the river, but most importantly the new memories that will follow us through our finest days. And no Texas summer scrapbook is complete without a day of enjoying great Texas wine in a great Texas town. The Come and Taste It event at The Grapevine welcomes the public to taste some of the finest, and most unique wine and beer being produced in the state, while offering a unique opportunity to meet those responsible for creating it. This month, we’re excited to welcome Los Pinos Ranch from Pittsburg, Texas to showcase a few of their award-winning Texas wines.
For white wine drinkers, Los Pinos will be featuring a personal favorite; Blanco Grande. This lovely, crisp white is made from Blanc Du Bois, a varietal favored by many Texas wine makers for being able to flourish in extreme heat and drought like conditions. This selection carries a myriad of accolades, most recently winning Gold at the Texas International Wine Competition. On the nose, pleasantly pungent citrus aromas arouse the senses before blooming into soft notes of melon and tropical fruit. On the palate, this zesty, and refreshing wine greets the drinker with fresh notes of apple and grapefruit with a fresh and clean finish aided by its stainless steel aging process and lack of intrusive tannins. A perfect midpoint between Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.
Los Pinos Cabernet Sauvignon is another selection among the growing list of critically acclaimed wines from Los Pinos Ranch. However, one should not expect this to resemble other cabs. Winemaker, Arnulfo Perez, takes advantage of the Texas terroir, focusing on the characteristics that set apart Texas wine from the rest of the world, truly embracing the essence of Texas in a bottle. Bold notes of leather, pepper, and tobacco give this wine an unrivaled complexity and style that compliments the subtle notes of toffee, caramel, and cherry vanilla tied together with soft tannins and a tasteful oak presence. As mentioned, one shouldn’t expect a familiar friend with this particular cab, it is great in portraying the natural flavor of Texas, allowing for a new kind of relationship to blossom.
So, if Texas wine is something tried and true, or something yet to try, Los Pinos Ranch offers more than enough different styles to get you hooked. With so much time for rest and relaxation, allow us to introduce you to your new favorite local winery at our next Come and Taste it. But remember, this is a monthly event with so many possibilities of wineries to attend, so the best measure is to just come often!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Spend Father's Day in Gruene!

June is here and most Dads believe that it’s more like Fathers’ WEEKEND, not Father’s DAY.
Whether he’s a music man or a sommelier in disguise, Father’s Day weekend is best spent in Gruene!

For the Dad who likes to have fun in the sun- floating the Guadalupe River is a must! And after the float, head up the hill to Gruene Hall. There you’ll find free shows inside Texas’ oldest dance hall like Billy Bacon and the Forbidden Pigs on Saturday and the Guy Forsyth Band on Sunday. If he’s a fan of Reckless Kelly, the show starts at 8 on Friday and 9 on Saturday. Advanced tickets are recommended as it’s liable to sell out.

Reckless Kelly at Gruene Hall

The Grapevine offers a more relaxed setting for Dad to sit and sip fine Texas wines. With free live music all weekend in the Grapevine Garden and a wide range of Texas wines and craft beers, there's no shortage of food and drink to keep him entertained. You might even be able to distract the kids with one of their Boar’s Head cheese plates!

The Grapevine- Gruene, Texas

No weekend is complete without delectable food and some Gruene area eateries have recently shaken up their menus. Cantina Del Rio has a new El Rey platter- a twist on the burger favorite, with a cheese topped beef patty, all the fixings, and a to die for homemade ranchero sauce to satisfy cravings. If you’re headed to Mozie’s  start with the new Double Dip (guac and jalapeno pimento cheese with tortilla chips to dip!) and a cold draft beer. Trust us, Dad will be thrilled! If you plan on celebrating with the entire family, Gristmill is the perfect place to enjoy outdoor dining with a vista of the lush foliage and river views. Be sure to order their fall off the bone ribs and an ice cold Shiner for Dad!

Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar- Gruene, Texas

And for all you procrastinators out there…
You are sure to find a gift between the likes of the Gruene Hat Company, Gruene Outfitters, and the many specialty vendors on the lawn at Adobe Verde for Gruene Market Days. Market Days are open all day Saturday and Sunday. Why not bring out your Dad and let him mosey around and pick out his gift! From clothes to wood working and leather goods to Texas beef jerky and cigar box guitars, there’s something for every kind of Dad at Gruene Market Days.

If you’re not lucky enough to live nearby, why not hop online and purchase a gift card valid at Gruene area businesses- Cantina del Rio, Mozie’s, Gristmill, and The Grapevine! You can give Dad the gift of a road trip. He’ll be thrilled! Just imagine the good times and great stories that you’ll have after a weekend spent in Gruene!

We’ll see you soon!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Rosé in May

By: Connor Brown
The Grapevine in Gruene

The Grapevine in Gruene, Texas
There’s never a better time for a glass of wine than in the sunshine. Fortunately we’ve finally reached the month of May, which means summer is just around the corner. However, this leaves many of us with a tough decision on our patio pounding preferences.

Pedernales Rosé is a wonderful Rohne style rosé made in Fredericksburg, Texas. Made of Carignon and Mourvedre, this lovely wine has beautiful balance between its full body and its crisp acidity. Notes of strawberry and red fruit on the nose forecast a bright flavor profile of ripe fruit, with a balanced zesty-smooth finish. While Pedernales Cellars is known for its Tempranillo and Viognier, the rosé stands on its own, offering unique flavor characteristics that are very approachable to any novice or experienced wine drinker.

Next are a couple selections from a vastly underrated local winemaker, Rae Wilson. In addition to other fine wines from Austin, Rae is responsible for two of the finest Texas Rosé wines around. First we have the Dandy Rosé. Available with or without bubbles, however both provide a fantastic drinking experience. Dandy is a french style Rosé with a lot of flavor. This wine is balanced with a zesty finish, but a lot of flavor upfront. Dandy makes the perfect companion for summer drinking and casual chilling, as it is versatile enough to pair with most meals, but structured enough to enjoy on its own.

Also from Rae Wilson is her Rosato. This Italian style rosé is made of 100% Sangiovese, a naturally acidic wine that makes for a perfectly crisp and even rosé. What makes this wine special, is it’s a sangiovese, a grape commonly found in Texas, though it drinks similarly to a french rosé. One will experience an excellent equilibrium between whats expected from a sangiovese, but also expected from a medium bodied dry white. This rosé carries the entire package of flavor, crispness, and delicacy, without being too much of anything. A solid choice for drinking or pairing.

In addition to these fine Rosé wines, theres a world of wines ready for tasting to compliment your favorite summer past time. Just remember what Texas has to offer, and be amazed what can be found right in your backyard!

Springtime Sippin’

By Connor Brown 
The Grapevine in Gruene

The Grapevine in Gruene, Texas

With the sun shining and ideal weather upon us, there is no better time to kick back with some tasty beverages while awaiting the wrath that is Texas summer. However, during the few months we have, let’s think about our springtime thirst-quenchers and consider enjoying the rest of this magnificent season with some fresh and local suggestions from a reputable source, just up the road in your favorite historic district of New Braunfels.

Of everything I’m planning to indulge in this spring, I’m mostly looking forward to the company of a fresh, fun beer, and a delicious and delicate rosé to make the most of this seasons’s offerings.

Out of San Marcos, AquaBrew is responsible for some of the best craft beer within 20 miles of New Braunfels, and can be found in many establishments around town. While AquaBrew boasts a large and diverse portfolio of craft brews, one specific seasonal brew stands out. Ape-Pricot Wheat is a deliciously unique beer that is a must-try for any craft beer enthusiast. On the surface, this is a well done, full bodied wheat beer with a great balanced flavor between its complexity, fresh fruity flavor, and alcohol presence (Only 6.9% ABV!). The name says it all, notes of ripe and juicy apricot can be experienced on the nose and the palate, to create a fun and fresh choice of beverage to enjoy on a beautiful springtime stroll through Gruene.

On the wine front, Lewis Winery already has a great reputation in South Texas with their outstanding Tempranillo, and the fun and fresh Swim Spot. Located in the Hill Country of Johnson City, Lewis Winery produces a fantastic Rosé blend. A wonderful Provence style dry rosé made from a blend of Mourvedre and Grenache varieties. This rosé has pronounced flavors of ripe red fruit and citrus with a pleasantly pungent floral nose. This lovely rosé has patio-pounder capability as it drinks smooth while being incredibly refreshing. Enjoy on a sunny day with fresh fruit and delicious Brie cheese to take total advantage of prolonged visits with mother nature while enjoying the season.

Even if fruit beer or dry rosé doesn’t quite resonate with your palate, these fine examples show that Texas wine and beer makers have what it takes to compete with the trends, and continue to show why Texas has earned its place in the industry. But really, who doesn’t think apricot and beer sounds delicious? And the thought of a crisp rosé while lounging in the sun? Oh my! I know where I stand, try it out!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Bottles and Cans with No Bans

Wine Spotlight from New Braunfels Monthly
March 2019

Craft Beer at The Grapevine- Gruene, Texas
By: Connor Brown

A beautiful display of beer taps can be quite mesmerizing. It’s easy to go for a pint, and it certainly helps being able to taste it first – but let’s try something different this year. It’s a little known fact that some of The Grapevine’s best Texas craft beer awaits thirsty travelers behind the glass doors of our beer fridge. With over 30 different beers – at least half of those Texas- born – with a myriad of styles and flavors, it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but there is something for everyone, and even the pickiest of beer drinkers will be satisfied.

It always helps to know what you like and to have something in mind before facing a wide selection of bottles and cans. Seek the assistance of a professional if you’re new to beer tasting.

For lighter beer drinkers, try the Independence Brewing Native Texan Pilsner. This is an easy drinking pilsner that loosely resembles everyone’s favorite river beer with some added depth. Since this is still a craft beer, expect more pronounced flavors and substance, but still enjoy the crisp refreshing flavor without simply feeling hydrated.
Craft Beer at The Grapevine- Gruene, TexasIf you happen to be a middle of the road kind of person, and don’t mind hops, Celis Pale Bock could be a new favorite brew. This touches the spirits of Amber and IPA fanatics alike, displaying a lovely copper color while uniting the worlds of a Bock and Pale Ale style beer, with a smooth malty flavor and a crisp and easy finish. It also helps that Celis can do no wrong (I’m not biased- I promise).

Nevertheless, whatever tastes you prefer, there will be something available to quench your thirst while taking in Texas at its finest. And if all these options seem too daunting, fear not there are lovely wine and beer-tenders always ready for a challenge, and eager to aid in a tasting journey. But let’s explore the best craft beer selection available in New Braunfels - draft, bottle, or can.