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Lost Draw Cellars

November 17, 2014

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In 2013, a Texas High Plains grape farmer, a retired oil and gas distributer, and a young civil engineer developed a partnership with a mission to open up a winery in the city limits of Fredericksburg. And this spring I had the great pleasure of partnering alongside them for their photography as they launched their company Lost Draw Cellars. Their vision was to make Lost Draw Cellars a place where locals, tourist, wine enthusiasts, and wine connoisseurs could come together to enjoy good company, an inviting atmosphere, and most importantly, a quality Texas wine. Though the backgrounds and history of each family vary in many different ways, the trio has very unique ties that brought them together to pursue a shared passion for the Texas wine industry.

Here’s there story …

Andy Timmons is revered across the state for his grape growing abilities and is considered one of the pioneers for the exponential growth of vineyards in Texas over the past decade. Andy is a multi-generation farmer from West Texas. Prior to planting grapes, his primary focus was cotton and peanuts. Like many farmers before him, Andy was constantly trying to find ways to grow new crops for the ever-evolving consumer market. Vineyards in the High Plains of Texas weren’t uncommon in the 90’s and early 2000’s. However, many economic and weather related issues inhibited the growth of the wine grape industry in our state. During this time, the common theme amongst High Plains farmers was that the risk of growing grapes outweighed the gains. Knowing all of the risks and despite many fellow farmer’s warnings, Andy decided to research the possibilities and potential upside of adding a third cash crop to his fields.

Around this time, Andrew Sides was a second year engineering student at Texas Tech University. Being Andy’s nephew, Andrew had worked at the family farm throughout high school and in to college. Growing up in a tight knit family, the two had a very special bond. Andrew is always looking for a new opportunity and Andy’s enthusiasm in exploring a new farming venture certainly sparked his interest. In 2006, Andrew helped Andy plant the first five acres of grapes on a piece of family property that is now known as Lost Draw Vineyards. Each year, Andy continued to plant different varieties and started to connect with Texas wineries across the state. Through innovative growing techniques, and learning from experienced grape growers in regions of California and Washington, Andy quickly became a household name in the Texas wine community.

In 2010, Andrew married his college sweetheart, Callie. Her father, Troy Ottmers, is a well-known staple in the Fredericksburg community. Troy is a 6th generation Fredericksburg native whose ancestors were among the settlers who founded the city in 1846. The Ottmers name is mostly known around the Hill Country because of Ottmers Oil, a family company that Troy’s grandfather purchased in 1936. Troy retired from the oil and gas business in 2009, but kept the property for its family history and the dedicated coffee group who have met in the office every morning for more than a decade. Being retired was never easy for Troy and after only a few years of being out of the working world, he was ready for a new venture. Knowing his father-in-law’s growing ambition to go back into business, Andrew offered the perfect opportunity. Troy was already a board member of the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts and had interest in the growth of the Hill Country wine industry. One meeting between Andrew, Andy and Troy and the Lost Draw Cellars brand was born.

Andy’s willingness to break the mold in vineyard development across the High Plains led to him becoming the largest grape farmer in Texas. In the spring of 2014, Lost Draw Vineyards expanded and made Texas history. Andy now owns and manages 500 acres, producing over 30 varieties. In the summer, construction began on the Lost Draw Cellars tasting room in Fredericksburg, TX. Opening this week, the tasting room resides in the heart of Fredericksburg where the Ottmers family business was originally established.Lost Draw Cellars 3

The entire Lost Draw team looks forward to welcoming you this Friday, November 21st when they open their tasting room. And they will continue to strive to produce the highest quality wine that Texas has to offer in the months and years to come. Be sure to stop by and meet Troy, Andrew, Andy and their entire team! Their tasting room is conveniently located a few blocks off of Main Street and they offer wine tastings and wine by the glass or bottle. Plus, join them for Happy Hour Wed-Fri from 3-6pm and enjoy featured wines for $5 a glass!

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Plus, if you like their website, branding and design, be sure to take a look at Jenn Sprinkle Design for more!

Jill & Brian || Austin, Texas

November 4, 2014

I had the great pleasure of going down to Austin a few weeks ago to photograph a dear friend’s wedding. Jill and I have been friends for the last decade and she called me last December after Brian proposed, to ask if I’d consider coming out of the food photography world to photograph their wedding. I was floored and honored. Of course!

Fast forward to October of this year and I have a three week old baby in tow and we’re headed down to Austin to photograph this dear friends fabulous wedding!! Every detail of this weekend, from the welcome party on Thursday, to the sparklers that sent them off in style Saturday night, was beautifully stunning. Jill and her mom’s eye for design and beauty is flawless and they made my job easy!

Jill & Brian, thank you for allowing me (and Charlotte) to be a part of your beautiful weekend. What an honor it was to meet & be with your family & friends all weekend, as well as call you a friend, all these years! Enjoy this sneak peek of your wedding images. Enjoy reliving such a magical day and weekend! You are loved sweet friends! xoxoJill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1046Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-549Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1193Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-154Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1244Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1226Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1344Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1261Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1523Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-449Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-501Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1596Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1617Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1797Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1338Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1413Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-516Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-334Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1988Jill & Brian CLAIRE MCCORMACK PHOTOGRAPHY-1125-1

Otto’s Pop-Up Dinner featuring Leslie Washburne

August 19, 2014

Otto’s German Bistro, as you already know, if you’ve followed the blog for a while, is such a fabulous restaurant in the Texas Hill Country that I love working with and promoting! They do such cool things. A few weeks ago, they had me come down and photograph one of their Pop-Up dinners they throw a few times a year. Of course they throw Pop-Up dinners. Their fabulous dinners feature amazing pairings of great foods and wine, in a multi course dinner setting, at a beautiful location, with a wonderful group of people.They are fabulous and I already made them promise me I can sit in on one …  You should too!!

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This time, they asked local chef Leslie Washburne to be involved and cook the meal!! Leslie created a truly unique Midsummer vegetarian feast from locally sourced produce paired with Texas wine selections curated by Otto’s Sommelier Adam Ehmer. You may already know Leslie as the Owner of Hoffman Haus and as the healthy cooking guru at The Peach Basket. Aside from being a quintessential hostess, world traveler, and tastemaker, Leslie is also a herself a vegetarian and she’s on a mission to debunk the myth of vegan/vegetarian cuisine being just “bunny food”.

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To find out more information about Otto’s or to make a reservation please contact Evelyn Washburne at 830.998.0190 or by email at evelyn@ottosfbg.com. And in the meantime, enjoy these images!!

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To see other Events & Happenings at Otto’s… check out their site here! Enjoy!

Half Step Bar :: Austin

August 15, 2014

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I had a great time in Austin last week photographing for Chris Bostick’s Half Step Bar, a very cool establishment that landed on Rainey Street earlier this year. Bostick and his team, are behind Los Angeles’ venerated craft cocktail haven, the Varnish. Their hope back in Austin is to emphasize that craft cocktails don’t have to be difficult or pretentious.

After working for nearly three years on the concept of Half Step Bar, they are here to deliver a comfortable, inviting place where craft cocktails are accessible. When you walk inside, you’ll find the interiors dimly lit and cozy, with a mixture of new and vintage fixtures, old re-salvaged wood, and plenty of seating. Then on the outside, you’ll find an exterior bar with a range of tables and stools, with a more casual, relaxed vibe. Behind both the indoor & outdoor counters, you’ll find sleek stainless steel bars with easily visible menus and fresh ingredients- ranging from a small variety of fruits and beakers of house made syrups. Plus, they have an entire “ice house” for the production of their homemade ice for all their cocktails.

That’s just to name a few of their key focuses. You’ll have to check it out yourself if you’re in Austin. Stop by and order a Florodora from Chris and his team and tell them we say hello! Enjoy this sneak peek!

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Otto’s | Fredericksburg

August 11, 2014

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Hi Ya’ll! Happy Monday! What better than a little sneak peek of what’s going on at Otto’s- one of my hometown, favorite restaurants!! The Adam’s, John, and Evelyn and their team are doing great since I last blogged on them! {see that here!} What a fabulous spot nestled in the Texas Hill Country! If you’re ever in the area (what more could you want besides live music & food, wineries, scenic drives & hikes, bed & breakfasts and so much more!) you will have to stop by this great spot. Hidden just off main street, with a relaxed vibe, Otto’s is laced with amazing food & drinks, amidst it’s great service, atmosphere and environment. Do yourself a favor, stop in for a bite or a drink and say hello to this great team! And in the meantime, enjoy this sneak peek!

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Vaudeville {Fredericksburg} Monday Night Supper Club

August 8, 2014

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I loved working with Vaudeville, a fabulous Fredericksburg establishment! Vaudeville is a multi-faceted venture which encourages a lifestyle that respects traditions while promoting a current perspective. Situated in the heart of Fredericksburg, Texas this freshly renovated three–story landmark encompasses all you might be looking for under one roof. By sharing their passions, Chef Jordan Muraglia and Artist Richard Boprae aim to become an amenity to the Hill Country and a convenient source of exclusive goods and services in the area.

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“Inspired by a progressive world, we are unafraid to be a source of new ideas and fresh perspectives, offering an authentic urban approach to a rustic lifestyle. We proudly offer a unique combination of sophisticated design, innovative aesthetic, and brilliantly conceived craft, supported by a sincere commitment to our clients.

As the self-proclaimed modern gypsies that we all are here at Vaudeville, it is our mission to bring you the best of what we have encountered throughout our journeys. We truly care about building quality relationships with our suppliers, designers, and customers, providing the ideal level of service that benefits us all.”

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As we developed the concept for Vaudeville, it was of utmost importance to create a recognizable brand, a brand that generates a sense of excitement and exclusivity for our clients. It was also our mission to become a conveyed destination that draws national and international interest to the area.

Before establishing ourselves here, we had been greatly inspired by previous Hill Country pioneers, whose vision has defined a certain standard for the area. We hope that our heterogeneous endeavor will contribute to their vision and be beneficial to the community. We wish everyone who has invested in this community tremendous success and we encourage other entrepreneurs to come and share their passions with us here in Fredericksburg.

We are looking forward  to seeing “Y’all” very soon at Vaudeville.”

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230 East Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

830-992-3234

Open Wednesday – Monday : 10am – 6pm (5pm on Sunday). Monday Dinner by Reservation.

http://www.vaudeville-living.com

The Scout Guide : Austin

August 6, 2014

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Loved seeing this photograph from Ranch 616 that I took last spring on The Scout Guide Austin blog this week! If you want a great review of the 10 Best Specialty Margarita’s in Austin– be sure to check out the issue! Thanks to Austin Editor, Kelsey for always putting together a fun read with great resources in your city!

The Stoneleigh Hotel : Dallas

July 15, 2014

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The Stoneleigh Hotel stands today as one of Dallas’s most historic hotels. Located in Uptown, it was originally built in 1923 and has remained one of the cities’ most sought after locations for Hollywood icons. It’s most famous guest ranging from Elvis Presley, to Judy Garland, to Katherine Hepburn.

With a recently updated lobby, bar, spa and restaurant- plus a pool on the way, the Stoneleigh is housed with eclectic & modern furniture, a chic courtyard for the Uptown guests, and an experience to match it’s beauty.

I had the opportunity to photograph The Stoneleigh for FIJI Water’s Dallas City Guide last month, and they kindly asked me to come back last week to photograph their restaurant’s fabulous food. Enjoy a sneak peek of some of their top dishes here from Graze Restaurant & Bar and be sure to stop in and grab a drink or a bite next time you’re in the area!

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Grub Burger Bar :: Cocktail Sneak Peeks

July 11, 2014

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Happy Friday, friends! These drinks seemed appropriate for a kickoff to the weekend!

I had the pleasure of working with the great team at Grub Burger Bar in Dallas to photograph their line of summer cocktails a few weeks ago. What fun we had!! If you haven’t stopped by to see their new restaurant, or better yet, try one of their delicious burgers, hand-cut fries, homemade shake … or delicious cocktails, be sure to do yourself a favor! With locations in Dallas, College Station, Houston and Atlanta and new locations opening soon in Midland, The Woodlands, Lafayette, and Philadelphia- you’ll be sure to enjoy them wherever you travel! Enjoy this sneak peek and enjoy the weekend with one of these cocktails!

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FIJI Water : Dallas City Guide

July 9, 2014

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I’m humbled to say the least as I sit here and try to write this blog post today. I’m absolutely blown away at the clients that I get to work with … 

Last month, FIJI Water approached me and asked if I’d consider photographing their Dallas City Guide. {To say I was shocked and thrilled is only the beginning.} Without hesitate I jumped on the opportunity to work with such an incredible global brand and photograph some of Dallas’s most iconic hotels, restaurants, bars, people and landmarks.

I prepped with their design & creative teams in L.A. before hitting the ground for five straight days in Dallas, working around the clock, to photograph, edit, and deliver the images to to their brand daily. It was an incredible experience through and through, {{ and I’ll be honest, slightly exhausting at 6+ months pregnant}}, but fabulous in every way!

I’m incredibly grateful to FIJI Water for allowing me to be a part of this Dallas project and to be a part of the bigger FIJI Water Cities Guide as a whole. It’s a great concept for people who travel and want to enjoy a city in a new way, with new recommendations. If you’re traveling to Aspen, Austin, Charleston, Dubai, Hollywood, Las Vegas, London, Miami, New York, Singapore or Sydney… check out those guide here! Their writers and photographers work hard in each city to make it a great experience for travelers and those that enjoy seeing the city in a new way.

Also, thank you to the wonderful Dallas clients I was able to work with : The Bar Belmont, Kylde Warren Park, Bishop Arts District, Katy Trail, Bolsa & Chef Andrew Bell, Neiman Marcus Downtown, CBD Provisions & Chef Michael Sindoni, The Joule Hotel, FT 33 & Chef Matt McCallister, Hotel ZaZa, Abacus & Chef Kent Rathbun, The Fairmont Hotel, The Nasher Sculpture Center, The Majestic Theatre Downtown, The Dram, The Rustic, Stampede 66 & Chef Stephan Pyles, The Mansion Hotel and lastly, The Stoneleigh Hotel. What a fabulous set of talent we have in Dallas and I’m honored to have worked with all – thank you to everyone : your PR teams, your chefs, your stylists, your front desk managers, your valet attendants, your bartenders and hard working staff that made my time with you all so enjoyable. I appreciate all your did to work with me & FIJI Water that week. I look forward to getting back to each and every place as well!

Enjoy these images from the Dallas City Guide and be sure to check out the real guide on FIJI’s Website here. Thank you all!

xoxo- claire

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