June 21, 2021

La Cruz de Comal Organic Winery Discovery

Cruising through the Texas Hill Country on Father’s Day with my in-laws, we discovered a gem of a winery! Organic winemaking is not all that common yet in Texas but at La Cruz De Comal Winery in New Braunfels, Texas, proprietor Lewis Dickson is pioneering the making of wine, the old-world Italian way. Lewis’ organically produced wines and tasting room are nothing short of fantastic. 

His unique and upscaled rustic tasting room was built from materials on his estate. He was inspired by French wineries, and the atmosphere inside the air-conditioned building is nothing less than transportive. According to Lewis, who greets you at the door with a plethora of information on winemaking, he had been fascinated with making wine since a very young age and was most enamored with the traditional ways of making wine in small batches with no additives, and aging the wine in oak barrels. His wines are made in small batches without sulfites or extra processing which is something Lewis is very proud of. The organic wine he is making because of his wine principles is showing some delicious results for us wine drinkers. The red wines we tasted were clean, crisp, peppery, and one blended batch was exceptional. One of his wines shone the brightest and is the reason why I am featuring it on my blog.

The 2017 Naranja Fabulosa wine, is more akin to an Italian Amaro. Lewis made this “wine” with 100% Estate Blanc Du Bois grapes, fortified with high-end Brandy and infused 6 months with estate-grown herbs and citrus peels. The wine served chilled, has a large citrus and earthy aroma. Upon tasting, you are tantalized by the bouquet of fresh herbs, ginger, lavender, and orange leaving you with a gentle long finish. Simply divine.

Now let's discuss the difference between an Italian amaro and vermouth. Yes, an amaro is similar to vermouth. Both are commonly enjoyed before dinner (aperitif) and both are infused with lots of herbs. But, according to Daniel de la Nuez and Aaron Fox of Brooklyn-based Forthave Spirits, “Vermouth must have a wine component while that is optional for an amaro. If the character and balance are primarily wine, it’s vermouth, if the wine is not the most dominant ingredient it can be an amaro.” Therefore, vermouth can be an amaro, but an amaro cannot be vermouth.

The Naranja Fabulosa wine could be an excellent vermouth replacement for cocktails, but I recommend it mostly as a dinner aperitif, served chilled. The complexity of this wine (secret vermouth) will not disappoint! 




All in that order! 




  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Italian wine is famous all over the world. There are over a million vineyards from north to south and Italy's varied terrain produces a great variety of wine from the sweet sparkling Moscato from Piemonte to the spicy purple Slice Salentino from the bottom of Puglia in the south. buy a vineyard in california