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28B WineThe news couldn’t be any timelier. As we’re planning our April issue’s coverage of the red-hot Fredericksburg Wine Road 290, a string of 13 wineries near the Hill Country town of Fredericksburg, we received word that the Texas Hill Country was named among the top 10 wine destinations for 2014 in the February issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine, which boasts a readership of more than 800,000. (That’s a lot of wine enthusiasts!) Texas is in very, very, very good company—the other destinations include Greece’s Aegean Islands; Languedoc, France; Sonoma, California; Baden, Germany; and Mendoza, Argentina. In fact, only one other U.S. destination—Walla Walla Washington—made the cut. (You can read the whole story at www.winemag.com.)

And read more about the wineries of Texas at www.gotexanwine.org, and more about Wine Road 290 at www.wineroad290.com.

 

Stay tuned for our take of the Hill Country’s grape ways in the April issue. Until then, cheers! 

Lubbock musician Andy Hedges has put out a fine new album featuring his characteristic interpretations of classic cowboy and traditional folk tunes.

In the second half of the 19th century, the United States established a line of military posts in west-central Texas to protect settlers from hostile Native Americans and other frontier turbulence. A new book, The Texas Forts Trail, offers a concise and colorful introduction to the forts and the experience they offer visitors today.

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Davis Mountains State Park to reopen December 20

Written by | Published December 12, 2013

Davis Mountains State Park, which is currently closed for construction, has announced that it will reopen December 20, about 2-and-a-half months earlier than initially expected.

Indian Lodge at Davis Mountains State Park.The popular park in far West Texas closed to visitors September 3 for an overhaul of its septic system. During the closure, the park is also upgrading its bathrooms, removing dead trees, constructing a new bird-viewing area near the main park campgrounds, and adding six miles of hiking trails. You can read more about the projects in our previous coverage of the closure

Throughout the closure, Indian Lodge—the park's hotel that was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930—and Black Bear Restaurant will remain open. The lodge and the restaurant will close for maintenance from January 27 to February 6.

 

Let there be lights!

Written by | Published December 4, 2013

More than 100,000 lights gleam from grounds of the Pedernales Electric Coop Headquarters in Johnson City. Photo: Lori Moffatt

With another cold snap in the future, it's beginning to look a lot like winter—and Christmas—in the Lone Star State. Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving brings out the twinkling holiday lights, and this year was no exception. As they've done in years past, almost a dozen communities in the Hill Country—Bandera, Blanco, Boerne, Burnet, Dripping Springs, Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Kerrville, Marble Falls, and Wimberley—have decked the halls (and courthouses and town squares) with thousands of lights as part of the Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail.

Famous Water Company, the bottlers of Crazy Water in Mineral Wells, have opened the Crazy Water Bath House to offer visitors a similar soaking experience to the one that attracted hordes to "take the waters" back in Mineral Wells' heyday as a health resort.

Texas Braces for wintry weather

Written by | Published November 22, 2013

With the onset of the Texas Panhandle's first wave of winter weather, TxDOT is ready to respond with snowplows, de-icing materials and more. Local communities have been preparing, as well.

Fifty years ago on this date, the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy checked into Suite 850 of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. It would be the last night of the president's life; he was assassinated the following day, November 22, 1963, in Dallas.

A group of historians and others who study the historic French presence in the upper Mississippi Valley will gather in Austin this weekend to discuss a French explorer who’s New World journey encountered rough travels in a territory that came to be Texas.

A planetary power lunch at Space Center Houston

Written by | Published November 15, 2013

For space buffs, astronauts are intensely fascinating. Only a select few dreamers make NASA’s cut to join the ranks of space travelers. Their mastery of science, aviation, and physical fitness sets them apart. Their explorations are heralded in classrooms, books, and movies.

 

Events mark 50 years since JFK assassination

Written by | Published November 14, 2013

This tabletop model at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza shows the positions of the president's car as three shots were fired from the building, then known as the Texas School Book Depository.

Trash be gone!

Written by | Published November 7, 2013

Here's a fun idea to combine recreation and altruism in Austin this weekend: Sign up for the first annual Let's Get Trashed event, hosted by Kung Fu Saloon, a martial-arts themed bar and video arcade at 5th and Rio Grande. 

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