Editor’s Note (Updated October 2021): This Texas Hill Country winery itinerary is part of our Travel Resource series. Exclusive content aimed at exposing unique destinations and how to best navigate them. Today, we’re taking a close look at the Best Texas Hill Country wineries and what makes this region so special. Easily accessible just outside of Austin, the quality of wine here is on par with more well-known regions producing the same kind of varietals around the world.
IN THIS GUIDE:
- Getting Around Hill Country
- Pedernales Cellars
- Perissos Winery
- Becker Vineyards
- Sister Creek Winery
- Silver Dollar Winery
- Grape Creek Vineyards
- Fall Creek Vineyards
- William Chris Vineyards
- Spicewood Vineyards
- Sister Creek Winery
- …and more
Why It’s Worth Visiting Texas Hill Country for Wine Tasting
From finely-tuned Tempranillo, crisp Viognier to beautiful Rhone-style red blends, Texas Hill Country Wineries are not only situated around beautiful scenery, but the wines they’re producing are only beginning to gain worldwide recognition. That’s because the majority of Texas Hill Country vineyards only sell their wines within Texas – otherwise, the Texas wine bug would have gone viral long ago.
That’s why I’m aiming to expose this juice. The Texas Hill Country was largely overlooked until the past few years. (It wasn’t until the early 1990s that much of anything was produced here).
But did you know that now the Texas Hill Country AVA is the third-largest AVA in the U.S.? At over 9,000,000 acres, and with a climate and terroir not unlike Rioja, Spain or Southern Rhone, France, skilled vintners are discovering the potential to produce world-class wine within the soil of this unique location.
Today we’re going to take a look at a stretch of road that leads through the picturesque region of Fredericksburg, Texas. That stretch of road is aptly named Wine Road 290. The whole area is unique in that many of the vineyards and wineries are a part of the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 Association. Thus, what benefits one winery typically benefits another, as many are located right next to each other. This makes a day trip to the region incredibly convenient.
Pro Tips: Looking to travel to Texas Hill Country for wine tasting? Take a look at the best flight deals into Austin for your travel dates. If you don’t feel like driving to and from Austin, there are several great hotels to stay at in Fredericksburg not far from most of the wineries. We also recommend booking a private guided boutique winery tour so you don’t need to worry about driving while also having a more immersive experience.
How many wineries should I visit?
That depends on the tolerance of your group. Things to keep in consideration:
Below, we’ll highlight 10 of our favorite Texas Hill Country Wineries. Starting in Stonewall, we’ve put together the perfect itinerary of wineries to visit that any wine enthusiast or group can enjoy without breaking the bank.
Best Texas Hill Country Wineries
Only about one hour and 30 minutes northwest of downtown Austin, Wine Road 290 in Fredericksburg can be easily accessed by hopping on Mopac (TX-1), and then merging onto US 290 – West.
Did you know Texas Hill Country is an up-and-coming Viognier growing area? Elevated, sunny, windswept, limestone hillsides provide ideal growing conditions for stubborn grapes like Viognier. Some Vintners here have really begun to fine-tune their craft and produce refreshing white wines. While the whites are great, my favorite red in all of Hill Country came from Pedernales.
Pedernales Cellars makes for a great first stop for a wine tour in Fredericksburg because it will leave an impression on you. This is an award-winning winery, with a beautiful patio that offers 360-degree views of the surrounding hill country. You’ll often encounter live music at the winery, adding a bit of an Austin-esque feel to this remote and flavor-prone property.
Don’t be shy to roam around the estate! Grapes are sourced from multiple vineyards within the region, and as I mentioned above, their GSM red blend is my favorite red wine thus far in all of Texas Hill Country. Tastings do not need to be scheduled in advance.
2916 Upper Albert Road, Stonewall, Texas
For a European-vibe right here in Texas, consider a visit to the lovely property at Perissos. Winetravelers frequently rave about the warmth and southern hospitality of the staff at this winery. In addition, the atmosphere is one of our favorites in the region. This is a beautiful destination if you’re looking to have a relaxing afternoon by the vines, enjoy a bottle of wine and nibble on some cheese and charcuterie. Live music is also common here. Wine tastings do not require a reservation and are $18 per person. Tours are also available for $40 per person.
7214 Park Rd 4 W, Burnet, Texas
Becker is a bit more mainstream (now producing around 1.3 million bottles annually) and has a few other… attractions associated with the property. If you time your visit in either May or June, there’s a good shot you’ll get to see a sweeping lavender field not far from the tasting room. They also have extensive fields of wildflowers if you time your visit right.
The beginning of summer is also peak season so it can get somewhat crowded. Try to plan your visit during the week. Check out a virtual tour of the Becker tasting room and property. On-site tours typically run every 30 minutes on weekends.
If you’re looking to stay in wine country a little bit longer, Becker has a Bed & Breakfast adjacent to the property for around $125 per night.
464 Becker Farms Rd, Fredericksburg, Texas
This homey, cute and welcoming location is actually a winery that was converted from a cotton gin. Sister Creek in Texas Hill Country is best known for its friendly staff, great tasting wines and unique atmosphere.
Plus, they’re not overpriced. You’ll be satisfied with your tasting experience, and definitely ask about getting a winery tour — they’re free.
This award-winning winery offers two kinds of tastings at two low prices, and their wine styles focus on European blends. Plus, they’re open most days of the year.
1142 Sisterdale Rd, Boerne, Texas
If you’re looking to merge a wine tasting experience with a meal, Silver Dollar is well worth a stop on the western side of Hill Country. From build-your-own-pizzas, chicken wings to street tacos, relax in a hammock chair and sip and swirl amongst the vines. Try pairing a pizza with the Peace Maker Merlot, you won’t be disappointed. This is a true destination for Texas food, wine and hospitality. There’s a good chance you’ll also get to enjoy a visit with the owner.
8264 US-290, Johnson City, Texas
Grape Creek Winery is an Italian-styled winery located on a beautiful property. If you’re following along with this itinerary, this will likely be your last stop for the day.
Be confident in your decision – Grape Creek Vineyards has snatched up over 100 medals over the years with their wines. Done up in a Tuscan-themed architectural style, the buildings on the property are primarily made of stone with classic red roofs. Prices vary depending on when you visit. Weekday tastings are $12, while Saturdays and holidays are $15.
Try the Bellissimo and the Cabernet & Syrah blend.
10587 E U.S, US-290, Fredericksburg, Texas
On an average warm, sunny Hill Country day, you will find guests sitting all around the garden-style property in Driftwood, just outside of Austin, sipping on Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, or perhaps a Tempranillo. The tasting room inside has a homely comfort about it, complete with a fireplace and TV for football-watching. This is Texas, after all, and football is king, so it only makes sense that a winery owned by two University of Texas alums would have a TV for Saturday games.
Out on the back porch of the charming country house-converted-into-winery, tables are spaced out for groups to sit and wait for a table-side tasting, which has been the program since the beginning for tastings at Fall Creek Vineyards’ Driftwood location. Guests can sit and order wine from the tasting list, which is then brought to them as they enjoy the scenery of the Texas Hill Country landscape around the property from the comfort of their seats on the porch.
18059 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, Texas
True innovators in the Texas wine industry, William “Bill” Blackmon and Chris Brundrett created William Chris Vineyards in 2008. Since that time, it’s exploded in popularity. Not just within Texas Hill Country, but around the United States as well. Chris and Bill focus on minimal impact viticulture that creates high-impact wine. Their property offers a gorgeous tasting room and relaxing outdoor setting, with live music on Sunday. Chris Brundrett was just recognized as one Wine Enthusiast’s “Producers That are Redefining American Wine”
10352, US-290, Hye, Texas
For a somewhat removed and boutique experienced in the northeastern corner of Hill Country, definitely consider a stop by Spicewood Vineyards. This charming vineyard atmosphere will appease those who want to kick back and relax on a patio for the afternoon. Be sure to try their Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo and Syrah alongside their cheeseboard. This is also a pet-friendly and kid-friendly winery, so don’t be shy to bring along the family. It’s also a frequently talked-up wedding venue.
1419 Co Rd 409, Spicewood, Texas
Depending on where you leave from in Austin, if you have a little extra time or would rather split your Hill Country wine experience between both Fredericksburg and Driftwood (about 30 minutes Southeast of Fredericksburg), head on downtown Duchman Family Winery to enjoy their beautiful stone tasting room and very friendly staff. The Duchman property is beautiful, but this winery also has an Italian restaurant conveniently located next to the tasting room.
The majority of wine produced at Duchman is Italian and the tastings are by far the most affordable in the area. Try the Aglianico, our favorite on the menu!
13308 Ranch to Market Rd 150, Driftwood, Texas
Trending Wine Tours & Experiences in Texas Hill Country
If you’re looking for a guided experience around the Texas Hill Country AVA, consider some of these highly-rated experiences:
New Wineries and Vineyards are Coming!
The Texas Hill Country is rapidly expanding with new winemakers popping up every year. Have you visited Texas wine country before? Let the Winetraveler community know about your favorite wineries and vineyards in the region in the comment section below.
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