Spring Gathering of Texas TCC Members at Austin Area Winery

Use the “Prev” and “Next” links to click forward or backward through the images in this gallery.[portfolio_slideshow]What a delightful day it was in the Texas Hill Country for our TCC Texas Chapter meeting. The vista from the pavilion at Driftwood Winery was lovely, and it was fantastic to have 37 in attendance from the Austin metro, Corpus Christi, Dallas metro, Houston metro, Laredo, and San Antonio. Based on the record turnout, we will keep the Austin area in the location rotation for our future meetings (alternating between Austin, Dallas, and twice in Houston each year). We also had three of our newest members join us – Margie, Estela and Mark. Special thanks to our featured speaker, Gary Elliott, for sharing his expertise on grape growing and wine making … it is a rewarding industry that is also full of risk.

Gary is Past President and a current Board member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (www.txwines.org). He shared the highs and lows of “grape farming,” though under his leadership Driftwood has been fortunate to have had multiple years of winning harvests. We also took a tour of the grape crushing and fermentation process, and learned about bottling and distribution. It certainly made us appreciate the wine tastings that he led us through toward the end of the meeting. Nostrovia!

It was amazing to celebrate Magali Hinojosa attaining Platinum Status of 250 countries! She hit this new country count when she was recently visiting five of the “Stans,” and was beaming during the whole meeting. Congrats!

New TCC Texas Chapter members were welcomed: Mrs. Margie Foster of Dallas, Mr. Theodore LaPesh of Houston, Ms. Estela Lozano of Laredo, Mr. Walter H. Rhodes, Jr. of Houston, and Mrs. Margaret F. Rhodes of Houston. We also have a new provisional member: Mr. Mark Russell of Houston. Our Texas Chapter now has 95 members and 12 provisional members.

Our around-the-room sharing of the most memorable trips involving wine included: David‘s love of rice wine (sake); Gary‘s expedited vineyard tour during a fueling restop, Laura and Jordan experiencing poor European wines; Sylvia and Mark and Geoff and Terry and Marian ballooning over vineyards; Estela and Magali enjoying wines from Argentina; Bill‘s wine and castle memories; John‘s all-night toasting in Siberia (Nostrovia!); Jim and Sue had success with Champagne; Dolly‘s “warning” on blindness (that has not materialized!); Roy‘s day-long adventure with tinto verano in Spain; Kay‘s Antarctica shipmate’s “insights”; Jeff‘s exploration of Australian vineyards; and Cynthia‘s lessons in the vineyards of France.

Austin in the spring is certainly the place to be, but our successful event was really due to the hospitality of member Kathy Elliott and her fantastic Hospitality Director, Dana Morrison. Many thanks for all the preparation and execution yesterday – it made everything go well.

Our next meeting will be held in Houston on July 14, so mark your calendars for a “Dive the World” presentation by Karin Sinninger. I’ll send out logistics and rsvp requests one month in advance of the meeting. The last meeting for this year will be on October 13 in Dallas, at which Bill Jones will give a talk on “90 Degrees North.”

The meeting dates for 2012 and 2013 follow:

  • July 14, 2012 –Houston (featured speaker: Karin Sinninger)
  • Oct. 13, 2012 – Dallas (featured speaker: Bill Jones)
  • Jan. 12, 2013 – Houston (featured speaker: Philippe Theys)
  • April 13, 2013 – Austin (speaker TBD)
  • July 13, 2013 – Houston (speaker TBD)
  • Oct. 12, 2013 – Dallas (speaker TBD)

Kim-Kay Randt, Area Coordinator

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