Celebrating Texas Wine Month with San Saba’s Wineries
Though we believe that every month is worthy of celebrating wine, October is officially Texas Wine Month. Though we are small, San Saba is proud to be home to not one but two award-winning wineries. So if you need us this month, find us at our wineries cheersing to Texas, Texas wine and friendships.
Wedding Oak Winery
“Wine is about the shared pleasures of life. Slow down long enough to appreciate the blessings of the land while enjoying local food and wine with friends, family and community. And that’s where we began.”
Mike and Lynn McHenry were no strangers to the Texas wine industry when they engaged a group of 20 friends to invest in a San Saba winery. Before the winery, Mike grew the very grapes that supplied Texas’ established wineries. Interested in invigorating San Saba’s downtown, Wedding Oak Winery was a natural fit for the vigneron who had purchased and restored three historic buildings. Opened in 2012, Wedding Oak Winery – named for the historic, 400-year old oak tree that is an Indian marriage site – has a comfortable tasting room, patio and state of the art barrel room.
Committed to celebrating Texas terroir, all Wedding Oak wines celebrate Texas’ unique grape-growing conditions and the result is through-and-through Texan vintages. The winemaking is the pleasure of one of Texas’ pioneers, Penny Adams. Taking cues from classic, old-world wine and leveraging her deep viticulture experience, Penny consistently makes wines of distinction. The keys: complimentary grapes and minimal oak aging to highlight the grapes true qualities.
Wedding Oak has 27 wines, several of which are award-winning. The Sweet Alyssum is a semi-sweet white blend of Muscat Canelli, Riesling, Roussanne and orange muscat. Incredibly fragrant with ample pear, orange peel, and dried flowers scents that set a cheery tone. A blend of Muscat Canelli and Riesling gives this wine fresh flavors of ripe pear, navel orange, honeydew melon. It has a floral finish that fills the mouth with abandon. It earned best of class 2017 in the San Francisco Wine Competition, and International class champion and Texas class champion in the 2017 Houston Rodeo. For those who prefer a dry white, the 2016 Roussanne (made with 100 percent Roussanne grapes), is a treat. The complex dry white opens with powerful aromatics of fresh fruit, spice tea, cashews and black pepper. An exotic opulent, rich wine, honey and pear layers are layered with lively acidity and a beautiful lingering finish. Winemaker’s favorite is the 2016 Viognier – a Texas-style rhone that has a liveliness on the palate that compliments characters of honeyed melon, apple, and white flowers.
In the red department, the Tioja – a moniker for Texas Rioja – is the popular flagship red. A food-friendly wine, sweet tobacco inter-mingles with blackberry, plum and spice-box notes combine with a profusion of dark blue and black fruits that fill the mid-palate and finishes long and pleasantly. Reconcilable Differences offers aromas of cooked cherries, caramel, brown sugar, and thyme that is dry but loaded with red and black fruit flavors with robust tannins. The Tempranillo Reserva blends Tempranillo, Garnacha and Viognier to create a fruit-forward, medium-bodied wine with a lingering finish.
Old Man Scary Cellars
“Within the human condition exists a desire to grow something, build something, make something.”
San Saba’s newest winery is located only two doors down from Wedding Oak Winery. In fact, Old Man Scary Cellars was launched as an incubator project of Wedding Oak Winery. The very same Penny Adams makes the wines for Old Man Scary Cellars. Owned by The Hisel Family, Old Man Scary’s tasting room has a fresh vibe and a decidedly quirky artistic component.
Dr. Gabe and Carrie Hisel started their wine-making journey out of one, simple desire, to drink the best wine. This evolved into growing and making the best wine possible, and now into sharing that wine with friends and family.
Old Man Scary, named for a haunted house on the family land, offers big reds, blushes and a thoughtful selection of whites. The crown jewel is the full-bodied 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of roasted caramel, smoke and hints of baking spice. It’s both smooth and spicy offering black currants and ripe red fruit with chocolate and caramel hints. We consistently hear from tasters that this vintage out-cabs all the other cabs. Then there’s the 4:20, a refreshing semi-sweet white blend of Muscat Canelli, Orange Muscat and Reisling. With notes of pear and citrus, a smooth, sweet finish, this vintage also earned the Gold Medal Winner of the 2018 Lonestar Wine Competition. Though the wine is NOT infused, it has been known to enhance the taste of take-out and junk food if paired with brownies (not included). Another favorite is the multi-varietal Exlexia featuring ruby Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo with notes of cranberries and sandalwood on the nose and a balanced finish.
Old Man Scary Cellars often has live local music on their patio or in the tasting room. They also host a Second Sunday brunch that has been a lively addition to downtown. This month they are also hosting a murder mystery Halloween party complete with a three-course meal and sooky sangria on Wednesday, October 31 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Cheers to Texas and wine! We’re excited to celebrate Texas Wine Month with y’all!