Riven Rock Ranch, Comfort
Update: Riven Rock Ranch closed in November 2013 and is now a private residence.
The most strenuous task you’ll have to accomplish during your stay at this 210-acre working ranch may be uncorking the bottle of Texas wine that’s been set out for your arrival. Unless you consider strolling through a garden or floating the Guadalupe River (bring your own tube) to be unnecessarily taxing, in which case perhaps you’d rather spend your time reading by the pool or getting to know the Tennessee walking horses that roam the pastures. At dinnertime, I made the two-minute drive from my suite to the Terrace Grill, the outdoor restaurant that sits on the property’s highest point. After eating a not-that-petite filet with an herby house-made Boursin-style cheese, I briefly contemplated ordering one of each of the ten desserts on the menu but ended up singling out the sinfully rich sundae topped with a chocolate Rebecca Creek Whiskey sauce. Owner Chris Havens, who opened Riven Rock with his wife, Elaine, four years ago, stopped by to introduce himself, and our conversation veered from wine (this summer marked the first harvest of the ranch’s tempranillo and viognier grapes) to the spa he plans to open to the German family that built the circa-1890’s farmhouse I was staying in. Riven Rock’s six guest cottages—three are new and three are renovated historic ranch dwellings—feature state-of-the-art kitchens and gas fireplaces and are decorated in a sophisticated country motif. Before turning in to my River Suite for the evening, I sat on the limestone patio and sipped my “welcome” wine. As I took in the stunning Hill Country panorama, I thought of the ranch’s original occupants, who must have enjoyed the same view many, many sunsets ago. 390 Hermann Sons Road, 877-726-2490