Wineries CENTRAL TEXAS
Although not widely known for its vineyards,
Texas has a growing wine industry with over
220 bonded wineries across the state. Many
of these are right here in the Austin area.
For centuries before the arrival of Europeans, native grapevines flourished in the
area now known as Texas. When the Spanish missionaries arrived in the 1600s,
they planted vineyards near El Paso. In the 1800s several settlers grew grapes
in South and Central Texas. They were most successful with native varieties.
In the 1880s, an insect pest devastated the French wine industry. T.V. Munson
of Denison, Texas helped save France’s wine industry by introducing hardy, pest
resistant native Texan varieties. By hybridizing native Texas varieties of grapes with
other varieties from around the world, Munson developed 300 disease-resistant
new varieties suitable for Texas and the Southwestern United States.
There were twenty-five wineries in Texas by 1900, including Val Verde Winery in
Del Rio, which was established in 1883. Texas wineries closed during Prohibition.
Many reopened when Prohibition was repealed, but only Val Verde succeeded in
remaining open. Today it is Texas’ oldest winery still in operation. Beginning in
the 1970s, the Austin area became the home for several new, successful vineyards.
In 1975 Fall Creek Vineyards, in Tow about 61 miles northwest of Austin, was the
first vineyard and winery to be established in the Hill Country. This award-winning winery is delightful to visit. Take a tour, taste the wines and have a picnic.
You can even go for a boat cruise on Lake Buchanan.
Austin area wineries spread out across the Hill Country from Dripping
Springs to Fredericksburg and Kerrville. Because many are clustered together
you can easily plan a trip to see several in one day. Texas Wine Trails featured
many events throughout the year. For a package price you receive entrance
to several wineries within easy driving distance of each other. The packages
include tasting and much more. Solara Estate is the winery closest to Austin.
Located in Dripping Springs, this award winning vineyard features glorious
views. Bell Springs Winery, also in Dripping Springs, was established in 2009
and features a friendly, down-home atmosphere.
From the small, down-home vineyards to wineries with Tuscan-style tasting
rooms and splendid facilities, the Austin area has it all. Visit some Austin
wineries and see for yourself.