As you find yourself driving the roads near Fredrickson, a bell tower stands at the edge of the road, a silent declaration of something significant that you shouldn’t pass by. Perhaps you are inspired to turn onto the gravel road and wind your way up the hill, past the rows of grapevines, until you reach the rustic villa at the top.
You’ve suddenly found yourself in Texas Hill wine country. The villa’s sun-drenched walls of ochre, rough and massive, its wooden beams holding up a dappled clay tile roof with oak-shaded patios, beckons you to explore further. Eyeing the rows of grapevines stretching far off into the horizon, this is exactly how you would picture Tuscany to be.
With the pleasant temperatures and the lure of the area’s wildflowers, March, April and May is a prime time to go wine tasting. However, vineyards open their tasting rooms year round. A mere 1.5-hours’ drive from Stone Oak Ranch, Texas Hill Country winetasting should be on your list of things to do. Here are just a few great wineries in the area to visit to sample some exquisite fresh grape.
This vineyard sits on what is believed to have been a Comanche campground, evidenced by the discovery of spearheads, arrowheads, and skinning tools found on the property. The banks of Grape Creek indeed gave the native tribes constant access to water. Today, this vineyard produces award-winning wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pino Noir, Syrah, dessert wines, several dry varieties and more are produced.
Tour the gorgeous 100-acre estate, winery, and Tuscan-style tasting rooms. A restaurant is located on site, nestled among the surrounding oaks. Tours are available and guided by knowledgeable and friendly ‘wine ambassadors.’ Get an interesting insight into the history, production facilities, and wine making processes of Grape Creek Vineyards.
This vineyard offers an elegant yet relaxed setting for exploring Texas wines. Formerly known as 4.0 Cellars, the wine collective is part of the Wine Road 290 Trail, which is the 2nd most traveled wine road in the United States. They pride themselves on giving wine enthusiasts and novices alike “the ultimate Texas wine experience.” They also feature a great selection of local nibbles, including cheeses from Dublin, Texas, olive oils from San Saba, and locally-made chocolates. They produce grape varieties such as Roussanne, Tempranillo, Albarino, Gewurztraminer, as well as classic Cabernet Sauvignon, dry red, and dry white wines.
Messina first opened their doors in 2011 in Fredericksburg, which was then the 2nd largest wine tourism destination in America. Today, it sits on almost 10 acres in the heart of Texas Hill Country along Highway 290. The wonderful Lenoir grapes grown here go into making traditional port wines.
They offer a spacious tasting room with over 50 different varieties, gourmet food items, and wine on tap by the glass or growler to take home. With so many different wines, you are sure to find something to satisfy your palette. Enjoy a glass while lounging at their outdoor patio, paired with the perfect cheeses, meats, and small sandwiches.
The Becker Family strives to maintain the “Old Word” feel at this popular winery. Alongside their estate Syrah, they have the Lavender Haus Tasting Room and Winery. Across from that visitors can see the original homestead lob cabin circa 1890. A renovation was completed in 1997 and for a while served as a bed and breakfast.
But even though the log cabin is no longer a B&B, the warm and inviting hearth just inside the tasting room crackles and pops with warmth on cooler days. Tours are available and offered subject to staff availability. Becker Vineyards offers Cabernet Franc, Petit Sirah, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and a variety of dry wines.