Texas Hill Country Wineries
It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that Texas is the 5th largest wine producing state in the US. A large portion of that comes from the wineries in Texas Hill Country, which is the 2nd largest AVA in the nation. All told, there are 42 wineries spread across the region, the majority of which lie along Highway 290 to the west of Austin. That is a pretty big number of wine tastings to commit to, but the good news is that there are all kinds of events scattered throughout the year that will help you plan your trip along the Texas Wine Trail with the minimum of fuss.
Texas Hill Country wine tasting is available year round, although you should check with each individual winery for their schedules, but the majority of the action takes place on Fridays through Mondays. Those are the days when the individual wineries host special tastings and events that are catered to visitors coming into the region to get a sample of the wines on offer. In order to be able to get the most out of each location, make a plan to hit no more than 3 or 4 wineries on a single day. A designated driver is also a good idea, and you will find that most wineries offer special alcohol free cocktails for those holding the car keys.
If you are looking for something special, you need to check out the official self-guided wine trails put together by the AVA each year. Each of these trails offers something totally unique. You can choose one that highlights the music and food of the region, while others take you out to the smaller wineries that are a little off the beaten path, and as such, are a whole lot less visited than many of the others in the region. These are the Texas Hill Country wineries that do not get a lot of the press, but which are putting out award winning wines on an incredibly regular basis.
With such a large area to cover on your visit, you are probably going to want to find a place that is pretty central to all the wineries. Fredericksburg is the town where many visitors choose to hang their hat for the night if they plan on making their wine journey last more than a single day. There are a variety of different lodgings to choose from there, as well as an excellent selection of restaurants, and even a few tasting rooms.
While the wineries in Texas Hill Country make up the 2nd largest wine region in the nation, there is still a definite sense of old-world charm to be found in the small towns along Highway 290. It’s like the perfect blend of old and new, which means you never really know what you are going to see along the way. The one thing that is guaranteed is that you will get to taste some delicious wines when you pay a visit to this part of Texas.