Looking for something tasty in Texas? The 2014 semifinalists in the James Beard Foundation's awards for best chefs and restaurants would be a good place to start. The newly released list is populated with Texas people and places throughout.
The Aegean Islands; Baden, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina … and the Texas Hill Country? What do the humble oak-covered hills of Central Texas have in common with these exotic locales? A thriving wine industry, of course.
The 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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.