Best Wineries in Central Texas Hill Country
June 16, 2022
The Heartland of Texas has some of the best wineries in Texas with rolling hills, expansive prairies, beautiful rivers, stunning Llano Uplift, enchanting Balcones Escarpment, and uplifted Edwards Plateau. When you enjoy a romantic weekend getaway or an everyday escape at The Hideout, be sure to make a day trip to one of the many wineries near Brownwood, TX. Enjoy swirling, sniffing, and sipping complex red, white, and rosè wines you can only find in Texas Hill Country.
HISTORY OF TEXAS HILL COUNTRY WINE
Texas wine history began before grapevines were grown in California, but the history doesn’t stop there. During the 1970s, Doc McPherson began producing wine in the West Texas plains near Lubbock. He is said to be the “Father of Modern Texas Wine.” And after Ed and Susan Auler took a wine trip to France in 1973, they slowly established Fall Creek Vineyards after noticing that the soil and climate on the south shore of Lake Burnett were similar to that of France.
Adding to the early prestige of this wine-making region is Paul and Merril’s winery, Messina Hof Winery, which released its first vintage in 1983, and now they produce 95 different wines. Since the release of Richard and Bunny Becker’s first vintage in 1995, they put the Viognier grape on the Texas state map and helped pioneer Texas as a wine region.
Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken of Pedernales Cellars planted their first vineyard in the early 1990s, and over time their vineyard began producing consistently high-quality fruit with bold and intense flavors. During the early 1990s, the Texas Hill Country was established. By 1999, Commissioner Combs had the idea to declare October as Texas Wine Month. This was signed by Governor Bush and started by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
This is only the tip of the iceberg on the long deep history of wine throughout Texas. While the Panhandle of Texas may be known to grow the best wine grapes in the state, the best of Texas wine country can be found in the central Texas wineries. When you aren't enjoying amenities at The Hideout, the Texas Hill Country AVA is a great place to start exploring Texas wines.
WHAT IS THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY AVA?
Established in 1991 and led by Ed and Susan Auler of Fall Creek Vineyards, the Texas Hill Country AVA is the American Viticultural Area. There are over 9 million acres (nearly 15,000 square miles) of land and the climate and terroir to produce world-class wine like those from Spain and France. Due to the warmer weather of this region, the wine grown here tends to have a slightly higher alcohol content ranging from 13.5 to 15.5%.
The AVA spreads from north of San Antonio up to San Saba and west of Austin to Rocksprings. There are over 60 wineries within the AVA and 1,000 planted acres of wine vineyards in Texas. It’s the soil varieties of limestone, granite, clay, and sandstone in this unique humid subtropical climate that makes creating world-class wines possible.
The Texas Hill Country AVA is the largest AVA in the state and the second largest in the entire country.
Texas Hill Country wine is so popular that most of the wine produced here is enjoyed by Texans and never leaves the state! Make sure you get a chance to try these popular wines during your vacation at the best Texas resort in Hill Country.
HOW MANY WINERIES ARE IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY?
In Texas Hill Country, there are over 50 wineries and vineyards! There are a few different wine trails that you can follow to have a fun day trip when you’re staying at The Hideout.
Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 - There are 10 wineries associated with this wine trail are all along U.S. Highway 290 on either side of Fredericksburg.
Hill Country Wine Trails - You’ll discover 30 unique wineries associated with these trails, spanning from Austin to Fredericksburg or Lampasas to New Braunfels if you are looking to go further.
Texas Wine Month Passport - During Texas Wine Month in October, explore the self-guided wine trail from participating wineries to get your passport stamped while celebrating this special Texas month.
Experience world-class wine while you tour and enjoy tastings at some of the best vineyards in Texas Hill Country.
WINE COUNTRY TIPS AND ETIQUETTE
As you take the trip to discover the best that Texas Hill Country wine has to offer, there are some tips and etiquette to make your wine journey unforgettable.
- Whether you have a designated driver, or a rideshare app, or a taxi, plan to have a safe way back to your home or where you are vacationing. If you have a designated driver, many wineries offer refreshments just for them.
- Be sure to plan ahead to know how many wineries you would like to tour in a single day. Choosing between three and five is recommended.
- Drink plenty of water!
- Drinking the entire tasting glass is not necessary. There are usually spittoons for you to place the rest of the wine. Many wineries offer between five or six wines for each tasting. All of that wine can add up.
- Bring proper identification, the winery staff will check; a jacket or sweater, some parts of the winery may be a bit chilly; and bring a cooler with ice packs (if you are driving), leaving purchased wine in a hot car is bad for the wine.
- Try not to wear cologne or perfume that day so you can enjoy the smell and taste of the wine.
- Try to take at least two sips of the wine you are tasting. The first sip could be affected by any food or previous wine you had.
- Eat the food they offer, such as crackers, bread, and cheese. They are there to be palate cleansers between tastings.
- If you taste a wine that you don’t like, try not to make negative comments about it. Just say it wasn’t your favorite wine and move on to the next one.
- Ask questions! The staff is always happy to explain anything that you don’t know or understand.
Some of the smaller wineries do not work with distributors, so the winery tasting room may be the only place to find the new wine you enjoy!
WINERIES IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY NEAR BROWNWOOD
Grapevines crawling up trellises painted against the Hill Country’s vast open spaces accented with huge oak trees set a relaxing, picturesque environment to sip wine at quality winery resorts in Texas. With the sheer amount of wineries in the Heartland of Texas, we’ve created a list of 14 must-see wineries. Many of the top wineries in Texas are just a short distance from The Hideout in Brownwood, TX.
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 24 minutes Fredericksburg vineyard location
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 5 minutes Fredericksburg tasting room location
The Becker Vineyard was founded in 1992, and the winery is in a reproduction of a later 19th century German stone barn. This facility is 10,000 square feet with 74 fermentation tanks and over 4,500 barrels for the aging process. The picturesque sunsets make Becker Vineyards an ideal setting for facility tours and a tasting in one of their many tasting rooms. You can find Becker Vineyard as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail and the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290.
FALL CREEK VINEYARDS
Drive Time from The Hideout: 3 hours for Driftwood location
Drive Time from The Hideout: 1 hour 52 minutes for Tow location
The historic Fall Creek Vineyards has deep Texas roots while being conceived through worldly inspiration to create word-class windes for over 40 years. They craft wines that reflect the complex soils so you can taste these notable wines. Enjoy wine from Fall Creek Vineyards at their Tow or Driftwood locations. Fall Creek Vineyards is part of the Hill Country Wine Trail.
GRAPE CREEK VINEYARDS
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 12 minutes Georgetown Tasting locations
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 5 minutes Fredericksburg Main Tasting location
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 18 minutes Fredericksburg vineyard location
Grape Creek Vineyard’s estate offers state-of-the-art production facilities, expansive vineyards, and Tuscan-inspired tasting rooms. Taste the differences in a unique tour and guided tasting of the wide array of varietals offered by Grape Creek Vineyards. Visit one of two locations in Fredericksburg or in Georgetown. Experience Grape Creek Vineyards as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail and the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290.
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 27 minutes
Turning Texas grapes into praiseworthy wine is a specialty of Pedernales Cellar. They overlook the Pedernales River valley in Stonewall for its picturesque Texas Hill Country surroundings. Part of the winemaking at Pedernales Cellar is employing sound agricultural practices to minimize their ecological impact. This sustainable practice from their vineyards to their tasting room.
MESSINA HOF HILL COUNTRY
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 19 minutes
A vast array of wine is waiting for you at Messina Hof Hill Country in Fredericksburg with more than 65 types of wine. Family, tradition, and romance are the three cornerstones of this family-owned business. They are one of the largest producers of 100% Texas wine. Discover the tastes and aromas of Messina Hof Hill Country wine as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail and the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290.
SOLARO ESTATE WINERY
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 42 minutes
Paying homage to the family’s winemaking roots in Romagna, Italy, Solaro Estate Winery takes this family knowledge to craft delectable wine in Dripping Springs. The modern equipment and finest technology they used at Solaro Estate Winery helps them maximize quantities of their complex wines. Take appreciation of wines crafted at Solaro Estate Winery as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail.
SANDY ROAD VINEYARDS
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 26 minutes
Owned and operated by two Texas families, Sandy Road Vineyards brings exquisite winemaking and a passion for farming to create some of the best wines in Texas. You can enjoy private tastings on the treehouse deck overlooking the vineyard or a casual tasting in the covered pavilion. Make the trip out to Johnson City to experience wine tasting in this exclusively outdoor setting.
WESTCAVE CELLARS WINERY
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 26 minutes
Let the rich aromas and delicious flavor profiles of the 100% Texas fruit wine bring you to Johnson City winery, Westcave Cellars Winery. This 9 acre Hill Country vineyard offers behind-the-scenes tours and tastings of their wine produced in a French style. Discover the unique wines of Westcave Cellars Winery as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail.
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 15 minutes
Make your way out to Spicewood to see the beautiful 32-acre vineyard of Spicewood Vineyards. They have a full understanding of the variations in weather conditions to make sure each vintage at your table is amazing. Enjoy the over 12 varietals of wines offered by Spicewood Vineyard as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail.
NARROW PATH WINERY
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 33 minutes Stonewall location
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 4 minutes Fredericksburg location
The small-batch wines make the Narrow Path Winery a unique place to wine from their one-acre vineyard. You can enjoy wines at Narrow Path Winery’s locations in Stonewall or Fredericksburg. Experience the exceptional wines from Narrow Path Winery as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail and the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290.
INWOOD ESTATES VINEYARD
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 18 minutes Fredericksburg location
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 55 minutes Dallas location
Superior quality fine wines from Texas grapes come from Inwood Estates Vineyard. Using exclusively Texas-grown grapes has made wine unique for Fredericksburg or a longer trek to Dallas. Enjoy the flavors and aroma offered through the wines of Inwood Estates Vineyard as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail.
>Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 21 minutes
Grab a glass of wine made from 100% Texas-grown grapes in Johnson City and enjoy the outdoor seating at Lewis Wines. This winery has views of the Pedernales River Basin overlooking the 100-acre vineyard. Taste the exquisite wines from Lewis Wines as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail.
>Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 20 minutes
The 200-acre Signor Vineyards offers some beautiful views in the Fredericksburg location. Their creation and taste of the small-batch wines shine through with their detail to the terrior. Find your new favorite wine at Signor Vineyards as part of the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290.
Drive Time from The Hideout: 2 hours 20 minutes
The young winery Hilmy Cellars produces small-batch wines using 85% of grapes from the Texas High Plains. The site was purchased in 2008. This Fredericksburg site was previously farmland with heavy clay soil. They use quality farming to make artisan wine that starts in the vineyard. Sip the varietals offered at Hilmy Cellars as part of the Hill Country Wine Trail and Fredericksburg Wine Road 290.
Start planning your wine tour from The Hideout today!
Contact us to become a part of our growing custom home community. And remember if you haven’t seen The Hideout lately, you haven’t seen it!