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Editor:The Luz de Estrella Winery would like to thank Marfa and the surrounding Big Bend area for the overwhelmingly positive response and support we have received over the past several weeks.As many of you already know, our grand opening celebration held the evening of Saturday July 8th was a huge success. The total attendance was impressive, as well as the tremendous amount of compliments we received from people who just couldn’t get enough of our fine Texas wines. Also, we greatly appreciate the patience everyone has shown with our new endeavor. Much time and effort went in to making our opening successful and we look forward to developing a great relationship with the community.We are very proud of the initial six wines we have to offer and are currently open seven days a week for tastings, tours and sales. In addition, we are in the process of planning an eclectic mix of outdoor events sure to be of interest to all those who are looking for a place to both relax and socialize.Please join us for our next event to be held August 12th and entitled Fiesta Night at the Winery. Mariachi Aguila will perform live on our flagstone patio as guests are treated to a mouthwatering fajita dinner. A limited amount of tickets are available. For more information call the winery at (432) 729-3434.Again, thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you at the winery.Sincerely,Ashley WoodMarketing DirectorLuz de Estrella WineryMarfa
Star on the horizon . MARFA -- Although it's just a fledgling company, Luz de Estrella Winery in Marfa is starting to make its mark. In June, its grand opening featured country rocker Joe Ely and appearances by musicians Guy Clark of Monahans and Butch Hancock. Some 400 people attended. "We're going to start doing a festival every month," said Linda Armstrong, who co-owns the winery with her husband, Houston attorney John Armstrong. The Armstrongs launched the winery in 2003. At first it was just a trailer, but three years later, it offers two cabernets, a blush and a reisling. Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and chenin blanc and other blends currently are offered. Coming attractions are a white and red zinfandel, gewurtztraminer, port and estate vintages of viognier, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc and shiraz. "Before we even opened our doors, we had people knocking on the door of our trailer," she said. The winery has six employees and, along with its new wines, plans to put in guest cottages and a bed and breakfast. "People love to stay at wineries," Linda Armstrong said. The couple moved to far West Texas to escape the harried Houston lifestyle. "The beauty of West Texas," is what Linda Armstrong said drew them here. "I just fell in love with the area." Plus they shared a passion for wine and a desire to open a winery. They studied the art at Grayson County College in Denison and found the property near Marfa. "My great-granddaddy in Brownwood used to have grapevines," Linda Armstrong said. He showed her how to prune grapes and make homemade wine. As a result of a recent trip, Linda Armstrong said she recently sold the winery's reisling and blush to the Fredricksburg Brewery. The Wine Rack in Midland, Edelweiss Brewery & Restaurant, Twin Peaks Liquor and Baeza's grocery stores in Alpine and Fort Davis also carry the brew. They also would like Houston-based Specs Liquor to carry their wines. "We want to make it available everywhere -- especially in big cities," she said. The winery includes a small tasting room and offers T-shirts and ball caps for sale. She uses food pairings with the wine tastings from Austin Street Cafe in Marfa, such as tapenade, an olive and caper-based spread, lemon bars wrapped in mint leaf and ricotta cheese spread truffles. Former Blue Mountain Winery owner Patrick Johnson is now the winemaker for Luz de Estrella. The Armstrongs purchased his inventory. The wines are hand-bottled. "This is great. I've got lots of help. Linda and John are great owners. We're just getting started on this deal," Johnson said. Ashley Wood is the winery marketing director. Her husband Cody put in the fences and trellises for the vineyard. "It's like a dream job. I feel really fortunate. It's hard, but it's rewarding," Wood said. "The end result is so rewarding it makes everything OK," Linda Armstrong added. Winery hours: Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m. The winery is located at 100 Starlight Way in Marfa. Phone number is (432) 729-3434. On the Web: luzdeestrella.com
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