If you call yourself an Austin foodie, there’s really no excuse not to make a quick jaunt to the Texas Hill Country. But if the siren song of top-notch wineries, tasty restaurants, and award-winning breweries isn't alluring enough, make a date for this year's Dripping With Taste Wine and Food Festival.
The 11th annual event is returning to the Dripping Springs Ranch Park on September 8 for a day celebrating the best in Texas Hill Country food and drink. The party combines tastings from two dozen area wineries and bites from top local chefs with live music, cooking and mixology demos, and grape stomping among the fun diversions.
“Dripping With Taste is the place to discover a new Texas winery, or to try a new concoction from one of our distilleries or a craft beer from a local brewery,” said Pam Owens, president and CEO of the Dripping Springs Visitor Bureau, in a release. “Better yet, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends enjoying some toe-tapping music and having some great food, too!”
The beverage lineup this year features favorites like Lewis Wines, Duchman Family Winery, Treaty Oak Distilling, and Jester King and a fresh slate of newcomers. Freshman wineries include Bingham Family Vineyards, Henly Vineyards, and Whitefox Vineyards. They join boozy newbies like Texas Sake Company, Desert Door Sotol, and Nine Banded Whiskey.
There are plenty of new restaurants on the line-up, too. Wimberley Shave Ice will be dishing out frozen treats, while Winner Winner, Enrico’s Blaze Pizza, Rancho Queso Cheese Shop, The League Kitchen & Tavern, The Salty German, and more will take care of savory cravings.
Yet another first-timer at the festival, chef Andrew Stiver of Vista Brewing restaurant will lead a cooking demo with free tastings for the first 75 attendees. Later in the day, Whiskey Chick’s Deb Niemeyer will lead a class on how to develop a whiskey palate.
As if all that wasn’t enough, there will be a cigar lounge, a visit from the traveling Beer Museum of Texas, and door prizes will be given away all day. And with pre-sale tickets running only $40, it is one of the biggest festival bargains in the state.
Proceeds from Dripping with Taste go to promoting tourism through the visitors bureau and the Dripping Springs High School's hospitality program. We hope at least a few of the graduates will wind on the event’s lineup in the coming years.