Fischer & Wieser Transforms Peach Farmstead into Fredericksburg Destination
The food brand behind the Original Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce houses their headquarters in the historic Texas town
By Bryan C. Parker
Photos courtesy of Fischer & Wieser
In 1928, German immigrant J.B. Wieser planted a small orchard of peach trees on the family farm outside of Fredericksburg, Texas. At the time, he had no idea that those seeds would ultimately grow into something much bigger. Almost a century later, thousands of peach trees stand on that same land, and J.B.’s son Mark has transformed this Central Texas farmstead into a relaxing destination for travelers and the headquarters for a specialty food brand that ships jams, jellies and sauces around the world.
People anywhere can purchase Fischer & Wieser products on jelly.com, but an abundance of experiences await those lucky enough to live a short drive from Fredericksburg or anyone willing to make the trek to enjoy all the farmstead’s gorgeous, sprawling 65 acres have to offer including a distillery, bed & breakfast, tasting room, cooking school and more.
As a county judge, J.B. Wieser insisted that his son attend Texas A&M to study law, but Mark spent his free time and elective credits taking horticulture courses. He wanted to pursue his dream of being a farmer, but his father wouldn’t allow it. However, during summer stints home from college, Mark continued the upkeep of the family peach orchard. After graduating from college, Mark became a high school teacher of history and German, but settling back in Fredericksburg allowed him to finally fulfill his dream. Though locals often sold fruit out of the trunks of their cars, Mark opened the region’s first permanent roadside peach stand on the farmstead in 1969.
The stand, which he called Das Peach Haus, provided part time work for many of his students over the years, including Case Fischer, who eventually became Wieser’s business partner and helped expand a small peach stand into a veritable food empire. Fischer left work at the peach stand to study food science and marketing at Texas A&M and returned to put that learning to good use. This year, the Fischer & Wieser brand expects to sell over one hundred million ounces of sauce, from their Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce to their best-selling Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce.
“We sell that by the truckload,” says Chief Experience Officer Deanna Fischer.
For those traveling to Fredericksburg, Fischer & Wieser has a store downtown on Main Street, which allows visitors to sample and buy over 100 different products. You can even find Fischer & Wieser foods in H-E-B and Costco, but some of Fischer & Wieser’s products, such as their Texas Cactus Jelly, are only available at the farmstead site just south of Fredericksburg on Highway 87. Inside the rustic coziness of Das Peach Haus, visitors’ footsteps creak on wooden floorboards as they peruse the hundreds of jarred specialty foods, from old-fashioned jams and jellies to Asian sauces. Fischer & Wieser makes about 150 products across five different brand names.
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“We’re peach farmers, historically,” says Deanna. “We continued to develop the farm destination because that was our history and where we came from, and we’ve grown from the peach orchard into an international specialty food company that develops all these wonderful things.” All of the products that Fischer & Wieser make would be considered acidified foods — an age-old process used in canning and jarring that goes hand in hand with the founder’s affinity for tradition.
The business hinges on family, and many of the Fischers have helped the company expand and diversify their enterprise over the years. Simon, Mark and Deanna’s youngest, manages the Fischer & Wieser wine label and works with a winemaker to develop flavor profiles. Fischer & Wieser sources all of its grapes from the high plains of Texas, and their wines include whites and reds — Gewurztraminers, Rieslings and Sangioveses, as well as blends. The tasting room is open seven days a week, and visitors can purchase wine by the glass or bottle and enjoy a charcuterie or cheese spread as a picnic by the farmstead’s serene pond.
Mark and Deanna’s eldest son Dietz Fischer and younger sister Elle run a distillery on the farmstead premises, where they make peach and pear brandy from fruit grown onsite, as well as vodka and gin. Towering pine trees shade the distillery’s back patio where patrons can sample the liquors before purchasing a bottle to take home.
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After a full day of sampling wine and brandy, biting into freshly picked peaches and strolling through the orchards on the farmstead, visitors can take a class at Fischer & Wieser’s recently opened cooking school. Amateur chefs or food enthusiasts can enroll in a class (perfect for larger groups up to two dozen people), where a chef will demonstrate for the audience a step-by-step creation of a four-course meal. Participants can ask questions about recipes, ingredients and techniques and afterward enjoy the meal along with paired wines. For those who are looking for a more hands-on experience, the school offers an interactive cooking class with two to 10 people on how to prepare their own four-course meal. Participants of this class will enjoy the meal they’ve just cooked with paired wines. The school is also available for private dinners and special events.
“We’re all about gathering around the table with friends and family,” says Deanna. “We inspire people to cook at home and gather through the cooking school.”
Savvy travelers who’ve planned ahead can take a short jaunt from Das Peach Haus and the cooking school to one of the bed and breakfast properties managed by Fischer & Wieser. The farmhouse B&B is a five-bedroom, four-bathroom home that can sleep 12 and features spacious living and dining areas for gathering. At night, guests can gather around the fire pit on the back porch and share a glass of wine beneath the breathtaking Hill Country stars. In the morning, they can enjoy a cup of coffee while sitting at the picnic table by the private pond.
On the way out, you’ll want to make one last stop for a few fresh peaches from the historic stand that still exists today and is open during summer months, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Just as it was back in 1969, the store is staffed by local high school students. A vestige of the past, the stand is a symbol that reflects the Fischer & Wieser families’ remembrance of the dream that came long before the brand’s commercial success.
Central Texas is practically synonymous with peaches, and the Fischer & Wieser families have acted as stewards who helped define the region’s reputation. What began by planting a tree grew into a destination for people from all over the country. True to their deep appreciation of all that family means, Fischer & Wieser has whole-heartedly invited the public to come and share in what makes their farmstead so special.
The past 100 years the Wieser family enterprises have bloomed, but it all started with the seeds J. B. planted.
“It’s our backyard; we live on the property,” says Deanna. From cozy nooks to spacious fields, visitors will feel like extended family returning home to enjoy the peaceful views and homemade delicacies.