Fredericksburg Insider: The Party You Weren’t Invited To Happened This Week

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The Fredericksburg Insider gets to hang out with wine makers, so he gets invited to this party.  Wine is fermented from grapes, and the best wine is from grapes grown in just the right climate so when they are perfectly ripe and ready for picking everything else comes to a halt.  “Crush” takes place August, September, and maybe October. When the grapes in a vineyard reach perfection they must be picked and crushed and put into vats within 24 hours.  So, for winery workers, crush is seven days a week and long hours.  But when it’s over, they have a party.  It’s called “Black Hands.”

It’s Texas: Guns and Alcohol

Shotguns at Black Hands

Photo: Robert C Deming

The party starts at 5:30 p.m. with clay pigeons flying in front of a line of shooters.  This is the Texas Hill Country, after all, and guns are a part of life, and smoking clay pigeons with a 12-gauge is a high art.  As the sun gets low on the horizon, shots and comments from spectators ring out.  Inside, the beer and wine are flowing.

Participants bring the best from their winery.

Wine Wine Wine

Photo: Robert C Deming

This probably goes without saying: You don’t bring cheap California wine to a Black Hands party in Texas.  Bottle after bottle is set out on a table, the labels carefully examined before a wine is selected.  Local breweries, Pedernales Brewing Company and Guadalupe Brewing Company, bring a selection of their fine brews to pour; this is a party, and what is a party without fine local craft beer?  The wineries represented are too many to name, but they include the primary sponsor William Chris Wines, just across the highway, and many others up and down the wine trail.

Fried Chicken! Yeah, baby!

Lil' Lucy's Cafe
Photo: Robert C Deming

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