Our Fall Wine Guide in the Hill Country of Texas

Our Fall Wine Guide in the Hill Country of Texas

  • Katie Jackson

One of Texas’ best-kept secrets will remain hidden no longer! The Hill Country of Texas is one of the most extensive and most popular vineyard destinations in the world, with the glorious rolling hills of the Hill Country Wine Trail attracting endless wine enthusiasts worldwide — second only to Napa. Here in the Lone Star State, exquisite vineyards await, with vintages comparable to any you’d find in California. We’re certain that you’ll detect those flavorful notes of Southern hospitality in every glass.

Realtor® Katie Jackson, born and raised in Austin, invites you to visit her hometown and experience the incredible wine country for yourself. Read on for her itinerary of “can’t-miss” stops for a delightful wine country tour. We hope to see you this fall!

Wine country day trips

Within a day trip of Austin city limits, numerous vineyards showcase extraordinary views and elegance all around. Take in the breeze on an outdoor verandah, enjoy a glass of your favorite vintage, or participate in a wine tasting. You’ll likely notice unique red and white blends — a trademark of Texas wine. Vintners have aimed to create a uniquely 100% Texan wine that’s sure to impress. 

Read on for some amazing wineries and vineyards within a day trip of Austin, where the rolling hills hold plenty of promise.

Driftwood Estates

From its idyllic situation atop a bluff, Driftwood Estates near Dripping Springs, TX, offers numerous award-winning wines served on a shaded terrace. For 25 years, this forerunner to Hays County wine production has taken pride in its 100% pure Texan grapes. What they can’t grow on the family-run, 18-acre estate is purchased from fellow vintners farther north but never beyond the Texas border. They always stay true to their Texan roots.

Wine tastings here include your choice of six outstanding wines from the tasting room bar. Among your selections, be sure to try some of their most recent award winners: the 2017 Sangiovese Reserve, 2018 Sangiovese blend, 2018 Newson Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017 Syrah, and 2021 Semi-sweet Orange Muscat. Don’t miss the Longhorn Red, a Cabernet and Syrah blend — it’s the Driftwood signature wine. 

Enjoy a globally-inspired lunch or a sunset dinner at the Driftwood Bistro while you relax and take in the picture-perfect views of the rolling terrain. Should you happen to visit on a Sunday, make brunch your first stop on your winery tour.

Spicewood Vineyards

Here, the magnificent 32-acre vineyard promises tasteful selections of black currant and white chocolate wines, Texas High Plains cabernet, red berry tempranillo, plum merlot, and many more. Since 2007, this family-run winery has achieved its mission: creating top-notch wines in a beautiful setting. Spicewood Vineyards has been extensively celebrated for its quality production standards, winning medals at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, the TEXSOM International Wine Awards, and the Concours De Lyon International Wine Competition in France. Plus, don’t miss fun-filled events like the Sunset Socials, complete with live music, fantastic foods, and glorious sunset views.

Duchman Family Winery

A love of Italian grapes and wine varieties inspires the Duchman Family Winery’s innovative techniques, using only the best Texas-grown grapes to create sophisticated fine wines served with warmth and geniality. Guests are welcome to explore the grounds and observe the production process as they sample the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition’s gold winners — the 2016 Vermentino and the 2014 Aglianico — among a host of other popular selections. 

With world-class views and flavors, there are so many ways to experience this winery. Enjoy a casual lunch in the Duchman Family Kitchen, or reserve a romantic picnic for two, complete with a charcuterie tray, a custom tent, flameless candles, and a sampling of wines. Schedule a private tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at every step of the wine-making process, from vine dressing to bottling. Bring a lawn chair on Saturday evenings for live music or trivia. The outdoor ceremony site is perfect for an elegant wedding amidst a backdrop of gorgeous oak trees and a magnificent sunset. 

End your day with a delectable Italian dinner at Trattoria Lisina. Whether you’re celebrating a special event or aiming for an intimate dinner, you can expect a memorable evening and the finest fare. Begin with Mamma Grace’s meatballs, Frittelle Al Carciofi, or a Caprese salad. Main entree standouts include the risotto, mezzaluna, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, or Osso Buco. For dessert, a slice of Torta Cioccolato con Caramello is an indulgence you won’t want to miss. 

Salt Lick Cellars

For an immersive, only-in-Texas experience, pay a visit to Salt Lick Cellars, where you can enjoy BBQ Red, their unique, award-winning wine blend. It’s designed to pair perfectly with brisket and other hearty barbeque favorites, and we’re betting you’ll find the allure of tantalizing aromas coming from the open pit irresistible. Salt Lick’s current lineup also includes sophisticated selections of BBQ White, Farm-to-Market Ranch Road White, GSM, La Diosa Sangria, Tempranillo, Escondido Chardonnay, and more. Don’t miss a sample of the High Plains White, a distinctive blend of pinot grigio, Vermentino, and Trebbiano. Italian wine enthusiasts will enjoy the Sangiovese, produced entirely from grapes at Salt Lick.   

So, order a great glass of wine, relax on the oak tree-shaded deck, enjoy the live music, and stay for dinner. You’ll be glad you did. If you visit on a Sunday, feast on the day’s special: prime rib. 

Wimberley Valley Winery

With top-notch selections like Cellar Select Red, Sauvignon Blanc, and Christmas spiced red wine with a hint of baked apple, Wimberley Valley Winery leaves no flavors unexplored. This stunning winery boasts towering oak trees, scenic vistas, and outstanding fine wines. While you’re at it, enjoy a wood-fired pizza, Terrace burger, or chicken salad sandwich at the Wimberley Valley Winery food truck. Explore the grounds, greet the miniature donkey, and enjoy well-crafted wines you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Fredericksburg Wine Road

Further beyond these vineyards, take a scenic drive along Highway 290, aptly nicknamed “Wine Road” for its sheer number of vineyards and the ever-increasing popularity of wine-driven tourism. 

For a great weekend getaway west of Austin, make reservations at The Resort at Fredericksburg and plan your tour. With more than 50 fantastic wineries in the region, there is no shortage of adventure and astounding flavors to be found. For an absolutely relaxing experience, you can book an organized tour to suit your schedule. From luxurious limousines to hop-on, hop-off shuttles, there’s transportation to suit every group.

Becker Vineyards

Among your selection of excellent Wine Road wineries, Becker Vineyards in Fredericksburg is a must-see. The scenery alone is worth the visit — the lavender fields, peach orchards, and wildflower landscapes create a glorious backdrop to the nine varieties of grapes they grow. Along with wine tastings, you can also schedule a specialty tour to discover more about what makes these wines so special. 

Becker Vineyards is expanding its array of offerings and building a reputation as an award-winning wine producer. With accolades to back up their promise of excellence, like the double gold medal at the 2022 San Francisco International Wine Competition for their 2017 and 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, this winery amazes and inspires. The 2021 Provençal likewise earned gold-level recognition. Plus, you don’t even have to wait for your Texas Hill Country wine experience. You can order phenomenal selections from their renowned collection and enjoy your own “virtual tasting” at home while you make travel plans.

No place like home

We certainly hope your Hill Country wine adventure is filled with beautiful sights, memorable moments, and enticing flavors from the finest of Texas wines. If you’re ever looking for more than just a getaway in The Lone Star State, we’re happy to help you find the perfect place to call home. Realtor® Katie Jackson knows Hill Country and Austin real estate inside and out, and you can count on her for dedicated, professional service from your first inquiry to closing. Whether you’re looking at Zilker real estate or Bouldin Creek homes, give Katie a call today.

*Header photo courtesy of Becker Vineyards


Katie’s knowledge of the Austin real estate market is unparalleled. Fluent in Spanish and well-traveled, Katie espouses all the traits of a successful real estate agent. She provides a unique and very local perspective on all areas of Real Estate.

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