Barons Creek Vineyard

Why should you visit a Texas Hill Country winery?

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 this spring to discover the Texas wines that will become your go-to Texas wines.

 

There are many places to stay when you visit a Texas Hill Country winery, this couple stayed in a chic container AirBnB, check it out…

Top Texas wine destinations for beginners

These vineyards have a variety of tasting options with friendly guides that will walk you through each taste to help you discover what you like.

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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