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Wine country, Texas style
The best of the grape
The fall harvest season is a great time to enjoy a winery tour. Most travelers would think of a visit to the Napa/Sonoma area in California or perhaps head to the east coast where upstate New York has the Finger Lake region filled with fall color plus an honored place for the grape.
But there is also a wine destination that is frequently overlooked. Just as important as those other regions and filled with a variety of wine, is the Hill Country region of South Texas.
Most of the Texas winery locations are located between the cities of San Antonio and Austin, so if you are planning your travel from out of the state, either airport location will be convenient. And the driving distance is manageable for a day trip from either airport.
List of Texas wineries
There are over 40 wineries in the Texas Hill Country, providing a unique variety for everyone's taste plus all with that southern hospitality to welcome you. The winery tour is a scenic drive in the country and easy to follow the wine trail.
Some of the notable wine names in Texas are:
Beckers Vineyards in Stonewall Texas
Check the event calendar on this web site because it is more than just a vineyard, there is also a lavender festival in the month of May as well as other activities during the year such as pairing chef prepared dinners with the vintage.
Sister Creek Vineyards is located in Sisterdale, Texas (pop. 25) check the link for wine selection and directions. Founded in 1988 and located in an historic 1885 cotton gin. Check out the wine club and other details for discounts.
Pedernales Cellars is a boutique winery, family owned and operated and located in Stonewall, Texas (just 15 minutes from Fredericksburg, Texas). Check the event calendar and look for live music on Saturdays to set on the deck and enjoy the taste and sounds of the Hill Country of Texas.
Messina Hof winery and resort is in Bryan, Texas and features "The Vintage House" restaurant plus a romantic getaway in the Villa Bed & Breakfast. So you can enjoy all the wine and rest easy. There is also a Champagne breakfast waiting for you the next morning. As the website states, "The Texas wine industry was born in 1560 when the Spaniards brought vines from Europe and planted them in the Texas missions." Check the link above for information on the sunset tour and cellar tours on Saturdays.
Fall Creek Vineyards is located in Tow, Texas, about 80 miles Northwest of Austin. Founded by Ed and Susan Auler in 1973 after a trip to France inspired them. The location is named after Fall Creek waterfalls that spill into the Colorado River. Be sure to include the 90 foot waterfalls in your visit along with the wine tasting.
Dry Comal Creek is located in New Braunfels, Texas started by Franklin and Bonnie Houser in the 1970's. Tours and tasting room is open year round and they offer a lesson on wine with a schedule of classes called "Winery U".
Texas wine trail map
For those who are planning a driving tour, check out the wine trail maps and select the vineyards that you want to visit along the way. Plan on a designated driver and check the hours for each location so that you allow enough time to enjoy each stop. Wine tasting is usually complimentary but look for any tasting fees or sponsored events that may apply during your visit and if there are special instructions for visitors.
For those who want a leisure tour without the driving responsibility, there are many organized tours that will take you or a group for the day. Be sure to ask if you can select the list of winery stops or the time allotted. Usually the tour package will allow for three to five winery stops with about 30 to 45 minutes at each. Also check on shopping and antiquing in the small towns if available. Wine tours are available in Austin and Fredericksburg and can be arranged with a van or luxury limo service.
Special events over the year
There are special holiday events if the month of October does not fit into your schedule, December 5-21st is the Holiday Wine Trail. Look for tickets and details on the link above and you can see what each winery is doing for the holiday season.
Enjoy the Texas wine visit and have a safe journey.