You might be surprised to learn that Texas has 19 ‘wine trails,’ or specific regions with a concentration of Texas wineries to tour. Undoubtedly, one of the most popular is the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail. This popular “trail” features over 50 wineries offering wine sampling, vineyard touring, dining and shopping. This means a weekend full of fun, flavor and relaxation for locals and visitors alike.
While Texas might not immediately come to mind as a top destination for grape growing and wineries, the state’s varied topography and soils are helping to establish a reputation for high-quality wines. The quality fruits and innovative, high-end beverages being produced in the region’s wineries today affirm the old adage that everything is bigger in Texas. Thanks to the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, that also includes the enjoyment you get from sipping your favorite glass of wine under our signature wide-open sky.
While the wine trail stays busy all summer, and many top wineries do brisk business year-round, the fall time might be your best opportunity for getting out there and enjoying the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail. It is true that the changing seasons and hilly landscape do not give Texas Hill Country quite as many vibrant “fall colors,” but the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country is hard to match on a sunny fall day.
In Texas, grape harvesting season usually begins in August, so an early fall tour may even score you a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most critical and formative steps in producing that delicious Texas Hill Country wine.
Wine Trail Tasting Highlights
Here are some of the highlights along the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail you won’t want to miss:
Messina Hof Hill Country Winery - Fredericksburg, TX
After a scenic drive north from San Antonio and New Braunfels, you’ll find the acclaimed Messina Hof Hill Country Winery. From the architecture to the first taste of wine, many visitors consider this a quintessential Hill Country winery.
Duchman Family Winery - Driftwood, TX
Situated just southwest of Austin, the Duchman Family Winery has been in operation since 2004 with the specific goal of producing authentic Italian wines with Texan grapes. Make dinner reservations before you head out to pair your experience with a world-class meal.
Flat Creek Estate Winery & Vineyard - Marble Falls, TX
Flat Creek Estate is a perennial favorite along the wine trail. Flat Creek sets itself apart with its own disc golf course that offers an exciting new way to tour the grounds. Flat Creek is also well known for its ambitious list of varietals, including Muscat Blanc, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Tinta Madeira, Blanc du Bois, Pinot Grigio and more.
Other Hill Country Destinations to Visit in the Fall
Your Hill Country wine tour doesn’t need to be all about wine. With 50+ wineries to check out, a full exploration is going to take several adventures, like the following:
Considered by some to be the crown jewel of the Texas Hill Country, Canyon Lake offers opportunities for paddling, fishing, swimming and capturing beautiful views. With over an 8,000-acre shoreline, Canyon Lake has something for anyone who loves being outdoors.
Olive oil tours
With all the wine-making success of the area, it's no surprise that the Texas Hill Country is also quickly becoming a prime location for creating olive oil. Check out Texas Hill Country Olive Co. in Dripping Springs or one of several other quality producers in the area.
Beer and barbecue
If wine isn’t your thing, you’ll still find a lot to love in the Texas Hill Country. Iconic barbecue joints and innovative microbrewery operations are peppered throughout the region. Hay’s County Barbecue and Kelly’s Hill Country Barbecue are worth adding to your list.
Final Tips for a Successful Texas Hill Country Fall Wine Tour
To make the most out of your fall wine tour, keep these tips in mind:
- Pair your Texas wine tour with other activities in the Texas Hill Country like kayaking, hiking, or just relaxing at a bed and breakfast.
- Buy plenty of Texas Hill Country wine, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to take home for infusing your cooking with the flavors of Texas.
- Plan your trip for early November so you can pair it with a visit to Wurstfest in New Braunfels, one of the largest and most exciting annual celebrations of German heritage in the United States.