BY SYDNI ELLIS
With its fantastic hillside vineyards and romantic setting, it’s no surprise that Napa Valley, California, is a popular fall travel destination. But did you know you can experience exquisite wine right here in Texas? From wine country near Fredericksburg to local wineries in North Texas and beyond, there are plenty of choices to sip local vino on a day trip this month. Book a weekend getaway exploring different vineyards or go on a date to a nearby winery (designate a driver or use a ride-share service), then bring a few bottles home to recreate that vacation-like feeling whenever you want.
Following a family tradition, Bob Landon has been making wine since 1989 in his basement in Missouri. Now, Landon Winery has been one of the largest in Texas since it opened in 2005, with stainless steel tanks, American and French barrels, laboratory and bourbon barrel-aged wine. Stop by one of its five locations in Dallas, Greenville, McKinney, Wylie, and Grapevine for a tour, tasting, live music, festival, art classes, food pairing, and more. LandonWinery.com
Llano Estacado Winery
Grapes grow like a dream in the Texas High Plains, where the award-winning Llano Estacado wine is made. If you want to see the entire wine-making process (from crushing to barrel aging to bottling), then this is the place to be. This premium, Lubbock-area winery offers tastings, complimentary tours, and event spaces to rent.
Bingham Family Vineyards
These family-run vineyards and wineries sell only 100% estate-bottled wines, meaning they grow their own grapes and produce their own wine. Tour the 170 acres of grapes in Meadow, Texas, or sign up for a delightful wine tasting at one of their tasting rooms in Grapevine or Fredericksburg. BinghamFamilyVineyards.com
3 Texans Winery
A mom and her daughters started the 3 Texans Winery in 2009 in Temple, and its premium wine and friendly atmosphere have made them a success. Check out their new tasting room, where they offer sips of red, white, and rosé in addition to homemade sangria, wine bellinis, and apple cider. 3TexansWinery.com
Texas Hills Vineyard
Located in Johnson City, Texas, Hills Vineyard uses all Texas grapes to craft its award-winning wine. Tour the vineyard, located in the Pedernales River Valley, then try some wine, cheese, and sausage in the tasting room, overlooking 25 acres of vineyards. TexasHillsVineyard.com
Winery on the Bay
Overlooking the Aransas Bay near the Gulf of Mexico in Rockport is the Winery on the Bay, a serene place to hang out, sip wine, and enjoy the views. This custom winery offers sampling and opportunities to make your own wine and design an original label. It’s the perfect souvenir. WineryOnTheBay.com
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards
Drinking wine is an entire experience at the Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards in Pittsburgh. Relax at their 40-acre estate vineyard, winery, restaurant, and Tuscan cottage in Northeast Texas, where you can also enjoy tours and live music. Or visit their new tasting room in Fredericksburg, where you can enjoy sweet and dry flights, wine by the glass or bottle, or private tastings. LosPinosRanchVineyards.com
Explore Texas Wine Country in Fredericksburg
Located over an hour from Austin and San Antonio is Fredericksburg, the heart of Texas Wine Country. This area is one of the most-visited wine regions in the U.S., and Texas is the fifth-largest wine-producing state in the country. Fredericksburg is home to more than 50 wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms, with another 50 located in the greater Texas Wine Country. Here are a few things to do if you visit.
- The Urban Wine Trail includes more than 10 wineries and wine-tasting rooms located downtown, within walking distance to historic locations, boutiques, and hotels. It’s a great way to enjoy several varieties of wine without ever getting in a car.
- Go to Oktoberfest October 1st through the 3rd, where you can celebrate German culture with music, dancing, food, drinks, artisans, oompah, and family fun! You can’t miss the waltz and yodel contests, stein hoist, and dirndl and lederhosen contest.
- Buy tickets to the Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest October 21st through the 23rd, a fun fall festival featuring a delicious dinner, demonstrations by area chefs, wineries, grape tossing, dancing, shopping for handmade local goods, and more.
- Try as many Texas wines as you like with a Texas Wine Month Passport from October 1st through the 31st at participating wineries. You can try more than 35 award-winning wines from Texas Hill Country Wineries for just $85. You’re welcome to participate over a weekend or all 31 days of October.