Most of the time when you think of wine country, you think of Sonoma, Napa, Italy, Spain, etc. Did you know that the Texas Hill Country has over 45 wineries, and is the second leading wine producer for the United States? There is a 45 mile stretch of wineries along Highway 290, which is the more popular part of Fredericksburg Wineries.
We (OJ & I) have been twice, and we always go in February which is our anniversary month. It is such a perfect time of year to go, the weather is always amazing and the wineries are not crowded at all! The only downside is that the grapes are not on the vine, and I am dying to see that! I will give you my (completely unobjective, biased) opinion on five of the better wineries in Fredericksburg! My very favorite winery will not be on this list, because it deserves a post of its own!
The vines at Becker Vineyards.
We have been to a total of seven wineries in Fredericksburg but I’m just going to talk about my top 5 favorites. Obviously, this is completely objective and entirely my own opinion. These are just the wineries I’ve had the best experience at.
5. Becker Vineyards
If you live in the Austin area, you have seen this name. It is a very popular and commercialized winery and they have wines in grocery stores all over the city. The winery in Fredericksburg is probably one of the biggest. It has a huge tasting room, a little gift shop, a small kitchen and huge lavender fields in the back. There were SO many wines to choose from, it was completely overwhelming! Compared to other wineries, there were 20+ wines on this tasting list, where other wineries had only 6-8 wines.
The grounds and the lavender fields at Becker Vineyards.
Now, while the grounds were beautiful and there were awesome wines and a huge selection, the only downside, in my opinion, was the crowd. I mean there were 6 or 7 tasting bars and they were all PACKED. I believe we went on a Sunday afternoon, and it was chock full of bachelorette parties, girls weekend participants, and couples. We ended up having to stand on the end of the bar and wave to get someone’s attention every time we wanted a wine taste. I don’t know that I would go back, but I’m glad we went at least once.
4. Grape Creek Winery
This winery was the very first winery we went to on our first trip to Fredericksburg in 2016. It is very popular and commercialized, not unlike Becker’s Winery. The only difference is that you can pay a little extra to do a private wine tasting and tour of the facilities! Being our first time at a winery, I felt like this was a good way to go. Let me tell you, it was amazing.
The terrace at Grape Creek Winery.
(Apparently, in my pre-blog years, I took about 80% less pictures of everything, so there are no pictures of the rest of the winery! UGH.) I’ll just try to describe it so well, that you’ll have no choice but to go there! The terrace was so pretty. The ONE picture I have of it does not do it justice. It was pretty bare because it was February, but I could see it being so much prettier in the spring or the fall.
I’ll just try to describe it so well, that you’ll have no choice but to go there! The terrace was so pretty. The ONE picture I have of it does not do it justice. It was pretty bare because it was February, but I could see it being so much prettier in the spring or the fall. They had a trattoria with amazing pizzas. We had some pizza and wine before we took our tour, and it was so tasty.
Our tour was about $30 each if I remember correctly, and included a semi-private (6 people groups) tour of the grounds and the areas where they make and cask the wine. It was really cool, and we even got to try some wine out of the barrels! Once we finished the tour, we got to do our wine tasting, and it was so fun. The sommelier gave us really good descriptions of each wine, and not being a wine lover (I am now, but then I wasn’t!) it was great to have information about each wine and be able to learn what I will and won’t like. We would definitely go there again! They also have a small tasting room in Georgetown, but we haven’t made it up there yet.
3. Pedernales Cellars
I was told to go to Pedernales Cellars by no less than seven people. Three people told me to go before we even left Austin, and at every single winery we went to in Fredericksburg, they recommended Pedernales Cellars. With rave reviews like that, how could we not go? This recommendation was a great one because we had such a great time!
The terrace at Pedernales was amazing, and the views were spectacular!
We went to Pedernales Cellars in February of 2017. This weekend that we went just happened to be one of our good friend’s birthday weekend and she was there with our roommate! It was completely unplanned so we met up with them at a couple wineries. This was one of them.
I’ll be completely honest, when we went inside to do our wine tasting, we weren’t blown away. The wine was fine, the service was mediocre, and they only had 6 or 7 wines to choose from. Being a white wine lover, I always find it hard to enjoy a tasting when it is mostly red wine. We did a quick tasting and then grabbed a glass and sat out on the patio for an hour or so.
While I don’t think I would go back for the wine, but I would certainly go back for the view! It was easily the best view of the Texas Hill Country in Fredericksburg. When we got there, we understood why it came so highly recommended.
2. Hilmy Cellars
Going to Hilmy Cellars was completely spontaneous and unplanned. I hadn’t heard much about it, and we weren’t even planning on going there. It just so happened that a winery in downtown Fredericksburg carried their wine, and we tasted it and liked it so much that we went to the actual winery!
This winery is very small and very personal! There was only room for about 6 couples (because you always go as a couple right?!) to taste at the one bar they had, and it was almost full, but not packed. It was very quiet, and the tasting we got was extraordinary. The sommelier that gave us our wines gave us a detailed history of each one, hand picking each one based on what we said we liked. He told us where the grapes were from, how the wine was made, the reason for the name of the wine, and exactly why we would like it. It was so cool to have so much detail with the wine tasting! This might not be for everyone, but we genuinely enjoyed having this history lesson on wine!
The grounds were exceptional, and unlike any other winery we had been to! They regularly have wild animals roaming the grounds. Goats, sheep, chickens, peafowl, and a dog! I think there were others but these are just the animals I heard about. They said the peafowl help them eradicate all the pest-like bugs that try to eat the grapes! We would definitely go back to Hilmy for a one of a kind wine tasting experience!
1. Baron’s Creek Vineyards
I think I could talk about this winery all day. It is so unique and so beautiful. Pictures really don’t even do the grounds justice. It has a strong Spanish influence, and there are eight villas in the back that are available for rent.
Stunning grounds at Baron’s Creek! Perfect for a wedding.
Baron’s Creek is easily one of my favorite wineries. Their wines are delicious, and they are another winery that will give you a detailed background on their wines and the story behind the names. Not to mention their amazing backyard is so fun to just hang out in!
We have been lucky enough to make it there twice and both times there was amazing sunny weather, and we got a glass of wine and sat out on the grounds for over an hour! I can never get enough of this place. They are a relatively new winery, opened in January of 2016. So they don’t have their own vines set up just yet, but hope to have some in the near future. The service we get at this winery is always amazing, and they always convince us to go home with a few bottles of wine!
Overall, we always have a wonderful time in Fredericksburg. There are great wines, great people, and amazing views! I’ll take the Texas Hill Country over Napa Valley any day.