Top 10 North American Wine Destinations
#8 – Texas Hill Country
Head to Austin for some of the best live music venues anywhere.
Head out from Austin to the Texas Hill Country, and you’ll find two dozen wineries interspersed among the Indian paintbrush and bluebonnets.
Perhaps the most honored of all wineries is Becker Vineyards in Stonewall. Becker focuses on the classic varieties with historic roots in Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone, and some of its bottlings have been served at the White House.
Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow is the oldest continuously operating winery in Hill Country. It was founded in 1975, fares extremely well in prestigious wine competitions, and even offers easy access to Fall Creek Falls Lake boat cruises.
Perhaps the widest array of wines for sampling can be found at Fredericksburg Winery, which offers red wines, white wines, dry wines, sweet wines and even Texas renditions of Port and Sherry.
If you like Italian wines, check out Mandola Estate Winery in Driftwood, which specializes in Italian varieties.
Do you enjoy being pampered? Then head for Woodrose Winery in Stonewall, where guests enjoy table service while sampling wine and cheese.
And if you’re looking for wine with a view, visit Driftwood Estate Winery, which sits on a hilltop overlooking its vineyard. A picnic area provides the perfect setting for a leisurely wine-tasting adventure.
Lodging in Hill Country is just as diverse as the mix of wineries.
The Cotton Gin in Fredericksburg is an authentic 1870s log cabin village that’s surrounded by herb gardens and waterfalls. The on-site restaurant specializes in Hill Country dining and boasts an impressive wine list.
The Antlers Hotel on Lake LBJ in Kingsland has a half-dozen antique-appointed suites as well as cabins and even train car accommodations.
For a fine dining experience, Hill Country residents flock to Austin’s in Stonewall. There, an extensive wine list is complemented by French, Mediterranean and Asian dishes.
For a more “rustic” meal, the Silver K Cafe in Johnson City’s Old Lumber Yard features great dining and a well-selected Texas wine list.
One word of caution: If you’re a wine snob, take a pass on Texas Hill Country.
Reason: The winery owners, vintners and tasting room personnel are the least pretentious folks we’ve ever met. Yes, they take pride in their wines, but their collective goal is to provide guests with the kind of hospitality for which Texas is famous.
And that’s a wine experience worth seeking out, y’all.