Refugio (Refugio County)
Our day began at the Refugio City Hall with coffee and pastries. We then boarded a chartered bus, provided by the Refugio County Historical Society, to begin our tour of Refugio and the surrounding area.
At La Rosa Ranch, we were greeted by owners Bob and Nancy Rooke and their daughter, Becky. Becky took us on a guided tour of the sprawling hunting lodge, once called Dos Vaqueros. Some then walked down the road to admire the fields of wildflowers while others in our group rode the bus to the beautifully restored historic 100 year old home and ranch headquarters built by Frank B. Rooke and Roberta Driscoll Rooke. The La Rosa Ranch has been owned by descendants of Daniel and Catherine O’Driscoll for over six generations.
We then jumped back on the bus headed for the northeast side of Refugio and the Texas South Wind Vineyard and Winery. Texas South Wind is one of the only, if not the only, vineyard and winery in the Texas Tropical Trail Region. The owners were on hand to greet us and offer complimentary wine-tasting as well as a brief history of their business. And I noticed several in our group boarding the bus with one or more bottles of wine purchased as a souvenir of our visit!
Our chartered bus then took us back to Refugio to Moya’s Café for a tasty lunch of chicken fajitas. After lunch we returned to the Refugio City Hall for our educational presentation and business meeting upstairs in what was once a ballroom.
Rosemary Kelley of the Refugio County Museum gave a very informative presentation on the early Irish settlers in Refugio.