Located just outside of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country, Boot Ranch is an idyllic golf community that offers members the opportunity to unplug from the technology that plagues us all and enjoy a more relaxed pace in a Hill Country haven. Peaceful doesn’t necessarily mean inactive. The Clubhouse Village is the center of activity at Boot Ranch. Both informal and fine dining are available, as well as a popular brunch. Meeting rooms are available for corporate retreats, should members need a place to do business. The spa, fitness center and golf shop are located here, as well as the men’s and women’s locker rooms. Members have access to trap and skeet shooting, fishing and boating equipment.

Golfers can play the renowned course designed by PGA legend Hal Sutton and recognized as one of the top private golf facilities in Texas. There’s also a new pool recreation area, which offers three swimming areas and a large cabana and barbecue plaza at the new Ranch Club.

Grapes and Golf

Bunny Becker is a familiar name to San Antonio and Hill Country residents because she and her husband, Dr. Richard Becker, own Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, a short ride from Boot Ranch. Dr. Becker practices medicine in San Antonio and has always been an avid backyard gardener. Over time, his gardening dream expanded to owning a Hill Country getaway with perhaps a small vineyard. He and Bunny began looking for a parcel that might have a log cabin on it and ended up with a thriving enterprise. “I have to tell you that I am not the family gardener,” Bunny chuckles. “So how did I end up in the hot sun with our two boys planting grapes by hand on 13 acres? That’s like doing a million squat jumps in the dirt!” Those grapes grew, and so did the vineyard. The first harvest, in 1995, set in motion what is now just over a 100,000-case winery. Graduating from field hand, Bunny went on to organize the tasting room, contacting suppliers and delivering product, before the Beckers obtained a distributor.

She’s currently working in public relations for the vineyard. “We’ve met so many people that we’d never have met any other way, simply because we opened this business,” Bunny says. “Several farmers asked us what grapes they should plant on their own farms for us. That’s such an honor! What started as the Beckers’ backyard dream has grown into the culmination of so many people’s dreams.” Golf and wine brought the Beckers to Boot Ranch. “Richard is the big golfer in my family,” Bunny says. “Over the past 20 years, he’s developed quite a love of golf. Someone invited him to play one day at Boot Ranch, and he was impressed. Then we were invited to an open house there. A nice membership opportunity opened up. We learned that if Richard and I became golf club members, our children would instantly become members, too. That meant my son and daughters could use the ranch whenever they want. “Now my son rents a guest suite and frequently goes out to Boot Ranch with his wife and son. One time the staff got a babysitter for them so my son could take his wife to dinner in Fredericksburg.

They thoroughly enjoy their time at the ranch. “The food at Boot Ranch is very nice,” she adds. “Their executive chef, Aaron Staudenmaier, came from Dallas and is well known there. The ranch serves our wine at many of their functions, and they are wonderful to work with. And because the property is only 30 minutes from the winery, we’re easily able to entertain businessguests in their private dining rooms. “All in all, it’s been a great arrangement for our vineyard and our family,” Bunny concludes.

CHEF’S RETREAT

Nancy Moorman is a chef in her own right. She’s written two cookbooks and is well known in San Antonio for her cooking classes, which she began at the Southwest Craft Center (now the Southwest School of Art) and then moved into her home. She taught lessons for years, along the way developing international tours for cooks to study cuisine. “This was my career,” Nancy says. “I started doing this in the days of Julia Child, before there were cooking schools. I took lessons from anyone who would teach me. When we traveled, I always asked about how dishes were made. It was the only way women could learn about fine cooking then. “I started this because I wanted to make some money of my own,” she continues. “It wasn’t that I needed it, but if I wanted to buy a gift for my husband, I wanted to pay for it with money I earned. This led to great happiness for me! I found my passion for teaching this way. It’s really who I am.” Living in multiple homes has been a way of life for Nancy and her husband, Jeff.

“We’ve always had a condo in Austin,” she says. “But over time, the city got too crowded, so we started looking for another getaway in the Hill Country. In 2006, someone told Jeff about Boot Ranch. He toured the property, picked out five estate lots and let me choose the one I liked best.” Nancy says there was very little built on the property at that time. Theirs was one of the first homes completed. “We finished building the house in 2009, and we love it. We had so much fun building it. My best friend, Courtney Walker of Courtney & Company, did the interior design. I replicated my San Antonio kitchen, where I gave all those cooking lessons, in my Boot Ranch home. “We built the home so it’s large enough to entertain all our family. I have one son, three grandchildren, two nieces and a lot of friends. This is a gathering place for all of us. “We try to spend about 10 days a month up here,” she continues. “The temperature is 10 degrees cooler than at our San Antonio home, and it’s different weather than we have there. I can sit on my porch here at the ranch and watch storms roll in across the hills it’s dramatic and beautiful. I enjoy walking the property, and I play golf. And, of course, I cook here, too!”

A WEEKEND GETAWAY

Courtney Simons knows Boot Ranch from the ground up. She and her husband, Daniel, own Innovative Communication Systems, the telecommunications company for Boot Ranch. “We watched the community grow into the jewel it is today,” Courtney says. “We fell in love with it along the way. “My husband is a big golfer,” she continues. “He’s crazy about the golf course and the natural beauty of the community. We chose the Golf Membership option that lets us stay in these beautiful small guest lodges for a weekend and access all the facilities. It’s the perfect getaway for us and our two young children, and it feels like a second home.” The Lodges come complete with refrigerators, a wet bar, full bath with Jacuzzi, television and Wi-Fi. The staff is happy to shop for groceries ahead of time so The Lodge is stocked to order when guests arrive. “With young kids, you need a getaway that’s not a far drive. Boot Ranch is far enough to get away from San Antonio but not so far that Daniel and I have to hear ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’” says Courtney. During their two-year membership, Courtney and Dan have held a golfing party and attended several events at the Clubhouse Village. “I occasionally take advantage of the spa,” she says. “The spa is really nice. Mostly I enjoy sitting on our patio, reading or taking a walk on the property.

It’s such a relaxing place to be.” Mothers and grandmothers, entrepreneurs and business owners, highenergy and pure Texas these are the women of Boot Ranch. They’ve found their place to unplug and recharge in a little piece of heaven in the Hill Country.