San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 7th, 2011
League sets annual wine-tasting


The San Marcos Area League of Women Voters will hold its 24th annual Texas Wine Tasting fundraiser 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 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, chaired by Dorothy Evans, chose wines from the Texas Hill country’s Fall Creek Vineyards for this year’s event. At least six wines will be featured.

An impressive silent auction will be featured again this year. The silent auction has become a major hit with partygoers.

Proceeds from the wine tasting help fund the publication of the League’s local voters’ guide, as well as off-set expenses incurred by hosting candidates’ debates and meet-and-greet receptions. Wine tasting tickets are available from any League member for $20. Tickets will also be available at the door on Jan. 20.

Fall Creek Vineyards was established in 1975 by Texas businessman/rancher, Ed Auler and his wife, Susan. The vineyards are located 80 miles northwest of Austin in the Texas Hill Country where the sandy loam soil, warm days and cool breezes off Lake Buchanan provide an excellent microclimate for growing premium wine grapes.

The inspiration for the winery came in 1973 when the Aulers, on a trip to France, noted remarkable similarities in the soil, terrain and microclimate of parts of the French wine country and their own ranch. “I became convinced that certain parts of the Texas Hill Country would be ideally suited to grape growing,” Ed Auler said.

Today, Fall Creek is a living testament to Ed Auler’s early vision. After some brief experiments with French-American hybrid grape varieties, the winery has planted Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Semillon, Johannisberg Riesling, Shiraz, Tempranillo, Viognier and Malbec.

Fall Creek Vineyards is named after spring-fed Fall Creek, which flows through the Auler family’s ranch near the winery. Fall Creek empties into the Colorado River at the Fall Creek waterfalls. The 90-foot waterfalls have been a landmark since the time of early man and continue to be one today.

In the last decade, a focus on red wines has led to the production of Meritus, a super-premium red wine. The late Andre Tchelistcheff, California’s wine authority who helped the Aulers analyze the potential of their Cabernet Sauvignon, gave high marks for their first efforts in Cabernet. “I think we can expect to see some fine reds from Fall Creek in the years to come,” said Tchelistcheff. Today, Meritus has been hailed ‘the best wine made in the state of Texas’ by several noted wine critics.

Catering the League’s 24th annual wine tasting will once again 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, including the local League’s last two wine tastings.

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 centerpiece of the league’s voter education program is the popular non-partisan voters guide published prior to each local election. The San Marcos area relies on the League to provide voters with non-partisan information on elections and issues.
For information on the wine tasting, call (512) 669-1190. For league membership information, call (512) 353-2872.

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