Blog

Messina Hof Barrels

Texas Hill Country Wineries – My Winespill

Time to plan our long weekend trip to Texas Hill Country Wineries to explore the countryside and learn about the land and the grapes that produce Texas wine.

We started in Austin to trace some wineries from Stonewall to Fredericksburg. On our way to the first stop, we longed to eat some famous Texas BBQ. We had to experience the open pit BBQ at The Salt Lick. The food was fall-off-the-bone delicious.

We moseyed into the wine tasting shop right next door that will set you up with beer or wine to have with your meal. We purchased and bought a couple of bottles of wine after we ate. The only problem is they could not ship the wines to us. Some wineries can ship, be sure to check first if you need to do

Reasons to visit a Texas Hill Country winery

  1. The number one reason to visit a Texas Hill Country winery is because of the people.
    Wine tasting provides a great opportunity to meet local winemakers, neighbors, and fellow wine-lovers. Many of the Texas winemakers I’ve met are friendly, hard-working, and passionate, and genuinely enjoy sharing their passion with their customers. Participating in a tasting is a great way to get to know people, not to mention a super fun way to bond with the group you’re tasting with! In my opinion, you must visit a Text Hill Country winery because tasting is more fun in Texas than anywhere else because of the people you encounter.

    Wineries and winemakers aren’t pretentious here. The winemakers themselves will often be the one pouring your glass and thanking you as you leave. Come casual or dressed up, ask a lot of questions or take your wine and go, and definitely don’t worry about brushing up on wine vocabulary—you’re not going to be judged! In Texas, all are welcome, and it’s about sharing and having a good time.
  2. To support local people and businesses.
    For me, one of the most rewarding elements of tasting and purchasing Texas Hill Country wine is the knowledge that I’m supporting local winemakers, their art, and the people they employ. It’s also cool to know that, when you’re drinking an estate wine, it comes from the landscape and environment that surrounds you.
     
  3. To learn something new and discover your taste.
    Wine tastings are the best way to learn about different varietals and the elements of a wine you prefer. Do you prefer dry or sweet? Light or full-bodied? Tannic and aged in oak or smooth and aged in steel?
    Your tasting guide will help you find what you like (and what you don’t!), which will be super helpful the next time you’re in a long aisle of options at the grocery or liquor store. You’ll likely also learn a bit about the history of wine that extends back to ancient times, the unique qualities of the Texas Hill Country terroir, which grapes from other parts of the world grow well in Texas, how Texas winemakers are experimenting and collaborating to break down boundaries, and more.

     

  4. Revel in the beautiful landscape.
    If you’re looking for a relaxing outdoor activity where you may not have to break a sweat, wine tasting is it! There’s something about sipping on a glass that invites you to slow down and take in the view.

    And with purple-blue hills and stark limestone plateaus behind vibrant green vineyards, Texas Hill Country views can’t be beat! Don’t miss an opportunity to catch a big sky sunset as you wind down the day.

By no means do I consider myself a wine expert, however, I do feel that I can offer great recommendations regarding the Texas Hill Country winery experience. So grab your buddies, a designated driver, a picnic basket full of cheese and crackers, and hit the road to discover Texas wines.

 

 

 

Top Texas wine destinations for beginners

Ease your way into some vineyards that have a variety of tasting options with friendly guides that will walk you through each taste. They will help you discover what you like and how to describe it.

Becker Vineyards, Fredericksburg

One of the oldest and largest wineries on Wine Road 290, Becker has a large and varied tasting menu and their welcoming staff can make recommendations based on the first few options you try and your reactions to them. Must-try: Culinaria

 

Bell Springs Winery, Dripping Springs

Just a short drive from Austin, Bell Springs offers relatively affordable tastings featuring 6-7 wines instead of the typical 5 you will find at most Hill Country wineries. Their friendly tasting room staff is knowledgeable about the Bell Springs wine-making process and the stories behind each wine. Must-try: RSV Petite Verdot

 

Kuhlman Cellars, Hye

Interested in learning how to pair wine with food? Kuhlman leads “signature tastings” that allow you to experience how a wine changes when it is combined with food. They provide gourmet small bites to show you what flavors match well with their wines. You’ll leave with some fun tips and talking points for your next dinner party! Must-try: Alluve

Top Texas Wine Destinations for Experts

There’s a good chance you’ll get to have a conversation with the winemaker at these locations.

Calais Winery, Hye

Only marked by a French flag on the side of the road, you may drive by Calais Winery if you’re not looking specifically for it. Winemaker Ben Calais lends his expertise to many other winemakers in the region. Visit a tasting room that he built himself, into the ground to create a great climate for storing wine, and for a chance to meet him or his assistant winemaker. Calais makes 100% Texas wine aged in French Oak barrels that are only used once or twice. Must-try: Cuvee de l’Exposition—Narra Vineyards

Alexander Vineyards, Fredericksburg

Champagne lovers, rejoice! A few years ago, the tasting room was just a small trailer on an enchanting property. Now, Alexander has big plans for showcasing wines from around the world in addition to their signature champagne selection. The owner is usually happy to talk about his travels and plans for growth. Must-try: Grand Cru Brut Champagne

Solaro Estate, Dripping Springs

Sit next to the vineyard and enjoy 100% Texas wines, with a few excellent estate-grown options, at Solaro. Their wines are pricey, but you’ll understand why when you hear from the owners about that careful work that goes into each and their small production. Must-try: Estate Montepulciano

Texas Hill Country Wineries on the 290 Wine Trail

Baron’s Creek Vineyards- Stop #1

Baron’s Creek called for a tasting and some Rosé! We had to wait a bit to do a tasting. Loved tasting the wines here, they offer a White/Light tasting and a Red Tasting. We each did one so we could taste them all. Of the wineries we visited, this one was the priciest tasting, but the tasting was definitely worth it! 

Barons Creek Vineyards

Barons Creek Vineyards

Baron’s Creek Vineyards, Must try: Rosé Wine

Baron’s Creek Vineyards, made for a beautiful Winery Weekend, 290 Wine Tours

 

 

 

Becker Vineyards – Stop #2

Offers free tours! We learned so much from our guide about

Becker Vineyards Wine

Becker Vineyards Wine

how they make wine (white and rosé and red), why & how they barrel age, and for how long! Some of them are over 2 years. If you live in Texas, you can find many of these wines locally. 

BeckerVineyards, Fredericksburg TX, 290 Wine Tours, Wine Cellar, Wine Storage

 

Messina Hof Winery – Stop #3

They have a Prosecco flight here which I would highly recommend! I had to buy the growler here as I’m sure I’ll be back for refills.

Fiesta Winery – Stop #4

Such a fun concept, though I wish we had gotten here earlier in the day! The names of their wine and the artwork is so clever. I had a special rosé, and tasted a sweet watermelon wine, which was delicious, but a little too sweet for this girl.

Tex Way Rose, Fiesta Winery, Fredericksburg TX, 290 wine tour

Wind down wherever you choose to stay, sit out on the back porch and watch the Texas sunset say goodnight.