VintageTexas Tasting Route for the Holiday Wine Trail

VintageTexas Tasting Route for the Hill Country Holiday Wine Trail

Dec. 5-7, 2008

This is my weekend for field wine blogging. I willl participate in the Hill Country Wineries, 2008 Holiday Wine Trail. For more information, see my previous blog posting at:  

The Holiday Wine Trail event will be held Dec 5-7 & 12-14 & 19-21. I will run the trail Friday, December 5 through Sunday, December 7, tasting, talking and taking in the Texas Terroir. As shown in the accompanying figure, I have planned three sub-trails, one for each of the three days: Red – Friday, Blue – Saturday and Green Sunday.

I hope to be able to link up on the trail with you.

I want to share your tasting, panoramic and personal experiences with other readers, some of which regularly log-in from faraway places like Denmark, Japan and Brazil (even a faraway place called California, but they have to stay undercover out there). I even have a group of Texas expats in the Middle East (where they cannot buy wine) that use to do virtual tastings based on my reviews and comments from readers, and then have a discussion on merits of some of Texas finest wines versus other wines from around the world.

In addition to field blogging, I will use my Twitter account to post short snippets about where I am, who I have met and what I have seen and tasted. You can select to follow my Twitter account by going to:  

So, if you are on the trail, just visiting certain wineries in the Texas Hill Country or want to do a “virtual tasting”, please following the blog or make contact with me either virtually or in person. Those of you not on the trail, please provide your comments to the blog postings using the comments function at the top and bottom of each blog post.

I hope to have a stimulating and different web-enabled Texas wine experience.

P.S. I will also be reading my email periodically at  


A list of the wineries that I intend to visit is given below with reference numbers to the trail map above.

1 – Alamosa Wine Cellars • (325) 628-3313

677 CR 430, Bend, TX 76824
Hours: Fri-Sat 10-5; Sun 12-5; or by appt
3 miles west of Bend on Hwy 580 between Lampasas and San Saba. Sangiovese, Viognier, Tempranillo and Syrah. We specialize in Mediterranean style wines made exclusively with Texas grapes. Specialty wines include Texas Port, Orange Muscat and Texas Sherry. Gift shop, gourmet items, picnic area and veranda. Complimentary tasting.

2 – Becker Vineyards • (830) 644-2681

464 Becker Farms Rd, Stonewall, TX 78671
Hours: Mon-Thu 10-5; Fri-Sat 10-6; Sun 12-6
Featured in Wine Spectator, starred on The Fine Living Channel, and served at The White House, these hand crafted award-winning Bordeaux, Burgundian, and Rhone-styled wines are enjoyed with fine cuisine or casual fare. Events, Tastings, Tours, Picnic Areas, Reception Hall, and B&B available.

3 – Chisholm Trail Winery • (830) 990-CORK

2367 Usener Rd., Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Hours: Thu-Mon 12-6
Nine miles west of Fredericksburg on Hwy 290 west, 2.4 miles south on Usener Road. Relaxed country setting featuring premium Estate Bottled wines.

4 – Comfort Cellars Winery • (830) 995-3274

723 Front Street, Comfort, TX 78013
hours: Thur-Sat 11-6 Sun-Mon 12-5 Tues-Wed 12-6
723 Front Street (also known as Hwy 27). I-10 exit 523 to business 87, 1 mile to Jct. Hwy 27 to Stop sign. Take a right hand turn at the stop sign and then an immediate left hand turn into the winery parking lot. Fine wines and unique wines like Jalapeño and Peach. Gift shop featuring Bubble Comfort Corner handmade soaps and wine related items.

5 – Driftwood Vineyards • (512) 858-9667

4001 Elder Hill Road CR 170, Driftwood, TX 78619
Hours: Mon-Sun 10-6
Located 6 miles S of Hwy 290 on Ranch Road 12 between Dripping Springs & Wimberley. Mediterranean style wines. Breathtaking hilltop view overlooking the vineyard. Giftshop, tastings, picnic area and covered deck. Weddings & private parties welcome!

6 – Dry Comal Creek Vineyards • (830) 885-4121

1741 Herbelin Rd., New Braunfels, TX 78132
Hours: Mon-Sun 12-5
6.6 miles west of New Braunfels off Hwy 46 west (at 1741 Herbelin Rd). Featuring unique and different Texas Style Wines. Only 20 minutes from Loop 1604 via IH35 or Hwy 28.

7 – Fall Creek Vineyards • (325) 379-5361

1820 CR 222, Tow, TX 78672
Hours: Mon-Fri 11-4; Sat 11-5; Sun 12-4
Fall Creek Vineyards, established in 1975, is the oldest vineyard & winery operation in the Hill Country and founder of the region. Fall Creek Vineyards is at the forefront of the Texas wine industry in demand and accolades for its award-winning wines. Located on the northwest shores of Lake Buchanan, boat cruises are available to magnificent Fall Creek Falls lake – level permitting. Tasting, tours, picnic facilities with light fare for sale and gift shop offered daily.

8 – Flat Creek Estate • (512) 267-6310

24912 Singleton Bend Street, Marble Falls, TX 78654
Hours: Tue-Fri 12-5; Sat 10-5; Sun 12-5
Experience Old-World charm throughout our 80-acre Estate. Visit the home of “Super Texan” sangiovese. Taste handcrafted Texas wines from Texas grapes – labels include Flat Creek Estate & Travis Peak Select. Located 6 miles west of Lago Vista (20 miles east of Marble Falls) on FM 1431. South on Singleton Bend 2.5 miles to Singleton Bend East. Left 1 mile to vineyards.

9 – Fredericksburg Winery • (830) 990-8747

247 West Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Hours: Mon-Thurs 10-5:30; Fri-Sat 10-7:30; Sun 12-5:30
Named one of the top three producers in Texas by USA Today – Fredericksburg Winery is owned and operated by the Switzer family. We make a complete spectrum of red and white wines – dry, semi-dry, medium sweet, and sweet and even one-step further late harvest desserts. Wait two-steps further – port and sherry! Come do “Wine 101 (WHP)” and get the real scoop. New wine club – “The Flight Club.” Hours may vary.

10 – Grape Creek Vineyards • (830) 644-2710

10587 East Highway 290, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Hours: Mon-Fri. 10-5 Sat. 10-6 Sun 11-5
On Highway 290, 9 miles East of Fredericksburg and 3 miles West of Stonewall. At Grape Creek Vineyards, our passion is to produce premium quality wine from the best selection of grapes. Come enjoy our wines and experience “Tuscany in Texas” at our new Italian Villa tasting room, event center and romantic oasis overlooking the vineyards!One of the oldest Hill Country wineries with a B&B available.

11 – Lost Creek Vineyard • (325) 388-3753

1129 RR 2233, Sunrise Beach, TX 78643
Hours: Tues-Thurs 11-5 Fri Sat 11-6 and Sun 12-5
Visit our gorgeous new tasting room and charming amphitheater nestled in the picturesque Lost Creek Vineyard. (Visit our web site for directions). Lost Creek Johnson City, 302 E. Main St., (Hwy. 290) Johnson City, TX Hours: Thursday – Saturday 11:00-5:00, Sunday 12:00-5:00 Come by and enjoy a fun & intimate wine tasting with our knowledgeable staff where you are sure to become a fan of Lost Creek wines. Owner and Winemaker David Brinkman has a passion to create the finest wines possible. David’s wines have been awarded over 40 medals, both local and international.

12 – Mandola Estate Winery • (512) 858-1470

13308 FM 150 West, Driftwood, TX 78619
Hours: Tues.-Fri. 12 – 9 Sat.11-9 Sun. 11-8
Producing fine Texas wines from traditional Italian grape varieties in a beautiful Hill Country setting, just 25 miles from downtown Austin. In the Italian, way we combine innovative equipment and techniques with traditional methods to produce uniquely Texas wines with an Italian sense of style. If you share our love of Italian wines, or if you are just looking for a fun outing, join us. Located on FM 150, 2.3 miles south of the intersection of FM 1826 and FM 150.

13 – McReynolds Winery • (830) 825-3544

706 Shovel Mountain Road, Cypress Mill, TX 78633
Hours: Fri-Sat 10-6; Sun 12-6; or by appt.
Award-winning, hand crafted, premium Texas table wines. We are halfway between Marble Falls and Johnson City. From Austin, 25 miles West of Bee Cave (via Hamilton Pool Rd/ RR 3238) or from Round Mountain 6 miles east on RR 962 to Shovel Mountain Rd (Blanco Co Rd 304). North on Shovel Mtn Rd 1/2 mile to winery. Picnic facilities available.

14 – Pillar Bluff Vineyards • (512) 556-4078

300 Burnet County Road 111, Lampasas, TX 76550
Hours: Fri-Sat 10-5; Sun 12:30-5
From Hwy. 183/281 take 580 west 8 blocks to Farm Road 147. Turn left off 580 West and stay on 1478 for 5 miles. At the Burnet County Line turn left onto County Rd 111. The winery is the first building on the right. We specialize in French varietals. Private tastings by appointment.

15 – Singing Water Vineyards • 830-995-2246

316 Mill Dam, Comfort, TX 78013
Hours: 12 to 5 p.m. every Fri. Sat. Sun.

You will enjoy a visit to this scenic Hill Country vineyard and winery located up in the hills just south of Comfort on the banks of Bruins Creek. The tasting room, a rebuilt 100 year old Hill Country barn, greets you as you drive up to the winery. Park in the shade or tie your horse up to the old recycled wagon tailgate/sign out in front – and make yourself at home. A tour and tasting in this relaxed country atmosphere is sure to lower your stress level! Bring your picnic lunch and relax on the winery porch with a glass of Singing Water wine.

16 – Sister Creek Vineyards • (830) 324-6704

1142 Sisterdale Road, Sisterdale, TX 78006
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-5 Sat 10-6 and Sun 12-6
12 miles north of Boerne on scenic FM 1376. Award winning, barrel-aged European-style wines made in an 1885 cotton gin. Wines include Cabernet Sauvignon Blends, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Muscat Canelli.

17 – Spicewood Vineyards • (830) 693-5328

1419 Burnet CR 409, Spicewood, TX 78669
Hours: Wed-Sat 10-5 and Sun 12-5
Home of award-winning 100% estate handcrafted wines from our vineyard. Hwy 71 go south 7/10 mile on CR 408, then west 1.5 miles on CR 409. Tasting room, gallery, and gift shop. Picnic on our veranda. Winemaker tours and tastings. Special event facilities available.

18 – Stone House Vineyard • (512) 264-3630

24350 Haynie Flat Rd., Spicewood, TX 78669
Hours: Thurs-Sun 12-5; or by appt.
Beautiful setting on Lake Travis surrounded by vineyards producing award-winning wines, 35 minutes from Austin. The winery is constructed of massive limestone blocks making it functional as well as a building of artistic architectural merit. Located off Hwy 71 west, turn onto Paleface Ranch Road, 3 miles t-junction, right onto Haynie Flat Road.

19 – Texas Hills Vineyard • (830) 868-2321

878 RR 2766, Johnson City, TX 78636
Hours: Mon-Thurs 10-5 Fri-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-5
Home of the “Kick Butt Cab” and other Italian-styled “Wines to Share With Friends,” Located 1 mile east of Johnson City on RR 2766 (road to Pedernales Falls State Park). Wines include Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Orange Moscato, Merlot, Syrah and more. Enjoy a picnic on the patio overlooking the vineyard. Locally made artisan cheeses and crackers available in the tasting room. Tasting room and gift shop.

20 – Texas Legato Winery • (512) 556-9600

2935 Highway 1478, Lampasas, TX 76550
Hours: Fri – Sat 10 – 6; Sun 12 – 5
In Lampasas, Texas and from the intersection of Highway 183 and highway 580 W, turn west on Hwy 580 W, go 8 blocks to Hwy 1478 ( aka Howe Street), turn left (south) on Howe and go 4.3 miles and turn left into the winery, just west of Pillar Bluff Vineyard. We age our wines in a combination of French and American Oak barrels, giving our wines the best of both, hints of vanilla and cherry from the American Oak and the smoothness from the French Oak barrels. Due to the limited quantity of wine in the 2006 vintage, our scheduled hours will coincide with the wine trail weekends and hours. We are open by appointment if you are passing through Lampasas on a trip through the Hill Country.

21 – Torre di Pietra Vineyards • (830) 644-2829

10915 E. US Hwy 290, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Daily
Torre di Pietra, quality wines, live music, and unique gifts in a romantic setting. Come enjoy our patios, vineyard and tasting room. Located 10 miles east of Fredericksburg, Texas on US Hwy 290. We use traditional wine making methods to produce our fruit forward style. Our wines include varietals: Sangiovese, Primitivo, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Moscato and popular blends: Red Flirt and Classico.

22 – Woodrose Winery • (830) 644-2539

662 Woodrose Lane, Stonewall, TX 78671
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 11am-6pm Sat.11am-7pm Sun.12-6pm
Woodrose Winery is located on the south side of Hwy 290 just west of Stonewall or 14 miles east of Fredericksburg. Turn south off of Hwy 290 onto Woodrose Lane. We invite you to visit us at Woodrose Winery for restaurant style tastings where we bring the wine to you at your table. The new 3,000 square foot multi level deck is perfect to sit down with a glass of wine, cheese plate and enjoy our charming, laid back atmosphere under the oak trees.

For more information on The Hill Country Wineries go to:

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  1. Well, it is Friday morning and I am about to hit the trial. I am driving up from Houston and plan to hit Mandola and Driftwood and the make my way on to Johnson City and Fredericksburg.

    I will keep you posted every few stops if possible and definitely at the end of the day.

    See you on the trial.


  2. Mandola Winery

    A real WOW winery and, of course a great Italian restaurant to boot!

    Nearly all Italian varietal wines and a good job on all. My pick of the litter was a hard decision – but, Montipulciano takes the prize.


  3. Driftwood Vineyards – Had a great tasting with Gary and his TR staff. A range of well made wines and a price point that other Texas wineries should approach.

    Best of the bunch – 2006 Lone Star Cabernet

  4. Texas Hills Vineyard – I stepped on BRUTUS – the tasting room wine dog and got an unwelcome greeting. Good talking with Gray and Kathy.

    Best of the bunch is again his 2007 Rousanne (white wine) and Toro de Tejas (Temrpanillo/Cab blend).

    But, the 2004 Cab Sauv is a great buy at $15.

  5. Woodrose Winery – A good little place to go for an 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and ask for the 2005 Merlot. The Merlot is thick and chewy and alive with tannins. It screams out for a thick rare Ribeye steak.


  6. Becker Vinayards – Always good. New wines include 2008 Pinot Grigio and 2007 Grenache. These wines will please both the white and red wine drinkers……Two TexMed wines to die for!


  7. Torre di Pietra Winery – Wonderful tasting room, great Texas sunset and a glass of their Sangiovese, its the best of the bunch

    On to Fredericksburg for the evening at our homestead in Alamo Springs.

    Early start tomorrow AM starting up in Lampassas around Lake Buchanan to Marble Falls.


  8. We are on the wine trail too. But we came down from DFW and started at the top and are working our way down.

    Our favorite was Alamosa Winery in Bend, Texas. Its really a great place and we liked their wines. We are staying in Marble Falls tonight and then over to Fredericksburg tomorrow.

    Hope to see you.

    On Trail 2

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