Volunteers, wine enthusiasts, and Owners Ed and Phyllis Rieser gathered at the historic Tobias-Knudson Vineyard outside Cranfills Gap. In the morning dew, there was one goal before the August heat set in; pruning rows of Tempranillo grapevines. Gill Bledsoe of Pillar Bluff Vineyards in Lampasas was the lucky recipient of the grapes this year, and was extremely happy with how they tested for sugar content.
His brother, Bill, actually owns the Texas Legato Winery next door to Pillar Bluff. The two-acre vineyard began with 750 plants in 2917, with 650-675 that have made it to present day. But with unexpected weather circumstances this year, it wasn’t easy getting the grapes to this point.
After the first several rows are completed, the process tends to get faster, as some start to double up on rows. In Texas, harvest season starts in the east around early August, and continues west as the grapes have a wider window to mature.
Ed and Phyllis acquired the land in 2005. The farmhouse, which was built in 1906, still stands, with some of the original wood still present, though the house has been extended and renovated. The grape rows lie behind it, with Ed planting the vines about 100 yards from where Phyllis’ grandfather originally started a vineyard.
With the task complete, the sun up, and volunteers’ bellies empty, the group of about 20 headed toward the house for breakfast.
Volunteers enjoyed a beautiful breakfast underneath an ancient live oak, which the couple estimated to be more than 200 years old. When the land was settled, Phyllis’ grandfather bought the property in 1892. Apparently, the tree was already in full growth at the point, and continues in present day.The Knudsons are one of the first and founding families of Norwegian descent in the Bosque County area. Salve Knudson moved to the area in 1868.
Those attending enjoyed a beautiful breakfast and celebrated another year’s hard work.
The local couple says they’ll let everyone know when the wine is ready at Corner Drug Cafe. And for more on the harvest and history, listen for a special episode of the Bosque County Blast to come soon.