15 Best Wineries in Fredericksburg [Wine Tasting Guide]
Fredericksburg, the jewel of Texas Hill Country! With its charming streets and the scent of wildflowers in the air, it's a haven for wine lovers.
Fredericksburg’s wineries are a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. There are more than 50 wineries and tasting rooms within Fredericksburg's Gillespie County and many more are just a short drive away!
So, dust off your cowboy boots and Stetson hat and join me as we embark on an adventure through Fredericksburg's finest wineries.
A Short Introduction to Texan Wine
The history of winemaking in Texas is as rich as a well-aged Cabernet. It all began in the 1650s when Spanish missionaries planted the first vineyards in El Paso to produce sacramental wine.
However, it wasn't until the 1800s that European settlers, particularly Germans and Italians, recognized the potential of Texas's terroir and began cultivating vineyards in earnest.
Fast forward to the 1970s, and the Texas wine industry experienced a renaissance. Pioneers like Dr. Clinton A. “Doc” McPherson and Bob Reed established wineries that focused on quality and innovation.
They experimented with grape varieties and winemaking techniques, laying the foundation for the modern Texas wine industry.
The Texas Hill Country, where the vineyards in Fredericksburg are located, is the heart of this burgeoning Texan wine industry. The region's unique climate, characterized by hot days and cool nights, is ideal for growing a diverse range of grape varieties, from Tempranillo to Viognier.
Fredericksburg, in particular, has become synonymous with quality and diversity. The town's wineries are known for their warm hospitality, innovative winemaking, and, of course, exquisite wines that can rival those from the world's most renowned wine regions.
What to Expect from Fredericksburg Wineries
Fredericksburg wineries are a delightful blend of Southern charm and sophisticated viticulture.
Here, the spirit of Texas meets the finesse of fine wine. So, what can you expect from wine tasting in Fredericksburg?
The 15 Best Wineries to Visit in Fredericksburg
The Fredericksburg area contains over 50 wineries so there's a huge amount of variety on offer.
But in my opinion, these are the standouts. Check them out on the wine map of Fredericksburg in the following section.
Becker Vineyards, nestled in the heart of Texas Hill Country, is a family-owned vineyard that has been crafting award-winning wines since its establishment in 1992.
The vineyard was born out of Richard and Bunny Becker's passion for wine and their desire to create a Texas Hill Country getaway. Today, the estate has grown to 308 acres, cultivating approximately 56 acres of estate fruit featuring 9 harvest-ready varietals.
The vineyard is renowned for its diverse range of wines, including award-winning Fume Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Provencal, Merlot, Claret, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Cabernet-Syrah, Gewurztraminer, Reisling, Muscat, and Port.
Becker Vineyards' wines have been served in prestigious settings, including the White House and the Texas Governor's Mansion.
Visitors to Becker Vineyards can expect a rich experience. The estate features a main tasting room, a Lavender Haus for special events, and a picturesque outdoor patio for an alfresco tasting experience. The vineyard is also home to a lavender field and seasonal flower fields, adding to the charm of the estate.
Becker Vineyards has been recognized for its commitment to quality and its contribution to the Texas wine industry. Its wines have received numerous awards and accolades, further cementing its reputation as a must-visit winery in Fredericksburg.
Signor Vineyards is a gem in the Texas Hill Country, located just outside Fredericksburg. The vineyard is a collaboration between the Signor and Weisinger families, who share a deep-rooted passion for viticulture. The Signor family has been growing grapes in Texas since the 1980s, and their expertise is evident in the quality of wines produced.
Signor Vineyards is known for its exquisite selection of wines, including Viognier, Tempranillo, and a Bordeaux-style blend called “The Blend.” The vineyard focuses on producing small-batch wines that reflect the unique terroir of the region.
Visitors to Signor Vineyards are greeted by a stunning tasting room that exudes rustic elegance. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, with a serene pond and lush gardens, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely wine tasting. The vineyard also offers a wine club, where members can enjoy exclusive wines and events.
Signor Vineyards has garnered acclaim for its wines. The 2017 Viognier was awarded a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and the 2016 Tempranillo received a Gold medal at the same competition.
The wine highlight for me was the Roussanne which hit those tropical fruit notes perfectly.
Lost Draw Cellars
Founded by Troy Ottmers and Andy Timmons, the winery has its roots in the Lost Draw Vineyard, established in 2006, which quickly gained a reputation for producing exceptional grapes.
Lost Draw Cellars specializes in crafting wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Texas High Plains. With a diverse range of varietals including Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, and Grenache, there’s a wine to suit every palate.
The tasting room at Lost Draw Cellars is warm and inviting, with a rustic charm that makes you feel right at home. What sets this winery apart is its food and wine pairing experience. Guests can indulge in a curated selection of locally sourced cheeses, charcuterie, and other gourmet delights, perfectly paired with their wines.
Lost Draw Cellars has received numerous accolades, including a Double Gold for their 2017 Arroyo Rojo at the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
For an authentic taste of Texas terroir coupled with a delectable culinary experience, Lost Draw Cellars is a destination not to be missed. The local food and wine tasting was a particular treat!
Texas Wine Collective
Established to showcase the diversity and excellence of Texas wines, the collective is situated on the picturesque US Highway 290 Wine Trail in Fredericksburg.
Each winery brings its unique flair to the collective. Brennan Vineyards is known for its Viognier and Tempranillo, Lost Oak Winery for its Merlot and Blanc du Bois, and McPherson Cellars for its Albariño and Sangiovese.
The Texas Wine Collective offers an elegant tasting room where guests can sample a rotating selection of wines from the three wineries. The collective also hosts events, wine club gatherings, and educational sessions.
The Signature Tasting Experience is available in three menus each containing five wines. these are constantly updated, blending classic vintages with new offerings.
They also do a wine and cheese tasting (all local cheeses) which sounds amazing!
For those seeking to explore the breadth of Texas wines under one roof, the Texas Wine Collective offers an unparalleled experience.
Founded by Erik and Neldie Hilmy in 2009, Hilmy Cellars is a family-owned winery that focuses on producing wines from 100% Texas-grown fruit.
The vineyard is home to a variety of grapes including Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Viognier. The wines are exquisite, with a character that speaks to the terroir of the region. The 2017 Doo-Zwa-Zo, a white blend, is a personal favorite of mine. Try it, you won't be disappointed!
One of the key features that sets Hilmy Cellars apart is its commitment to sustainable farming practices. They even have a flock of guinea fowl that roam the vineyards, keeping the vines free of pests.
While Hilmy Cellars may not boast a long list of accolades, their wines are award-worthy in my book. The tasting room is cozy and inviting, and the staff is knowledgeable and passionate.
If you find yourself in Fredericksburg, do yourself a favor and pay a visit to Hilmy Cellars. Your taste buds will thank you!
This family-owned winery stole my heart from the moment I arrived. Established in 2005 by the Kuhlken-Osterberg family, Pedernales Cellars specializes in Spanish and Rhone-style wines.
The vineyard is a treasure trove of grape varieties, including Tempranillo, Mourvèdre, and Grenache. Their Tempranillo, in particular, is a revelation – rich, earthy, and full of character.
What sets Pedernales Cellars apart is their underground winemaking facility, which uses natural limestone to maintain a cool temperature for barrel aging. The tasting room is an experience in itself, with its rustic charm and panoramic views of the vineyards.
And let’s not forget the accolades! Their wines have garnered numerous awards, including a double gold for their 2016 Texas High Plains Tempranillo at the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
In my humble opinion, a visit to Fredericksburg is incomplete without a stop at Pedernales Cellars. The combination of exquisite wines, stunning scenery, and warm hospitality is simply unbeatable.
Heath Sparkling Wines
This is Texas' first winery completely dedicated to sparkling wines. The moment you step into Heath, you're enveloped in an air of sophistication and elegance.
Heath Sparkling Wines is a sister winery to Grape Creek Vineyards, and it opened its doors in 2019. The winery focuses on traditional méthode champenoise sparkling wines, and let me tell you, they are divine. The grapes used include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and the wines are aged to perfection.
The tasting experience at Heath is unparalleled. The modern, chic tasting room offers a guided, seated tasting that is both educational and indulgent. The Adoration and Euphoria sparkling wines are must-tries.
While Heath Sparkling Wines is relatively new, it has already made a mark. The 2017 Euphoria won a gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Heath Sparkling Wines is a sparkling jewel in the crown of Texas wineries. The finesse and elegance of their sparkling wines are a testament to the winery's dedication to excellence.
Grape Creek Vineyards
Nestled in the picturesque Texas Hill Country, Grape Creek Vineyards is a little slice of Tuscany in Fredericksburg. Established in 1985, it's one of the pioneers in the Texas wine industry.
What sets Grape Creek apart is not just the wine, but the experience. The Tuscan-style villa, the welcoming tasting rooms, and the impeccable Trattoria – an Italian-style eatery – make you feel like you’ve been transported to the Italian countryside.
Additionally, Grape Creek Vineyards is committed to sustainable viticulture practices, ensuring that they produce not only high-quality wines but also contribute positively to the environment.
This vineyard's history is as rich as the wines it produces. Established by the Rivenburgh family, Pontotoc means “Land of Hanging Grapes,” and the vineyard lives up to its name.
Pontotoc Vineyard focuses on Old World-style wines, with grapes like Tempranillo and Mourvèdre. The San Fernando Academy red blend is a must-try – it’s like a warm embrace on a cool evening.
But what makes Pontotoc Vineyard truly special is the Weingarten. Nestled in a historic building, the Weingarten is a place where time slows down. The stone walls and rustic charm transport you to a simpler time, and the outdoor seating is perfect for sipping wine under the stars.
While Pontotoc Vineyard may not have the extensive list of accolades that some other wineries boast, the quality of their wines speaks for itself. The intimate, authentic experience is an accolade in its own right.
Augusta Vin is an estate that exudes elegance and grace. Nestled in Fredericksburg, this relatively new winery, established in 2015, has quickly risen to prominence. The estate spans over 60 acres of vineyards, and the attention to detail is impeccable.
Augusta Vin cultivates a diverse range, including Tannat, Malbec, and Petite Sirah. Their wines are exquisite, but the Tannat is particularly close to my heart - rich, bold, and with a finish that lingers like a fond memory.
The pièce de résistance, however, is the tasting room. A majestic 18,000-square-foot timber-framed pavilion that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The ambience is both luxurious and inviting, making it the perfect backdrop for savoring their wines.
Bingham Family Vineyards
The Binghams, a family of Texas farmers since 1884, ventured into viticulture in 2003. Their rich farming heritage is evident in the love and care they put into their vineyards.
From Tempranillo to Viognier, the Binghams grow over 25 different varieties. I was particularly smitten with their Cloudburst, a white grape blend with tropical fruit flavor and some welcome salinity on the medium finish.
The tasting room in Fredericksburg is where the magic happens. It’s cozy, with a touch of rustic charm. The staff, often including the Binghams themselves, are the epitome of Texan hospitality.
Now, let’s talk accolades. Bingham Family Vineyards has been lauded with awards, including a Double Gold for their 2014 Tempranillo at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
In my book, Bingham Family Vineyards is synonymous with authenticity. It’s not just about the wine; it’s about the heart that goes into every bottle.
Messina Hof Hill Country Winery
The Messina Hof Hill Country Winery is located about 10 minutes drive east of Fredericksburg. The estate, with its roots in the 1970s, is a testament to the Bonarrigo family’s Italian winemaking heritage. The vines, kissed by the Texan sun, yield grapes that sing!
The portfolio is a tapestry of flavors. The Private Reserve Tempranillo, with its brooding dark fruit and whispers of spice, is a wine that speaks. The GSM, a Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre blend, is a ballet of balance and finesse.
The winery itself is an ode to elegance. The tasting room, with its vaulted ceilings and barrels lining the walls, is where wine and soul meet.
Awards? Messina Hof is no stranger. The list is long, but the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition stands out, where they bagged an impressive 8 medals.
William Chris Vineyards
William Chris Vineyards, established in 2008 by Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett, is a beacon of winemaking craftsmanship in Fredericksburg. With an array of grape varieties, Mourvèdre and Tannat are the stars here.
However, the crowning glory was the Skeleton Key, an elegant red blend of dark fruit, cinnamon, and lots of tannins. It's wonderful with steak!
The vineyard’s commendations are merited, with the Texas Wine Journal lauding their Mourvèdre.
For me, the pinnacle was the profound bond with the terrain, the vines, and the fervent individuals behind each bottle. A sensory extravaganza, William Chris Vineyards demands a visit.
Barons Creek Vineyard
Barons Creek Vineyards is a relative newcomer founded in 2005. The vineyard's European roots are evident in the architectural finesse of its tasting room.
The grape varieties are diverse, but Tempranillo and Viognier are the ones that sing.
The pièce de résistance for me was the Tempranillo Reserve. It was like a well-written novel, with layers of complexity and a finish that lingered like the final note of a concert.
Barons Creek has not gone unnoticed, with a slew of awards to its name, including gold medals from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
The visit to Barons Creek is akin to a journey through the wine regions of Europe, without ever leaving Texas. It’s a place where wine is not just made, it’s crafted with heart.
Ron Yates Wines
Ron Yates Wines, a family affair, is where tradition and innovation dance a lively jig. The Yates family, with their Texan roots and wanderlust, have created a space that is both inviting and adventurous.
The vineyard is a treasure trove of varietals, but the Spanish Tempranillo and the French Viognier are the stars of the show. The Tempranillo, with its audacious character, is like a matador in the bullring, while the Viognier is more of a ballet dancer, graceful and ethereal.
The crowning glory for me was the Sangiovese. It's punchy at 15.1% but well-balanced with mocha notes lingering on a long finish.
Map of Fredericksburg Wineries, Vineyards, and Tasting Rooms
How to Get to Fredericksburg
- By Air: The nearest major airports to Fredericksburg are San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). Both are about an hour and a half drive from Fredericksburg. You can rent a car from the airport for the scenic drive.
- By Car: If you're within driving distance, taking a road trip to Fredericksburg is a fantastic option. The drive through the Texas Hill Country is known for its beauty, especially in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.
- By Bus: There are bus services like Greyhound that connect major cities to Fredericksburg. This is a more economical option if you're traveling on a budget.
- Shuttle Services and Tours: There are shuttle services and wine tour companies that offer transportation to and around Fredericksburg. This is a great option if you're planning to visit wineries and don't want to worry about driving.
Where to Stay in Fredericksburg
In Fredericksburg, you'll find a delightful array of accommodations that cater to different tastes and budgets.
If you can find somewhere close to the intersection of Main Street and Llano Street you'll have a great location to visit a lot of tasting rooms on foot.
Here's a good selection of what's on offer.
How to Make the Most of a Wine Tour in Fredericksburg
If you're a first-timer, here’s how to make the most of your wine-tasting adventure in this charming town.
- Plan Ahead for Weekends: Fredericksburg wineries can get crowded, especially on weekends. Book your tastings and tours in advance. Some wineries, like Signor Vineyards, require reservations for groups larger than six.
- Explore Wine Road 290: This is the wine trail where you’ll find the majority of Fredericksburg’s wineries. Just don’t try to visit them all in one day. Pick 3-4 and take your time. The Texas Wine Collective (see my recommendations above) is a great stop as it offers wines from several wineries in one location.
- Hire a Wine Tour Company: Let someone else do the driving. Companies like Fredericksburg Wine Tours offer guided tours, so you can enjoy the wines without worrying about driving.
- Visit During a Festival: Fredericksburg hosts several wine festivals throughout the year, such as the Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest in October. These events are a great way to sample a variety of wines and enjoy the local culture.
- Pair with Local Cuisine: Many wineries, like Lost Draw Cellars, offer food pairings. Indulge in some local Texan or German cuisine with your wine. The peach and wine pairings at Pedernales Cellars are a must-try. See the next section for more great pairings to try.
- Ask for Local Recommendations: Don’t be shy to ask the winery staff for recommendations on other wineries to visit. They often have insider tips on hidden gems.
- Take a Break at the Marketplatz: Located in the heart of Fredericksburg, this is a great spot to relax between winery visits. Enjoy the green space, and maybe even a food truck or two.
- Buy a Bottle to Take Home: If you find a wine you love, buy a bottle to take home. Some wines are only available at the winery.
Wine Tasting in Fredericksburg: Must Try Wine!
The vineyards in Fredericksburg grow a variety of grapes so there's some great variety in the wine to try too.
These are some of the standout Fredericksburg wines that you need to try on your visit.
Local Wine and Food Pairings You Must Try
Fredericksburg, Texas, is a melting pot of flavors, with a rich culinary heritage influenced by German settlers and Texan traditions. Here are some amazing local foods you must try, along with some great wine pairings.
However, the locals are the real experts so don't hesitate to ask the staff for wine recommendations!
- Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast): This traditional German dish is made by slow-cooking beef in a mixture of vinegar, wine, and spices. It's often served with red cabbage and potato dumplings.
- Wine Pairing: A medium-bodied red wine like Tempranillo or a local Texas Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Chicken Fried Steak: A classic Texan dish, chicken fried steak is a breaded and fried steak served with country gravy.
- Wine Pairing: A chilled glass of Viognier or a light, fruity red like Grenache.
- Bratwurst and Sauerkraut: A nod to Fredericksburg’s German heritage, bratwurst sausages are often served with sauerkraut and mustard.
- Wine Pairing: A crisp, local Riesling or a malty beer if you're open to alternatives.
- Tex-Mex Enchiladas: These are corn tortillas stuffed with cheese, meat, or beans and smothered in chili sauce.
- Wine Pairing: A zesty Albariño or a fruity Rosé to complement the spices.
- Peach Cobbler: Fredericksburg is famous for its peaches, and peach cobbler is a beloved dessert made with fresh peaches and a crumbly topping.
- Wine Pairing: A sweet Moscato or a sparkling wine like the Heath Sparkling Wines' Euphoria.
- Texas BBQ: Smoked meats like brisket, ribs, and sausage are staples in Texas BBQ.
- Wine Pairing: A robust red wine like Syrah or Zinfandel, or a local Texas red blend.
- Fredericksburg’s German Pretzels: Soft, chewy, and often served with a variety of mustards or cheese.
- Wine Pairing: A chilled glass of Chenin Blanc.
How Much Should I Expect to Pay When Wine Tasting in Fredericksburg?
Here is a summary of the wine tasting prices in Fredericksburg, Texas for the year 2023 based on the information I found:
Do I need to Make Reservations at the Wineries in Fredericksburg?
Yes, making reservations at the wineries in Fredericksburg is highly recommended, especially if you are planning to visit during the weekends, holidays, or peak tourist seasons.
Many wineries have limited space for tasting sessions, and they can fill up quickly, especially on weekends. Reserving your spot ensures you won’t be turned away.
Some wineries also offer a more personalized tasting experience for guests who make reservations. This might include a guided tour, detailed explanations of the wines, and possibly meeting the winemaker.
If you're traveling with a group or doing a special tasting, such as food and wine pairings or barrel tastings, it’s absolutely essential to make a booking. It's just not worth taking a chance on the winery being able to accommodate you at short notice.
Check the winery's cancellation policy. Some wineries allow you to cancel without a fee if your plans change, while others might charge a cancellation fee.
Arrive on time for your reservation. Wineries often have a tight schedule, and arriving late might result in a shortened or forfeited tasting session.
Do you know of a hidden gem in Fredericksburg that deserves more recognition? Let the rest of our readers know in the comments section!