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Food Matters: Wineries gear up for fall deluge

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Norton grapes hang from the vine ready for harvest at the Stonehouse Vineyard in Spicewood.

Now that summer is over and our trips have to fit in those precious weekend days, wineries across the state are preparing for a surge of weekend warriors.

For many years, wineries have used geography in their favor by creating "wine trails," which encourage visitors to check out other vineyards and wineries in whatever area they happen to find themselves. This year, three Dripping Springs-area wineries — Bell Springs Winery, Solaro Estate Winery and Westcave Cellars Winery — have formed the newest group, the Dripping Wine Trail. Find the latest upcoming events at drippingwinetrail.com.

The dozen or so wineries on the highly- trafficked Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 (wineroad290.com) are gearing up for the third annual Kiolbassa & Kabernet weekend Sept. 8 and 9, which will feature sausage and wine pairings with dishes from local restaurants.

Though most of the grape stomping for the season is over, Becker Vineyard and Chisholm Trail Winery, both off U.S. 290 near Fredericksburg, still have some grapes to crush, and they are asking wine lovers to take off their shoes and help them this weekend. Nichole Bendele of Becker Vineyard says that their Labor Day weekend grape stomp, now in its 16th year, is one of the more popular events of the year because families are eager to get out of town one last time before the long stretch until the holidays. The Becker event takes place Saturday and Sunday, while Chisholm Trail's is limited to Saturday. (Visit chisholm trailwinery.com and beckervineyards.com for details.)

Out at Messina Hof’s new Hill Country facility, winemakers Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo are hosting a dinner Saturday to celebrate the end of their harvest. (Tickets and menu at messinahof.com or by calling 830-990-4653.)

At Fall Creek Vineyard in Tow, Ed and Susan Auler will be celebrating Labor Day weekend with a picnic on Saturday featuring food from chef Rob McMahon and a private tour of the 100-foot waterfall on their Lake Buchanan property. (Reservations at fcv.com or 325-379-5361.)

From 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 29, Texas Vineyards and Beyond, 329 1/2 E. Main St. in Fredericksburg, is hosting a Fall Wine & Food Festival featuring wines from Caprock Winery, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards, Dionisio Winery and Red 55 Winery. Inwood Estates Vinyards, Georgetown Winery and Salado Creek Winery & Vineyard are among the wineries that will pour at the Williamson County Wine & Food Festival, which takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at the San Gabriel Community Center, 445 Morrow St. (Tickets, $25, are at local wineevents.com.)

Many of the wineries are gearing up for the 22nd annual Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest, which is slated for noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at the town's historic Marktplatz. Tickets cost $20 and are available at fbg foodandwinefest.com.

— Addie Broyles

Appreciation

Honoring a fixture in the Austin-area farming community

One of Austin's most beloved and longtime farmers has passed away.

Sarah Rowland, along with husband Gary, started Hairston Creek Farm, an organic farm in Burnet County, in 1990, and for the following two decades, when not harvesting produce or working on the farm, she was a staple at farmers markets in the Austin area.

In 2008, Rowland was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, and the local food community rallied with a fundraiser at the Barr Mansion to help offset medical costs.

From her obituary: "She was the voice behind the farm, writing a weekly newsletter for customers and friends that offered an insight into the world of farming much needed in the modern world. She was an advocate for local and organically grown foods, serving on the board of directors of the Sunset Valley Farmers Market. After being diagnosed with cancer in May 2008, Sarah battled with all her will, continuing to work and care for her family before dying at the farm."

Rowland is survived by three children, ages 14 to 24, and her husband, Gary. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in honor of Sarah's life to a college fund for her youngest son, Henry: The Sarah Rowland Memorial Scholarship Fund, Security State Bank, P.O. Box 769, Marble Falls, TX, 78654.

— Addie Broyles

Local Eats

ACL Fest releases food vendor lineup

The Austin City Limits Music Festival has released the names that you can expect to see at this year's food court. As always, the offerings are all local, with the exception of Dallas-area resident and C3 Presents friend Tim Love, who returns with his popular Love Burger, as well as some sausage and hummus from his Smokehouse.

Back again, perennial favorites Amy's Ice Creams, The Mighty Cone and P. Terry's.

Some new additions:

¦ The ridiculously named Between Your Buns Sandwich Shop, which will offer a steak frites sandwich, Moroccan meatball sandwich and more

¦ Luke's Inside Out, serving sandwiches and snacks from longtime concert caterer and former ACL Fest regular Luke Bibby, who operates the trailer outside the Gibson on South Lamar Boulevard. Offerings include steam buns with Korean spiced beef and apple kimchi and cheese fries.

¦ Second Bar + Kitchen: David Bull's upscale pub grub includes BBQ BLT (BBQ pork belly, lettuce, tomato, pickles, chili mayo), jalapeño chicken and cheese (green chile pulled chicken, Asadero cheese, caramelized onion), and avocado "banh mi" (avocado, peanuts, carrot slaw, cilantro, mint, agave-lime vin).

¦ Judge's Hill will serve up pulled puerco pibil sandwiches with jicama coleslaw and house-made pickles, vegetarian arepas with poblanos and jicama coleslaw, among other items.

For a complete list of food vendors at this year's festival, go to www.acl

festival.com/experience/food.

— Matthew Odam