I’ve enjoyed watching this vineyard grow since the early 2000 on trips to my favorite state park – Lost Maples SNA. I had noticed the past several times to the park that their gates were open and a sign propped up on the fence said “tasting room open”. However, with my eye on getting to the park I had been passing it on by and of course it was closed by the time I headed back home.
Yesterday however was crying out for a Hill Country cruise so I took my mother along for one of our favorite drives across FM 337 to look at the canyons to see effects of our recent rains. Along the way my mom asked me about the vineyard and winery, to which I exclaimed yes it is open and we should most definitely stop and boy am I glad we did.
Lost Maples Winery and Polvadeau Vineyards, nestled in a canyon along the crystal clear waters of the Sabinal River in Bandera County, is blessed with abundant natural resources and natural beauty. We believe that if you honor respect the land, it will reward you with its bounty. If you honor and respect the grapes, they will render wine that is to be celebrated as much as it is to be celebrated with. Originally brought to Texas by Spanish missionaries, the hearty and robust Black Spanish/Lenoir grapes were originally used to make communion wine. Today, they form the basis of our deliciously distinctive wines.
“Lost Maples Winery | Vanderpool, TX.” Lost Maples Winery | Vanderpool, TX. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2016.
For a mere $10 a piece, Tom Slaughter and his wife Glenda will give you a sampling of their current selection and walk you through an explanation of each of their creations. Afterwards, you are welcomed to purchase a glass of your favorite (or a bottle) and introduced to their resident chef Chris Chisum to partake in some truly mouth watering appetizers.
When next you are driving up North of Utopia or staying at the park, I highly recommend a pause on your itinerary and pull in to enjoy this wonderful place. I know it will become one of our favorite stops from now on.
My original plans for tnis final weekend of Spring Break was to head up to Enchanted Rock SNA. I already had reservations made and actually packed and ready to go. When my daughter and I woke up this morning however, the radar looked horrible and the forecast showed it only to get worse. Determined to not have the weekend a complete waste, we decided to make it into a state park road trip and were able to score a double header – hitting both Garner SP and Lost Maples SNA in the same day.
Garner State Park
Garner is a quick thirty minute trip from Uvalde and is by far the most popular park in the area. Today was no exception with respect to the popularity factor. It was packed with people. This didn’t initially discourage us, so and we got the cameras out to hike down the Frio River and hoped to get some cool shots of wildlife and the many majestic Cypress trees. After a short hike, we just couldn’t seem to get away from running into more people so we decided to pack it in and head on towards Utopia (Texas that is, albeit not far from our true Utopia which is Lost Maples SNA).
Lost Maples SNA
Upon checking in and scoring the second of our double header, we were greeted by the familiarity of our favorite park. The rain had taken a break and the weather was perfect for hiking. We met a kind young man in the parking lot who noticed our cameras and told us that the birds were really active in the designated bird viewing station, so with gear in hand we headed over to the blind to take a look. It was a bird-a-pooluza! We lit up the little shelter with shutter clicks going off like it was the night at the Oscars!
After leaving the bird blind we proceeded down the East Trail to ‘The Ponds – Campsite C’. Between the two of us, we have literally walked this trail a hundred times, but with our new toys the trail was fresh and new as we sought out photo opportunities. We made it all the way to the ponds and even went a bit further past them, taking side trips where we felt led by our lenses. It wasn’t until we were back at the trailhead did it start raining again. What timing!
Lost Maples Cafe – Utopia, TX
It is an unspoken given that when we are in Utopia, usually after coming back from the park, we have to pull in at Lost Maples Cafe. In our own version of Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives, this place is at the top of Texas Hill Country dinning! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend pulling in (and don’t forget to save room for dessert, their homemade pies are out of this world)!