Our Texas Wine Travel Guide shares a brief history of the state's wine country, terroir, where to sip, where to stay, and things to do beyond the vines.
Everything is bigger in Texas, including the wine.
With more than 300 wineries in the state and eight official AVAs (American Viticultural Areas – wine growing regions), Texas has become the fifth largest wine-producing state in the U.S. But take heed: most of Texas wine is sold within the state’s borders. In other words, getting your hands on bottles outside the Lone Star State is not easy.
Want a taste? Plan a visit! Use our Texas Wine Guide to get on your way. The guide is always, changing so make to sure check back!
Texas wine country boasts 4,000+ acres of vineyards planted in the eight established AVAs.
The state of Texas is roughly the size of France. Given its size, climate and soil compositions vary, resulting in a multitude of fruit produced in the 4,000+ acres of vineyards in its eight established AVAs.
Being a young wine region, Texas is still establishing the grape varieties that grow well. So far, winemakers find Rhône varieties such as Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, and Tannat to do well in the Texas sun. In addition, Italian and Spanish grape varieties such as Carignan, Cinsault, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese also do well. These grapes can withstand Texas heatwaves… (Always try a Texas Tempranillo. They’re typically amazing!)
With 300+ wineries, Texas wine country has a lot to sip in.
We’ve shared the best Texax wineries, itineraries, and festivals for your grape escape.
William Chris Vineyards
Texas is home to eight AVAs – wine growing regions- and each region has its own wine trail, if not several. While the number of Texas wine trails continues to grow, these are two of the more popular and established.
Wine Road 290
The most extensive wine trail in Texas is in the Texas Hill Country AVA, Wine Road 290. This AVA has been listed as one of “the 10 best wine travel destinations in the world,” and is the second most visited wine region in the United States, only behind Napa.
The Texas Hill Country AVA is home to at least 70 wineries, with more opening each month. With this number of wineries the the Texas Hill Country AVA has a few official wine trails with Wine Road 290 being the largest. More than 30 wineries sit along US Highway 290 from Fredericksburg on to Johnson City, the home to the highest concentration of wineries in the state of Texas, also known as Wine Road 290.
Grapevine’s Urban Wine Trail
While not in the Texas Hill Country, the town of Grapevine has become one of the wine destinations in TX. It is home to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, held annually in September.
Given its deep wine roots, the town is also home to an Urban Wine Trail with nine winery tasting rooms, most of which are within a few blocks of each other on the historic Main St. Two Texas wineries not to miss on the Urban Wine Trail – Messina Hof Grapevine Winery and Umbra Winery.
TOP TEXAS WINE TOURS
Austin Food + Wine Festival, 5-7 November 2021: The Austin Food + Wine Festival, sponsored by FOOD & WINE, brings taste, talent and culinary entertainment to the Capital City while helping to support nonprofit Austin Food & Wine Alliance. The three-day weekend is the epitome of high spirits, with a packed schedule of hands-on grilling demos, up-close tastings with top chefs and sommeliers, and a Grand Tasting event like few others.
Root Stock 2021, 20-21 July: Located in the picturesque Indian Spring Park, Rootstock features 16 of Texas’ best when it comes to wines grown and produced in the Lone Star State. The festival also features a half-dozen local chefs and restaurants competing to create the best small bite to pair with Texas Tempranillo – visitors get to vote for the winner!
GrapeFest, 16-19 September 2021:The Annual GrapeFest is a true Texas wine experience. Attendees enjoy wines from Texas as well as the Finger Lakes region of New York and Niagara-on-the-Lake region of Canada. (This is also located in my hometown! I grew up attending every year and my parents did a lot of volunteering at the wine booths…I promise, it’s A LOT OF FUN!)
where to stay
The Texas wine country is most notably in the Texas Hill Country, home to many choices so narrowing down where to sip and stay can be a challenge.
Take a look at a few of our favorite resorts, hotels and B&B’s in the Texas Hill Country AVA along with nearby wineries to help your wine getaway be perfectly balanced with a hint of awesome on the finish.
If you’re looking to stay in Grapevine to explore its Urban Wine Trail, The Gaylord Texan Resort is a great spot and provides a shuttle into the historic downtown. Great Wolf Lodge is fun spot if you’re traveling with kids.
BEYOND THE VINES
Texas offers endless activities besides sipping in the wine country. And, since Texas is my home state, we visit a lot, so find tons of ideas for kids and more!