Wineries? In Texas? Sure enough, we looked it up and discovered we were near Texas Hill Wine Country. Who knew Texas was a wine destination?! Being spontaneous, we took a detour to discover what Texas wine is about.
Since we had no knowledge of the area, we took out our phones and did some quick research using the winery map on the above site, coupled with reviews on Yelp to discover the best nearby wineries to try. Our first stop was at Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, TX. We chose this place because it seemed to have more red wine tastings than other wineries. Our guide was very knowledgeable and showcased the winery’s drier whites and reds for us. We learned that this is a new wine region. The vines are still young, so the drier wines are not “quite there”. Our guide told us that Texas is more known for their sweeter wines, but that more wineries are experimenting with drier varietals.
Our next stop was Driftwood Estate Winery in Driftwood, TX. Once again, there was a decent selection of reds, as well as Lora’s favorite: sparkling wine! The highlight of the winery is the atmosphere. It’s so pleasant to just sip wine and enjoy the magnificent view.
Solaro Estate in Dripping Springs, TX was our third stop. The reds were decent, but still a bit unrefined. The real disappointment, however, is the price. We understand that $10 is a standard tasting fee for four samples. However, the pours were miniscule. Enough for one sip or two tiny sips. Tastings should allow for a proper three sip sample.
Our spontaneous wine tasting trip ended at Bell Springs Winery in Dripping Springs, TX. It’s a smaller winery, but that made for a livelier tasting. Perhaps the reason this was one of our favorite stops is because of the conversation we had with our guide and other wine tasters. The wine was decent, but again, we are sure taste with improve as the vines age.
Texas Wine Country is set amongst a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills and beautiful countryside. Austin is a short 30 minute drive away, but it feels like you have been transported to a completely different place. One thing we noticed is that many of the wineries are spending a lot of money on beautiful and large tasting rooms and outdoor patios. With that much upfront investment, you know that the proprietors are committed to the process of creating delicious wine. Give this area some time. We are sure that with vines maturing, the wine complexity will follow suit. In the meantime, visit Texas Wine Hill Country! You will surely enjoy the beautiful scenery, and lovely people. And, we are sure, you will also taste some delicious (but younger) wine!