Because nobody remembers the squishing, squashing, squooshing board game Grape Escape (avail from 1992-1992), make your own to Fredericksburg's Messina Hof Hill Country: a soon-to-open, 33-acre vineyard-resort, from a seventh-gen Sicilian winemaker and his German wife, who've been paving the way for the TX wine industry since 1977.
The compound is comprised of a spired, castle-like main building complemented by a canopied outdoor Wine Garten and four cozy BnB-style cottages, two themed after the owners' native cities (Messina, Sicily and Hof, Germany), a third after a romantic Paris retreat, and the last honoring the Texan presidents with regalia that could grow more elaborate in 2012, provided Tea Party-ers aren't inoculated to our governor's charms.
The tasting room will offer upwards of 50 vinos, from private reserves like Cabernet Franc (blackberry/vanilla blend of Merlot and Sauvignon), a Lone Star take on Riesling that took Gold at Texas' Best Wine Comp, and a Paulo collector's series Bordeaux aged in both French and American barrels -- crowned the state's Best Wine at the Houston Livestock Show, where the motto should be "Get Porked and Corked".
Messina Hof's accepting reservations right now, and'll open late October when they host the opening event of the Fredericksburg Food & Wine Festival -- miss that, and you'll be a board game you've actually heard of (Sorry!).