When Bell Springs Winery opened in July 2010, its mission was to add a fresh, new voice to winemaking in the Texas Hill Country. The 26-acre winery certainly accomplished that with wines like the Drippin' Sweet White, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese. Its varietals have proved popular enough to warrant releasing up to eight new wines every year and reaching an annual production capacity of 2,500 cases.
In the process, Bell Springs happened upon a separate mission: spreading the word about the region's great wines without pouring them directly into the local water supply. With that goal in mind, in 2015 it set up Sidecar Tasting Room on Old Fitzhugh Road, approximately 5 miles away from the vineyard itself. Here, as with the tasting room located at the vineyard proper, guests are invited to imbibe the winery's vino along with victuals such as cheese, meat, and olives.
Five Things to Know About Flat Creek Estate
Located about 20 miles east of Marble Falls, Flat Creek Estate sprawls across 80 acres in the Texas Hill Country. Despite its secluded location, the estate is constantly bustling with activity. Read on to learn more about what you can do at this hidden gem:
Guests are welcome to take self-guided strolls through the vineyards. Indeed, wine enthusiasts can explore the property’s ponds, gardens, and labyrinth of vines, but don’t forget to grab a map: it has descriptions of the soil, varietals, and historical tidbits about all the vineyard blocks.
The staff leads tours of the production facility. Tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m., and they include a seated wine tasting, a souvenir wine glass, and, of course, a walk through the 10,000-case wine production facility.
Its wines are explored in depth during tasting experiences. Experts guide visitors through the Estate’s portfolio with conversation about the vineyards, facts about the wine-making process, and tips to get the most out of your tasting.
The kitchen serves up fancy bistro meals. Flat Creek Estate’s kitchen plates wood-fired lunch specials, lavish multi-course dinners, and even casual weekend brunches.
It has a sister wine bar—Flat Creek Enoteca. Flat Creek’s urban outpost is located on Highway 281 in Marble Falls. It features a wine bar, wine and appetizer pairings, and rustic bites from a wood-fired oven.
At Hidden Falls Golf Club, golfers grapple with an 18-hole course that sprawls to 6,732 yards from the farthest of four sets of tees. Fairways on the front nine slalom through groves of towering pecan and oak trees before unloading players onto expansive greens surrounded by both natural and man-made mounding. Five out of the course’s six water holes lie on the back nine. The par 4 14th hole, though short at 378 yards, calls for back-to-back shots over the same lake—the first of which must land on a narrow peninsula fairway. After holing out on No. 18, players can retire to the 19th Hole, the clubhouse restaurant, where they can dine on salads, burgers, and tacos while toasting a round enjoyed and eulogizing golf balls lost. Memberships for residents and non-residents (those living and working within a 50-mile radius of the club) give individuals, couples, and families access to the course and restaurant, as well as four tennis courts and an outdoor pool.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 6,732 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 71.2 from the back tees
Course slope of 118 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
Harry Shaw didn't found a combat-focused gym because he likes to beat people up—though he is a 2nd Dan Black Belt. Rather, he hoped to run a venue where his community could learn to feel both healthy and safe. He and his staff of certified instructors lead self-defense and exercise programs in a judgment-free zone, training students ranging from 7-year-old kids to law-enforcement personnel.
Their krav-maga classes teach the reality-based strikes and escapes of the Israeli Defense Forces' official combat system. In sessions for children and adults, coaches demonstrate how to swiftly and instinctively guard against attacks from offenders both with and without weapons. Combat Fitness courses draw from UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten's MMA system, which mixes fighting drills with cardio workouts more effectively than biking through a boxing match.
In her hands-on cooking classes, Chef Myrna Kallergis imbues students with some of the culinary expertise that has landed her gigs at the Austin Wine & Music Festival and working with Food Network's Ted Allen. At weekly customized sessions, she and occasional guests chefs–such as 2007 James Beard Award nominee Monica Pope–teach pupils how to make burgers, gourmet pizzas, and tarts from scratch. She also instructs youngsters on cooking fundamentals at summer camps, where kids enjoy light, nutritious lunches in between lessons built around themes such as food from around the world. Along with teaching, Chef Myrna helps guests improve their eating habits with calorie-counted, portioned, and packaged meal plans designed around specific wellness goals. Her venue is also designed to host small private events.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Healing Horse Ranch is a horse rescue and rehabilitation, but in our lesson program we focus on natural horsemanship and learning to work with the horse as a partnership. From catching the horse, riding, and feed and care we teach it all.
What's one tip for first-time students that will make them feel like veterans?
Long pants are a must! This will keep your legs protected. Also shoes with a heel will keep you the safest and make you look like a pro!
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Healing Horse Ranch was started as a horse rescue and rehabilitation as well equine assisted therapy.