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Refugio festival celebrates wine, Texas history (w/video)

By Elena Watts
March 15, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2014 at 10:15 p.m.

Mike Boase with Chisholm Trail Winery in Fredericksburg talks wine with Kim Grassedonio, of Corpus Christi, at the Texas Independence Wine Classic in Refugio.

REFUGIO - Teri Harris, of Corpus Christi, attended the Texas Independence Wine Classic as Sally Skull, a gunslinger from 1800s Texas who made a habit of killing her husbands.

"I shot him this morning," Harris said in character. "He was my third husband."

"We call that a Texas divorce," said Anthony Silvis, of Mathis, who impersonated John Doyle, Sally's third husband.

The fourth annual wine festival "promotes Refugio history and the boutique wine industry in Texas," said Bart Wales, co-chairman of the two-day event.

Entertainment includes historical re-enactments by South Texas Historians and music by Native Sons from the Austin area.

Five wineries participated in the festival: Texas Southwind Vineyard and Winery in Refugio, Lavaca Bluffs Vineyard and Winery in Lolita, Darcy's Vineyard in Hallettsville, A Wine of Mine Winery in Aransas Pass and Chisholm Trail Winery in Fredericksburg.

"This is a Western area, and we are very much a Western winery located in the country outside Fredericksburg," said Mike Boase, a friend of the Chisholm Trail Winery's owner.

Belle Starr is Boase's favorite Chisholm Trail summertime wine because the blanc du bois is "smooth, crisp and refreshing."

Light House Liquor in Rockport and Ranch House Spirits and Gifts in Cuero carry Chisholm Trail wines, he said.

Texas Southwind Winery has been in business five years outside Refugio.

"We want to educate people about South Texas wines," said owner Regina Staggs. "People don't realize there are wineries this far south."

The winery's best-selling wine is Blackberry Fruit.

March through November, the Refugio winery features live music every first Saturday.

"You can try our wines in the tasting room, bring lawn chairs and listen to the band," Staggs said.

At Lavaca Bluffs Winery, the tasting room is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Lolita winery's most popular wine is Peach Chardonnay, said owner Doug Reed.

"We started with three wineries and have five this year," Wales said. "We hope to add wineries from Houston and Three Rivers next year."



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