There’s no need to fly to Sonoma or Napa to celebrate glorious grapes, because you have plenty of delicious handcrafted wine in and around the Lake Travis area.
With sweeping views, tasting rooms and laid-back friendly vibes, the vineyards and wineries nestled throughout the Texas Hill Country are not to be missed. And now that summer is here, perhaps you have more time to get acquainted with your local wine producers.
From Fredericksburg to Spicewood, we’ve picked 7 spots that will make your inner grape geek sing:
Hawks Shadow Winery in Dripping Springs
In the gateway to the Hill Country (AKA Dripping Springs) there are plenty of rustic spots where you can soak in the beauty of your surroundings. Hawks Shadow Winery is one of them. Its 76-acre estate features two vineyards, a new winery, tasting room and under ground barrel cellar with a spectacular view.
Plus, this beautiful family-owned winery has a great backstory. Owners Doug and Carol originally purchased the farm in 1989 and spent the next four years clearing and working the land. They knew it had potential and they were right. Their first foray into growing grapes was unsuccessful, but when they tried again in a different location — on the barren hilltop — success!
In 2010, they officially started the winery, but it was a bittersweet year because they lost their beloved horse, Hawk’s Shadow, a yearling they bought in 1990. Today, they say Hawk’s spirit lives along the hills and creekbeds. With breathtaking views and their pet-friendly mantra, this is a must-visit destination.
7500 McGregor Lane
Dripping Springs, TX
Tasting hours: Saturday noon–6pm, Sunday by appointment, Wednesday-Friday by appointment
Bell Springs Winery and Sidecar in Dripping Springs
Also located in Dripping Springs is Bell Springs Winery. In addition to the tasting room at the winery, Bell Springs opened a Sidecar Tasting Room in the historic district of Dripping in 2015. And it is adorable. It’s for the 21+ crowd with a menu of small plates, wine cocktails and plenty of live music.
Now you can get the best of both worlds, it just depends on your mood. The winery opened in 2010 and has been a favorite destination in the Texas Hill Country ever since. Surrounded by towering trees and rustic decor, the setting at Bell Springs Winery just feels right. The grounds beckon you to explore the wine menu at your leisure and stay a while.
3700 Bell Springs Rd.
Dripping Springs, TX
Tasting hours: Open daily 11am-6pm
El Gaucho Winery in Spicewood
The goal of El Gaucho Winery was to bring a little taste of Argentina to Texas. Mission accomplished.
While it may be located in Spicewood, Texas, it sure does feel like you’ve stepped into the owner’s homeland of Argentina. Inspired by a hunting trip to Mendoza — one of the largest wine making areas in the country — Bennett and Eugenia Sewell have been sharing their love of South American wines with us since 2015.
The other thing apparent at El Gaucho is the couple’s love of children. That’s right, this is a family-friendly winery. The playground located behind the tasting room is decked out with mini teepees and rock gardens. This means you can enjoy handcrafted wine while your kiddos enjoy their own hill country adventures.
21268 Kathy Ln
Tasting hours: Thursday-Sunday noon-7pm
Stone House Vineyard in Spicewood
From a taste of Argentina at El Gaucho to a taste of Australia at Stone House Vineyard …
Inspired by her home in Australia’s Barossa Valley wine country, founder Angela Moench (together with husband Howard) craft wine that blend Texas and Australian methodologies and flavors. When the couple bought the land in 1996, they weren’t planning on planting vines. But after researching with viticulturists and oenologists, they planted nearly seven acres of Norton, a native American varietal, in 1999. Fast forward to 2002 — Angela was running a vineyard.
Howard designed the unique buildings at Stone House. The winery is constructed of massive limestone blocks — forming a veritable stone house — each weighing more than 2,000 pounds. The architecture, grounds and spectacular views enhance the enjoyment of Stone House Vineyard’s award-winning sips.
24350 Haynie Flat Road
Tasting hours: Monday noon-5pm, Tuesday-Wednesday (closed), Thursday noon-5 pm, Friday-Saturday noon-6pm, Sunday noon-5pm
Spicewood Vineyards in Spicewood
Grape vines as far as the eye can see, beautiful stone buildings with limestone and wood accents, a roomy covered patio — welcome to Spicewood Vineyards! It’s like a classic Texas gentleman’s ranch with estate-grown grapes.
Spicewood Vineyards lives by the hands-on approach and happily have their hands in the dirt year-round to grow the perfect fruit. In Texas, Mother Nature can be especially brutal, so the folks at Spicewood Vineyards take great care to actively work the vineyards through each season. And the end result is sublime.
Spicewood Vineyards features more than 12 varieties of wine including empranillo, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot that thrive in the Texas terroir. In addition to being known for their wine, Spicewood Vineyards has been chosen as a 5 star top pick for weddings by The Knot two years in a row. With sprawling shade trees and majestic views of the vineyard, their Event Center is a gem within itself.
1419 Burnet CR409, Po.Box 248
Phone: (830) 693-5328
Tasting hours: Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday noon-5pm, Monday & Tuesday by appointment
Flat Creek Estate in Marble Falls
One of the most well-known wine names in the game is Flat Creek, an 80-acre vineyard estate with 20 acres of vineyard, a 10,000 case wine production facility, a championship level disc golf course, a wine tasting room, and a restaurant.
In 2015, we gave you an in-depth look at the magic behind the vines of Flat Creek with winemaker Tim Drake. Want to know all about the journey of a grape from the vineyard to the vine with a focus on sustainability? Tim is your guy.
Today Flat Creek offers you a variety of ways to experience both the land and the wine. Whether you like strolling on a wine walk, playing disc golf or dining at their urban wine bar, The Enoteca, you’ll find it all here.
24912 Singleton Bend E.
Marble Falls, TX
Tasting hours: Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm
112 US Hwy 281
Marble Falls, TX
830-637-7123 (reservations required)
Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-9pm
Grape Creek Vineyards in Fredericksburg
Whether you’re a wine novice or a connoisseur, taking a wine tour with friends is definitely a fun excursion. In 2015, we shared a few wine tour tips if you’re contemplating one. On this list you’ll find a taste of Tuscany in Texas at Grape Creek Vineyards.
If you haven’t been yet, Grape Creek is a 100-acre estate with a winery, tasting rooms and restaurant. The views and the grounds are exquisite — like an Italian countryside. In addition to award-winning wine, Grape Creek offers unique Italian fare that perfectly pairs with your vino. From stone-baked pizzas to pasta specials to grilled paninis and cheese boards, you won’t leave hungry.
In addition to the estate in Frederickburg, Grape Creek has a tasting room in downtown Georgetown, On The Square. It features wine tastings, live music, food items and an outdoor patio.
Winery & Restaurant
10587 E. US Hwy 290
Tasting hours: Monday-Friday 11am-5:30pm, Saturday 10am-5:30pm (must purchase tasting package on Saturdays), Sunday 11am-5pm
On The Square
101 W. 7th Street
Hours: Monday-Thursday noon-7pm, Friday noon-8pm, Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday noon-5pm
Where’s your favorite spot to enjoy a glass of vino in the Texas Hill Country? Let us know in comments section on our Facebook page.