San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 14th, 2009
League plans annual wine tasting


The San Marcos Area League of Women Voters will hold its 21st annual Texas Wine Tasting fundraiser on Thursday,  Jan.29, 2009, from 6 to 8  p.m. at the Quail Creek Country Club, 2701 Texas 21 in San Marcos.

An important fundraiser for the League’s voter education services, the annual wine tasting traditionally features wines from a Texas winery. The League’s wine tasting committee, co-chaired by Douglas Holcomb and Kaylene Ray, chose wines from the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan for this year’s event.

Holcomb said this year’s event will include an impressive silent auction. Featured silent auction items will include a private tour and wine tasting for up to 20 people at the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan and a dinner for four at the San Marcos home of Texas State University Provost Perry Moore, as well as special gift baskets.

Proceeds from wine tasting fund publication of the League’s local Voters Guide, as well as expenses incurred by the Candidates Debate and a Candidates Meet-and-Greet Reception. Wine tasting tickets are available from any League member for a donation of $20. Tickets will also be available at the door on Jan. 29.

Messina Hof Winery & Resort, a Texas vineyard established in 1977 by Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo, is rooted in the union of two family heritages. Winemaker Paul Bonarrigo’s family dates back seven generations to Messina, Sicily. Merrill’s family is from Hof, Germany. The 42-acre vineyard sits on a 100-acre estate in Bryan, Texas.

In addition to the winery, the estate is home to The Villa bed and breakfast, The Vintage House restaurant and the Winemaster’s Room wine bar.

In 1983, Messina Hof’s first year of developing commercial wines, the Bonarrigos produced 1,300 gallons of wine. The first wine made at Messina Hof was Papa Paulo Port, which remains one of its most popular wines. Today, Messina Hof produces more than 50 award-winning wines and will produce 265,000 gallons of wine and more than 18 varietals. From white to red, dry to sweet, light to full-bodied, Messina Hof is sure to have something for every palate.

Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the U.S. Messina Hof controls 25 percent of all grapevines planted in Texas, and is the largest grape grower in the High Plains region where grapes are produced on 500 acres. Messina Hof is the second largest tourist attraction in Brazos County, attracting more than 250,000 visitors each year.

Catering the League’s 21st annual wine tasting will be All Occasions Catering of Seguin, a full service catering company that has been in operation for more than 25 years. The company has catered events throughout the South Texas area.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan, political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters does not support any particular candidate or party.

Open to men and women, the League’s guiding principles focus on belief in the representative form of government and individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States. Another guiding principal is that “democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens and requires that governmental bodies protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.”

The San Marcos area relies on the League to provide voters with non-partisan information on elections and issues. The centerpiece of the League’s voter education program is the popular non-partisan Voters Guide.

For more information on the wine tasting, call (512) 353-3595.For League membership information, call (512) 353-2872.


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