Raise a Glass to Texas’ Top Wine Counties

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Raise a Glass to Texas’ Top Wine Counties

Would you like to see a wine list? Not a list of wines, but a list of Texas counties where you’ll find the best wines. Oil isn’t the only thing flowing in the Lone Star State. Austin happens to be home to some of the top wine counties outside California. 

The Texas Hill Country is where you’ll find some of the country’s best vino, and even in this time of COVID-19, it’s well worth the weekend or day trip. 

Looking for the perfect gift for a wine aficionado? Give him or her a bottle of Texas wine. Or better yet, wrap up a gift certificate for a wine getaway for your favorite couple. And, while you’re at it, give yourself a taste of Texas, too.

Here’s a sampling of Texas’ top wine counties along with some of the most popular wineries.

Travis County 

Wanderlust Wine Company

Travis County is home to the capital of Texas — and one of three Texas counties to make the Top 20 list of the best wine counties outside California. A quick search will turn up a couple of dozen places that serve wine in Travis County. 

 

If you’re looking for the full vineyard/tasting room experience, you’ll find rows of grapes growing near Lake Travis and the Highland Lakes chain. But you can find edgier new wines inside Austin city limits — made in urban warehouses, served in a can, or better yet, wine slushies. 

 

Tip: Wineries in Texas have been subject to some of the same COVID-19 restrictions as breweries and bars in Texas, so make a reservation online or call ahead.

 

Top wineries to try

Comal County

Sister Creek Vineyards

Gorgeous Comal County rings in at No. 16 on that Top 20 list. Home to Hill Country tourist destinations like New Braunfels and Kerrville, the wine produced here is enough to make you say yes to a second glass. 

Top wineries to try

Gillespie County 

Gillespie County — at No. 17 on the Top 20 list of wine counties outside California —  may not ring a bell, but If you’re Texan, Fredericksburg certainly will. This charming town is one of the jewels in the Texas Hill Country crown, a vacation paradise replete with vineyards and historic appeal. 

You’ll see the vineyards and tasting rooms on the road into town, welcoming visitors to sample wines or pick some peaches. Keep in mind: You may need reservations. Check out the website before you go to make sure there are no disappointments when you get there. 

Top wineries to try

Burnet County 

Flat Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery

The quaint town of Marble Falls in Burnet County depends on visitor dollars — and so locals roll out the red carpet when you visit the wineries and other attractions. Marble Falls is 58 miles northwest of Austin near Lake LBJ, in the Highland Lakes — perfect for a weekend getaway for two. 

Top wineries to try

Hays County 

Hays County is where you’ll find the Hill Country havens of Wimberley and Dripping Springs, where Texans like to vacation. But there’s more here than rolling hills and the rivers where visitors dip their feet. They also like to take a dip into the wineries in Hays County. 

Hays County residents don’t mind if you stop and stay awhile and maybe sip a glass of viognier. 

Top Wineries to enjoy

Tarrant County

Best known for the stockyards and honky-tonks of Fort Worth, Tarrant County is also home to Grapevine. You can’t talk about Texas wine counties without including the town named in homage to the wild grapes that grew in the area.

The Christmas Capital of Texas, you see, is also home to the Urban Wine Trail, hosts the annual Grapefest in the fall, and boasts of being the headquarters of the Texas wine industry.

Main Street is jammed with shops full of holiday gift ideas and tasting rooms where you can sample reds and whites year-round. What are you waiting for? 

Top wineries to try

Give the Gift of Texas Wines and Wine Tours

However you plan to celebrate the holidays this year, a glass of wine (or a bottle shared with your bubble) helps to ease some of the stress made only worse by the pandemic. Just sip back and bask in the tree lights or the roaring fire. 

Or give a bottle of your favorite Texas red or white to a loved one or friend as a tasteful gift. And in all of this craziness, giving a certificate for a weekend wine county getaway is a perfect way to unplug for a few days. 

A final note: COVID-19 restrictions have changed hours and days — and many wineries require reservations to enforce social distancing and cleanliness. Those restrictions are also subject to change, depending on what local and state leaders decide. Check with the business before you go — and enjoy the fruits of the Texas Hill Country in a way that will make Napa Valley jealous. 

About the Author: Brenda Ryan is a former TV and radio newscaster and journalist who writes for LawnStarter.com in Austin. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking, and visiting wineries around the country.