Sabor a Pasion celebrates first grape harvest with week of events | Arts & Culture
In the fall of 2010, Simon Webster, owner of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro began piecing together an unimaginable dream that would take three long years to become reality.
He ordered 750 vines from Fairhaven Vineyard in Hawkins – half Blanc du Bois and half Lomanto – plotted his acre field, put in 168 posts and dug 750 holes for planting. As he placed each vine in the ground he wondered if it would survive, imagined the beautiful views and fruit it would bear, and prayed this crazy dream really would someday come true.
“I look out into the vineyard now and can’t believe it’s all real,” Webster said. “To think I planted every one of those vines and worked for hours and days tending to each one. From the time they were little sticks until now. It’s unbelievable and so cool to see them covered with grapes and ready for harvest.”
Over the past three years, the problems that arose with the vines were as unimaginable as the dream. There were the 750 plastic tubes he made to keep the deer from eating the plants, the endless yards of gardening tape used to guide the growth of the vines, the countless number of leaves, stems and grape bunches that were trimmed to nurture proper growth, and miles of wire used to support the heavy branches.
The biggest loss came after the summer of 2011 when approximately 100 vines were lost to drought. Webster feared more had died and he had to wait all until the spring of 2012 to discover just how many survived.
It was also in the summer of 2011 that the entire property was threatened by wildfires that burned thousands of acres in Anderson County. For several days the area around Anderson County Road 404 had fires spreading down the road. Where Sabor a Pasion is located on the corner of 404 and 406 the fire came as close as the driveway. The Montalba and Elmwood volunteer fire departments were able to keep the fires at bay.
“There were fires up and down the 404 and they were jumping from one side of the rode to the other,” Webster said. “It was really scary knowing that, depending on which way the wind was blowing, I could lose everything. Without those guys we wouldn’t be here today.”
In the months following the fire, Webster held a benefit dinner and dance to express his gratitude. In the back of his mind he had already decided that if he ever celebrated a grape harvest he would use that event as another way to express his gratitude to the two volunteer fire departments.
That day has finally come and July 20 through 27 Sabor a Pasion will be celebrating Harvest Week with a variety of scheduled activities.
“This will be a week long celebration that finishes with the Grape Stomp on Saturday the 27th,” Webster said. “Great food, lots of good music, and a chance to stomp some grapes and experience the atmosphere of the vineyard.”
Grape Stomp tickets can be purchased for $20 by calling Sabor a Pasion at 903-729-9500 or by visiting the Texas Art Depot at 301 W. Oak St in downtown Palestine or Sweet Gourmet in the French Quarter shopping center in Tyler. On the day of the event tickets will be $25 at the gate.
For more information about Sabor a Pasion or the Harvest Week events go to www.saborapasion.com or call 903-729-9500.