As the sun warmed a crisp spring Saturday morning in mid-March, 10 members of the Meritage Wine Group and two guests spread a picnic lunch on outdoor tables at Bluff Dale Winery a few miles southwest of Granbury. It was the first group activity in a jam-packed day. After enjoying lunch, several in the group went indoors for a wine tasting. We then ventured up the road to Pemberton Winery for another tasting as Mr. Pemberton described the challenges in growing various grape varietals in Texas. For example his land previously had grown cotton. After planting grape root-stock and grafting Cabernet Sauvignon, he discovered the Cab did not tolerate the rotting cotton plant roots still in the soil. Pemberton had to plow the vines under. Pesticides sprayed on nearby farmland has also posed an ongoing problem for Pemberton’s grape vines.
After a short drive into Granbury, everyone gathered at the Big City Music Revue for a live musical matinee performance, Lost in the 50s. It was a fantastic show that ended with a stirring patriotic sing-along to God Bless America. From there the group headed to the Inn on Lake Granbury and gathered in their Lake House with its two-story wall of glass that gives a breathtaking view of the lake. As we sipped on wine and munched appetizers, we hooted and hollered as the three couples married the longest played the “Not So Newlywed” game. Richard and Venera Monahan had been married the longest—50 years that day—and they allowed us to celebrate this special occasion with them.
That evening at Ketzler’s German Restaurant on the square, the young lady playing the accordion sang That’s Amore, and the anniversary couple danced. Back at the Lake House, Richard and Venera cut an anniversary cake and we raised a toast. As the three couples married the shortest time participated in another round of the “Not So Newlywed” game, our faces hurt from laughing so much.
The Sunday breakfast buffet served by the inn was to die for: fresh cut fruit, a Texas egg scramble, cheesy grits, crispy bacon and the best bread pudding with bourbon sauce you’ve ever put in your mouth. With very full bellies and great memories we had to say farewell to the beautiful inn, load up our stuff and return to the Ranch.