Wine Enthusiast, the world’s leading source for wine accessories, storage, information, education, events and travel, has named the Texas Hill Country in its list of the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2014.
Home to more than 185 wineries and 220 family-owned vineyards, Texas is the 5th largest wine-producing state in the U.S., and the Texas Hill Country American Viticultural Area (AVA) is the second largest in the nation.
“We are thrilled the Texas Hill Country was named among Wine Enthusiast’s 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2014,” Texas Tourism Director Brad Smyth said. “Visitors are pleasantly surprised to learn Texas’ wine making history goes back to the 1800’s, and our modern wine industry continues to flourish. We encourage our visitors to include some time in their trips to visit our award winning wineries.”
Wine Enthusiast’s editors traveled the globe for the February issue, seeking out must-see locations to nominate those worth visiting in 2014. The Hill Country was highlighted for its “supersized flavors.”
Home to some of the state’s premier wineries, the Texas Hill Country is a great stop for any Texas wine retreat. Fredericksburg, which is part of the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, is just a short trip from Austin and San Antonio and features wineries like Fall Creek Vineyards, Becker Vineyards – one of the state’s oldest wineries boasting 46 acres of vineyards – and Pedernales Cellars, one of Texas’ leading producers of award-winning wines. Those looking to enjoy an incredible self-tour of Hill Country wineries need look no further than Wine Road 290, which encompasses ten wineries along US Highway 290 near Fredericksburg.
Outside the Hill Country, Texas offers a variety of experiences for wine aficionados. Grapevine, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, is the headquarters of Texas’ wine industry and home to seven winery tasting rooms. Grapevine Wine Tours allow visitors to experience several of these tasting rooms on a unique four-hour tour. In September, Grapevine is also home to Grapefest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, which brings together some of the state’s most noteworthy wine producers.
Visitors can also venture to West Texas, where 70 percent of the wine grape production in Texas takes place. Lubbock is home to five award-winning wineries, including Llano Estacado Winery and McPherson Cellars Winery. From savory wine to stunning architecture, visitors can learn the process of winemaking from the experts themselves. Lubbock also hosts the annual two-day Wines & Vines Festival each summer, featuring the famous Hub City Master Chef Competition, where chefs create culinary masterpieces in a fun and delicious competition.