Live from Texas Wine Country - Ranked #2 in Wine Tourism
Join me here in the Texas Hill Country
I am here in the Fredericksburg-Austin Texas Hills Country Wine Region exploring and revisiting my favorite Texas wineries. Did you know that the Texas Hill Country ranks second in wine tourism to Napa Valley? And why not! With Texas ranking 5th in wine production among the US states and within a fairly short driving distance to major metropolitan areas like Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and even Dallas, the Hill Country can draw up to 21 million people to the area.
I’ve spent the last ten years writing about the emerging Texas wine industry. I have my favorite wineries and wine-grape growers. I’m back to see one that is newer and revisit several others. Join me in the next few months to see what is happening in the Texas wine country. You’ll be surprised with the wonderful range of grapes grown, mostly with Mediterranean-origin varieties like Tempranillo from Spain, Roussanne and Tannat from southern France, Vermentino from Sardinia, and Aglianico, Montepulciano, and Sagrantino from Italy to name just a few Mediterranean- area varieties. Yes, and you can find Cabernet Sauvignon and other traditional international varieties, too.
Highlights of the Trip
Ab Astris Winery - Once part of the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall, Texas Ab Astris Winery (Latin for “of the stars”) has some starring wines. Watch for a story this Fall on some of my favorites. Hints: Clairette Blanche blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Montepulciano wines. The interview with Kristen Nelson, Co-Founder, revealed the start of Mike Nelson, Kristen Nelson, and Tony Smith’s wine journey.
Bending Branch Winery - a perennial favorite of mine, I was fortunate to revisit Bending Branch Winery with Dr. Bob Young, MD, Co-Founder, and his team in the middle of their harvest. Bob pulled out a “soon to be released” 2018 Bending Branch Newsom Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, full of aromas of cedar, black fruit and smoke. Fabulous. We were lucking enough to get a tour of the crush pad and famous Flash Detente device that makes his wines so full of antioxidants, color, and flavor. Bending Branch has won Best Winery in Texas, San Antonio Express-News Readers Choice Awards for the sixth straight year. See the 2021 Wine Wanderings newsletter: Have a Healthy Wine, Part II: Bending Branch Winery, Comfort, Texas, An Interview with Dr. Bob Young, MD.
Augusta Vin Winery - Outside of Fredericksburg near the private airport lies this beautifully appointed winery. We stopped by to have a complementary wine club glass with member friends and admire the view from the deck. Augusta means “magnificent.” With a 60 acre estate vineyard surrounding the tasting room, it’s a great place to have a seated wine tastings. Some recommendations: 2018 Augusta Vin Aglianico, the 2020 Augusta Vin Albarino, and the 2018 Augusta Vin Latitude 44 - a Marsanne and Roussanne blend. See Current Releases, Augusta Vin Winery.
Stay Tuned for the Ab Astris winery review this Fall.
Wine Wanderings Editorial Calendar
Napa Valley Series: Adventures 2021
A Wine Club Event: the 50th Anniversary of Summit Lake Vineyards and Winery, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley
Elizabeth Vianna, Notable Businesswoman, General Manager and Winemaker: Chimney Rock Winery of Stags Leap District, One of America’s Few Latino Winemakers
Exclusive Pritchard Hill Pioneer, Chappellet Winery, An Interview with Dominic Chappellet
The Surprising Mixologists of Napa Valley Cocktails
Traveling to Napa Valley: Wineries, Sports Activities, Shopping, Where to Eat, Where to Stay
Napa Valley Recovery: What is the Outlook for the 2020 Vintage?
Gary Farrell Winery, Russian River Valley, Sonoma: An Interview with Winemaker Theresa Heredia
The Restaurants of Calistoga, Napa Valley
The Heritage of Hall Winery, Napa Valley: Tour and Tasting
1881 Museum Napa Valley: A Transformation of the Oakville Grocery
The Best of Joseph Phelps Vineyards: Tour with a Wine Educator
Ab Astris Winery, Stonewall, Texas – “of the Stars” Interview
What Constitutes a Great Bed & Breakfast? Recipes, Service, and Amenities
Healdsburg and the Wines of Russian River Valley: Revisiting Gary Farrell Winery
Healdsburg: Sonoma County’s Shopping and Tasting Room Mecca
America’s Exceptional Wine Country Adventures: States to Consider
The True Cost of a Cocktail with the CEO of BuzzBallz, Marilee Kick
Tour Tuscany Like a Pro