Rootstock 2023

Rootstock (more) is a Texas Wine Festival held in Waco, Texas. Sponsored by the Texas Wine Club (more) and This is Texas Wine Podcast (more). This festival hosted 16 wineries, and with 15 tastes, you could try just about everything. Going with a friend (my partner in wine) meant that we got to try both a red and white. I won’t share many tasting notes, but there are a few per winery. Check out the pictures at the end. The only downside to the day was the really intense wind.

Valley Mills Vineyards (more)

I tried the Muscat Canelli, which was quite sweet with a bit of a peach flavor. My partner tried the Tempranillo, which was much more full bodied than expected. It’s definitely one we’ll have to get a bottle of next time we’re down near Waco.

William Chris Vineyards (more)

I tried the Petillant Naturel (Pet Nat) which is a lovely sparkling Rosé, but wasn’t my glass of wine. I also tried the Mary Ruth, which is a white blend (Muscat blanc, Malvasia, Sauvignon Blanc and bit of Blanc du Bois) which was drier that expected. I look forward to trying it again. My partner had the Red Blend (think it was “Artist Blend”) which was very dry.

Kuhlman Cellars (more)

The red my partner tried was a merlot/petite sirah blend that he described as being a typical European table wine. It really needed a steak to go with it. I stuck to the whites and tried the White Blend which would make a good table wine too. Definitely need to try the wines again.

Westcave Cellars (more)

The viognier was dry but good. The Horny Red (Longhorn’s y’all) was described as a “back porch red.” I’d agree – dry but sweet red perfect for watching the sun set when you don’t want a Rosé. I look forward to getting down to Johnson City to try the wine again.

Solaro Estate Winery (more)

I broke my white trend with their Montepulciano which tasted like dry red wine with dust. I probably should have stuck with the Viognier on offer, but I’d just had one at Westcave Cellars, so I took a risk. Now my partner had the Cabernet Sauvignon. That tasted like cherry cola in a smokey bar. I really should have bought a bottle. I guess we’ll have to head to the Hill Country for some.

Kalasi Cellars (more)

The team at the booth were fun to talk to, not that others at booths weren’t – but we just seemed to click with these guys. I tried the Malvasia Bianca (yes, back to white after the red fiasco). It was a really good white wine. But the Red Blend – Kanchi Reserve – that my partner had was amazing. Two bottles came home with me. But I look forward to getting down to Fredericksburg to try more of the wines.

Lost Draw Cellars (more)

I know we tasted wines at Lost Draw, but I don’t seem to have any notes – but they were right next to William Chris, but somehow I don’t have notes. However, about that time we got into conversation with other people on the bridge (did I forget to mention they put all the wineries on the bridge over the Brazos? It was amazing). I guess that just means I’ll have to head back for a tasting.

Chateau Wright (more)

I tried the Viognier, which tasted like a true Viognier. I know that sounds weird, but since most people don’t expect Texas Viognier to taste like what they know from Europe, it’s a compliment. My partner tried the Heraldic Red, which is a Tempranillo/Grenache blend that is very tannic to me, but he quite enjoyed it.

3 Texans Winery (more)

My partner either had the Tempranillo or the cabernet sauvignon – I don’t have notes on which. Probably because I was too busy laughing at his description – a marine private’s wine…. if you know what that means – please tell me. I had the sparkling white which I noted would be a good baby shower wine.

Rustic Spur Vineyards (more)

I didn’t realize the 14th of April was National Tannat Day – but my partner tried the Tannat which was “good.” (I think he was about wined out…) I tried the El Gato Dessert Wine which is made from made from Orange Muscat grapes and then fortified with Brandy for a beautiful port style wine! Very Sweet – and way too drinkable….

Red Caboose Winery (more)

I tried the Sweet Blanc du Bosque which is a fruity porch wine, but very refreshing. My partner tried the red blend of Tempranillo/Syrah – I think it’s called Range Rider – know a bottle or two went home with him as he enjoyed he fruit and tobacco taste. I’ll have to get out to the Meridian/Clifton area to visit and try the wines again.

Rancho Loma Vineyards (more)

I don’t recall seeing this vendor, but I could have missed them and they could have been included in the sparkling experience – which I wish I’d gotten pictures of – since there was a rug, arm chairs, couches and more under tents in the middle of the bridge.

Pedernales Cellars (more)

Again, I don’t recall them having a tent, bur they were served during the VIP Dinner. More on that in another post.

Brennan Vineyards (more)

We skipped Brennan Vineyards, mostly because what they had on offer, I have at home to try – so I thought it would be fairer to them to taste without having spent an hour and a half trying other wine.

Blue Ostrich Winery (more)

We skipped Blue Ostrich since we’ve tried their wines before (and honestly the lines were long – which is well deserved). You can read more on my thoughts on Blue Ostrich in the Blue Ostrich Flight, the Black Ostrich Flight, the Red Ostrich Flight and a Postscript.

Farmhouse Vineyards

I had a double of the Prohibition Rosé, and picked up three bottles for home. If you want to read more on why I love this rosé so much, check out the post here. I cannot wait for a Friday afternoon on the porch with a book and this wine.

Final Thoughts

There were also 4 food trucks (and four food tasting tickets), so you could try: Bahler Street Pizza; Le’s Kitchen; La Parrilla; and Nico’s Cheesecake. Plus a live band so you could sit, sip and enjoy food/wine with friends under the shade trees.

With the wineries on the bridge over the Brazos (not the historic one which is closed for repairs but the one most people drive over) it made it quite easy to go up one side and down the other. The ticket system was good, but I still really liked Gainesville’s punch card, but the tickets worked well too. It also wasn’t terribly crowded, which was nice. Yes you might end up in a line for a winery or bump into dogs on the bridge, but it meant you got to meet new people and it was a nice social affair.

It was a really well done festival, with water stations available, chairs in the shade of trees or tents with small tables just perfect for wine glasses. The only downside (besides the intense wind) was that there was only one port-a-potty – though I was assured it was fastidiously clean. I might recommend two next year – one for the ladies, and one for the gents.


  1. […] been introduced to Kalasi Cellars (website) at Rootstock earlier this year (read here) I had to include them in my Hill Country tour. So, my partner in wine and I booked a private […]

  2. […] discovered Kalasi at Rootstock (read more here). For once, the bottle was not finished in one night, so I have two different proteins with which […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.