It’s not often that people associate Texas with fine wine, but the Lone Star State is actually the fifth largest wine producer in the United States and has a solid reputation for producing some of the country’s best wines. In fact, Texas is estimated to have around 4,000 acres of vineyards which contribute more than $13.1 billion to the Texan economy. That’s a whole lot of wine!
Visitors may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of licensed wineries in the state (there are 436 and counting) so here is a roundup of some of the ones that are really worth paying a visit to. Though it might be worth knowing how to cure a wine hangover before you start your tour!
Grape Creek Cellars, Fredericksburg
Providing a taste of Europe in the heart of Texas, Grape Creek Cellars is a Tuscan-inspired wine experience with a vineyard that covers more than 100 acres. Take a tour of the picturesque country estate and unique Tuscan Villa tasting rooms before sampling the chef-inspired daily menu and fine dining in the restaurant. Live music is featured on most days at the winery and gently serenades guests as they sample some of the winery’s premium offerings. There are exclusive private tastings, a taste and tour (including a barrel tasting), and a guided tasting counter where you can keep your own Grape Creek wine glass. While you’re in the area you can also check out one of the many spas, such as the boutique Willow Room Spa, or join one of the famous Ghost Tours along the historic Main Street.
Becker Vineyards, Stonewall
Becker Vineyards is set in one of the most stunning locations in the whole of Texas. The vineyard backs on to acres of lavender fields which provide a gorgeous view, particularly in spring when a sea of purple flowers washes over the hills. Gaze over the fields and breathe in the freshly scented air as you sample some of the best wine around. The vineyard is the third largest in the Texas Hill County and its wines have even been served at the White House. Curious visitors can also check out the Exotic Resort Zoo and Safari located nearby or head to Bariloche Farm for the best peach cobbler in town.
Pedernales Cellars, Stonewall
Just a short drive from Becker Vineyards is the famous Pedernales Cellars. Known for its environmentally friendly approach and sustainable practices, the vineyard produces Spanish and Rhone-style wines with a touch of eco-philosophy. Covering more than 146 acres with views over the Pedernales River Valley, the vineyard’s Texan grapes and traditional methods have won a number of prestigious awards.
The Winery at Willow Creek, Abilene
Although not a vineyard, The Winery at Willow Creek offers guests a plethora of tasty wines in a stunning setting. The enchanting outside patio area provides wine tasters with a stunning view of the creek as they sip a glass of local blackberry wine and enjoy a cheese and meat platter or a dish from the local food trucks. Visitors can really make a weekend out of visiting this winery as the famous Fisher County, the birthplace of the poker legend Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson and home to some of the most beautiful parks in the area, is just a short drive away. A little further down the road is Colorado City, an absolute must for anyone looking to enjoy hiking, waterfalls and lakes.
Bending Branch Winery, Comfort
Just south of Fredericksburg is the sprawling 56 acre Bending Branch Winery. Surrounded on all sides by some of the most stunning views in Texas Hill County, guests are able to take in the panoramic views as they taste the 16 different varieties of grapes grown here. Sustainable farming practices and cutting-edge processes are used to create the award-winning wines that make this winery so famous. Visitors can also check out the James Kiehl River Bend Park or the stunning Joshua Springs Park and Preserve nearby to really get a taste for the area.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of the best places you can visit. There are so many great wineries in Texas that the only thing visitors can do is to keep coming back to explore them!