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While it might not be the first place you think of for high-quality wine, Texas is home to an array of award-winning wineries that consistently rank high in the United States. Peppered throughout the beautiful Texas Hill Country, it’s here that wine lovers will find a perfect combination of wine grape-growing regions and picturesque landscapes. An excellent destination for both first-time visitors and expert enthusiasts, explore the lush vineyards, learn about their winemaking process, and when you work up a thirst, pair a stunning sunset view with a glass of fine Texas wine. Serving as an inspiration for your next wine adventure, read on to discover the best wineries to visit in Texas.
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This award-winning, family-owned winery was started 40 years ago in Bryan, Texas, as an experimental vineyard with 50 wines. Fast forward to today, Messina Hof Winery has expanded its footprint to include three locations and produces 130,000 gallons of wine per year. Messina Hof’s iconic sweet red, Beau, carries beautiful aromas of wildflowers and flavors of blackberry jam, while its Paulo Sagrantino 2015 recently won a gold medal at the AWC Vienna in 2017. Messina Hof also offers an on-the-go solution with its new canned wine, including a dry rose made with 100 percent Texas grenache grapes.
Surrounded on all sides by vineyards, Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow is a feast for the eyes. Nestled in a lush part of the Texas Hill Country, here you’ll find a unique combination of old and new with modern equipment, antique stable doors, and country French and English furnishings. The oldest vineyard on the Hill Country Trail, it is located on the northwest shores of Lake Buchanan, so you can enjoy warm days and cool nights sipping on a flavorful range of wines. Fall Creek Vineyards has also opened a second location in Driftwood just 25 minutes away from the alluring attractions in Austin, with a picturesque property that still boasts an ambiance of peaceful Hill Country getaway.
Providing a Tuscan-inspired wine experience, Grape Creek Cellars in Fredericksburg features a romantic Italian Villa tasting room. With a vineyard that spans 100 acres, this award-winning winery produces premium quality wine. Take a tram ride through the beautiful estate where lush oaks are strung with vines, go on one of their cellar tours to get the chance to have barrel tastings at their new, state-of-the-art wine production complex. Try any of the 14 varietals and blends on offer, including the honey and fruit-flavored Viognier and the bold and spicy blend of Sangiovese. Shop for your favorite wine in the Italian picnic market before indulging in a glass under the tree-covered patios overlooking the vineyards and Hill Country. As a bonus, you’re just a short drive away from all the exciting attractions in Fredericksburg.
A Tuscan-style winery located in Driftwood, the Duchman Family Winery is known as one of the most beautiful wineries in all of Texas. Located just 25 miles from downtown Austin, this award-winning winery focuses on Italian-style wines. A combination of beautiful vineyard views and romantic gardens, visitors can sample delicious Italian varietal wines and blends. Boasting 100% Texas -grown grapes, this slice of heaven is perfect for soaking in colorful sunsets against the rolling hills of Hill Country. Pairing innovative equipment and techniques with traditional methods, they are able to produce high-quality wine. Chosen by HGTV as one of the most picturesque wines in the entire country, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular stop for wine enthusiasts in Central Texas.
One of the oldest wineries in the Texas Hill Country, Becker Vineyards in Stonewall is also the third-largest and has even had their wine served at esteemed venues such as the White House. Located next to beautiful lavender fields that paint the area in a sea of purple in the springtime, the vineyards here are picturesque, to say the least. Gaze over the fields and breath in the pleasant scent with a taste or two of the many wine varieties on offer. Unwind and relax with one of their hand-crafted and award-winning choices such as Bordeaux, Burgundian, and Rhone-styled wines, while the tasting room and massive covered patio lure you in with its spectacular ambiance.
More than just a cool name, 4.0 Cellars in Fredericksburg is a collaboration between three Texas wineries, Brennan Vineyards at Comanche, Lost Oak Winery in Burleson and McPherson Cellars in the Texas Panhandle. The wine comes from their own vineyards and the local wineries, and the on-site tasting room and wine club set the tone for showcasing their winemaking process, passions for wine and top-notch products. Treat yourself to a beautiful range of wines, from single varietal wines to diverse blends and spread out on the patio and lawn a to enjoy the simplest pleasures. For a combination of strawberry and citrus, try the La Herencia Rosa 2016, but for a mix of red fruit, spice and oak, make sure to sample the Montepulciano 2015.
Pedernales Cellars, Stonewall
Boasting six generations of winemakers, Pedernales Cellars in Stonewall focuses on sustainable practices and Spanish-style wines. Taking pride in caring for the environment as much as they do their wine, here you’ll find 146 sprawling acres overlooking the Pedernales River Valley, old world style wines, and an eco-friendly philosophy. With traditional methods and grapes that are 100% Texan, their Spanish and Rhone-style wines with locally-sourced fruit have won their fair share of prestigious awards. After taking a tour of the winemaking cellar, head out to the deck to soak in the sunshine and sweeping Hill Country landscapes.
A 32-acre property in Spicewood, Spicewood Vineyards is located just 35 miles from Austin. Perfect for an afternoon trip or weekend escape, come here to indulge in a tasting and a tour of the property. Purchasing the vineyards from the original founders in 2007, they expanded the scope of grape growing to include tempranillo, viognier, Albarino, grenache, and syrah. A 5,000-square-foot winery was added with an expansive Spanish-style barrel room, in addition to a covered porch where four-legged friends are always welcome. Enjoy a bottle of tempranillo-based wine from Spicewood Vineyards, or taste the famous The Good Guy, a blend of tempreanillo and four other estate-grown grapes.
Only a 2.5-hour drive from Dallas, Brennan Vineyards in Comanche is perfect for a weekend getaway from the stressors of the big city. Located in a historic home built in 1879, the charming tasting room is the perfect place to sip on Brennan’s premium wines. The fruity, white Rhone varietal wine with apricot notes is highly recommended, while the Mourvedre Dry Rose 2014 and Tempranillo 2013 are also worth a taste. Book one of their tasting experiences, from a Classic Tasting to a Meat and Cheese Experience, or book a Private Tasting with one of the experts on the winery team where you can sample 6 wines that are tailored to your palette and preference.
Nestled on a gorgeous 56-acre property in Comfort, Bending Branch Winery is located just south of Fredericksburg. Offering panoramic views of the 14 acres of vineyards and the surrounding Hill Country, visitors are spoiled for choice in stunning landscapes. Here you’ll find the estate grows 16 grape varietals, mostly Mediterranean types, using sustainable farming practices. The signature grape here is the Tannat, and the flavor intensity tends to be high thanks to its whole grape, small-bin fermentation, and cutting-edge winemaking processes. Winning top awards for its single varietal Tannat wines, they have also found success with Petite Sirah, Cabernet, Sauvignon, and Roussanne.
Located just a few blocks off of Main Street in Fredericksburg, Lost Draw Cellars was co-founded by Andy Timmons, one of the largest and most acclaimed grape growers in the state. Sourced from his Lost Draw Vineyards in Brownfield, Texas, the small batch winery first sold its award-winning wines in 2014. Made from Mediterranean grape varieties, the tasting lineup here typically includes dry whites, reds and rose. Perfect for a sunny afternoon, take your glass of wine and pair it with an appetizer of cheese, meats, and local delicacies, before heading to the dog-friendly outdoor patio or indoor tasting room.
Offering a unique experience, Hilmy Cellars in Fredericksburg is home to a few friendly faces. From large sheep to guinea fowl and a pair of Great Pyrenees, the team members at this property will keep you on your toes. They each have their own specific job as a part of the team, as they are vital in the grape-growing and winemaking process. Helping the owners, Erik and Neldie, avoid the use of insecticides and pesticides and keeping the weeds down, these animals aren’t just a cute welcoming committee. A visit to the tasting room is a special experience, and with a mix of live music and special events, you will see why its a local favorite.