9 Must-See Vineyards Along Wine Road 290 in the Texas Hill Country (2023)

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas - Highway 290 flirts with the Pedernales River for 40 miles in the Hill Country, offering a taste of the oak-filled and vine-filled landscape that Texas is becoming famous for. Trish McCabe Rawls

Wineries have mushroomed in the area over the past decade, and more and more visitors are coming to sample them. A recent poll by travel website Orbitz.com found Hill Country to be the second fastest growing wine destination in the country, behind only California's Napa Valley.

Of the more than 160 wineries in Texas, 30 are in the Hill Country. Nine of them merged to form Wine Road 290, which runs east of Johnson City to 15 kilometers west of Fredericksburg.

Most of the nine are boutique wineries, selling only in their own tasting rooms. Some are also distributed to restaurants and businesses across the state. The group hosts six special events annually where each member showcases their wines with food prepared by a local chef.

Join us now on the Quaffel Trail US 290. We'll start in the east and head west. Texas Hills Winery

Beautiful wrought iron gates with stars in the middle mark the entrance to this winery. Owner Gary Gilstrap says all of the vineyard's wines are made from Texas grapes, about 70% of which are harvested on the property and the rest are purchased from other Texas vineyards.

The tasting room includes a gift shop with a mix of wine-related items and wine snacks. Your favorite wine? "The KickButt Cab," says Camille, the feisty hostess. "It's preferred by customers and in competitions."


When Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken first planted vines near Stonewall in the 1990s, they wanted to produce only the best grapes they could. A winery was not part of their plan. Then came the second generation: son David and his wife Heather; daughter Julie and her husband Fredrik Osterberg.

In 2006, David and Fredrik began planning a state-of-the-art winery. It opened in time for the 2008 harvest and Pedernales wines are already winning awards. Sip a glass of wine on the shaded patio while taking in the stunning views of the Pedernales River Valley.

Holzrose Winery

At Woodrose Winery, the staff will seat you at a bistro-style table, either inside or on a large, shaded patio, and bring you the wines. The deck rocks with live music on Saturday afternoons. Pedernales Cellars

Woodrose may be the only winery you visit where the hosts can recommend a wine to pair with S'mores, the fire pit of cookies, marshmallows and chocolate. In cold weather, fires are lit around the deck, and people can sip wine while toasting marshmallows for treats.

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Becker vineyards

Becker, one of the oldest and largest wineries in the region, was founded in 1992. The winery and tasting room are located in a production run of a massive 19th-century German stone barn. Wine tasting on the porch in summer or inside in front of a fireplace in winter.

Next to the winery is an inn, created from a wooden hut from the end of the 19th century that originally belonged to the estate. Poppies and bluebonnets bloom in April and May, a field of lavender in May and June.

stone tower

From the outside this winery looks small. But just inside the narrow entrance, the tasting room and gift shop open up into a large, inviting space filled with an impressive array of gifts, from wine-serving items to Tuscan-style dishes. Look for several wines with fancy names like Dirty Girl and Red Flirt. On Saturday afternoon there is live music in the square.

Grape Creek Vineyards

The winery's spacious tasting room is reminiscent of a Tuscan villa. In addition to the offerings from the wine and gift shop, you can take picnic treats - cheese, salami, crackers and bruschetta - to go with a glass of wine on the shaded patio. The Winery Lodge offers great views of the rolling creek landscape. With a living room, kitchen and two bedrooms, it comfortably accommodates four adults.

Rancho Ponte

Rancho Ponte is the newest kid on the block, opening to the public in February 2009. Owner Ricardo Ponte, a California commercial vineyard veteran with a family history spanning four generations, relocated to Texas to open his winery. "Because it's easier to start here." He already has plans for expansion. The tasting room staff is friendly and personable.

Fredericksburg Winery

The philosophy here is "We believe wine should be fun, not serious." This is a laid-back winery where hosts describe wines by their basic types — dry red, sweet, and different — and let visitors sample them to find out what they like. The entire operation is in one large room: crushers, maturation tanks, bottling and labeling, tasting room and gift shop. And it's just steps away from many restaurants and shops.

Chisholm Trail Winery

The Wild West is celebrated here in the ambience of the tasting room and in the names of the wines: Belle Starr, Desperado, Silver Spur and Ghostrider, for example. Horses and longhorns on adjacent pastures complete the picture.

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Mary G. Ramos is a Dallas-based freelance writer.

If you go:

the wineries

Most wineries on Wine Road 290 are closed on major holidays.

• Texas Hills Vineyard, 878 Ranch-to-Market Road 2766 (one mile east of U.S. Highway 290/281), Johnson City. Tasting Room: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. From Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. From Friday to Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free basic tasting of four wines; additional likes, $1 each; Tasting of four premium wines, $5. Tours are free but must be booked in advance; Not tours on Saturday. Contact: 830-868-2321; www.texashillsvineyard.com

• Pedernales Cellars, 2916 Upper Albert Road, Stonewall. Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. From Friday to Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tasting of five wines, $6; When buying wine, the fee is not charged. Wine by the glass: $6 to $12. Contact: 830-644-2037; www.pedernalescellars.com

• Woodrose Winery, 662 Woodrose Lane, Stonewall. Opening hours: 11am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 7pm. Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Live music from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Tasting of six base wines, $7; three sweet wines, $5; three premium wines, $10 Wine by the glass: $6.50 to $9 Contact: 830-644-2539; www.woodrosewinery.com

•Becker Vineyards, 464 Becker Farms Road, Stonewall. Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. From Friday to Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tasting of six wines, $5. Free tours are usually every 30 minutes daily. B&B, $125 per night. Contact: 830-644-2681; www.beckervineyards.com/index2.htm

•Torre di Pietra, 10915 E. Highway 290, Fredericksburg Hours: Daily, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Five wine tasting, $5 Contact: 830-644-2829; www.texashillcountrywine.com

•Grape Creek Vineyards, 10587 E. Highway 290, Fredericksburg. Opening times: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tasting of five white wines, $5; three or four black labels, $5; White and black wines and branded wine glass, $10. B&B (minimum two nights), $165 per night for single room use; $215 for both. Includes a bottle of wine, continental breakfast and a free white label tasting. Contact: 830-644-2710; www.grapecreek.com

• Rancho Ponte Winery, 315 Ranch-to-Market Road 1376, Fredericksburg. Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Saturday until 6:00 p.m.). Tasting of any five wines, plus a logo wine glass, $8. Contact: 830-990-8555; www.ranchoponte.com

•Fredericksburg Winery, 247 W. Main St., Fredericksburg. Hours: Monday through Thursday 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, 10:00 am to 7:30 pm. From Friday to Saturday, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Tasting of up to six wines is complimentary except for reserve wines which are $2 per tasting or $5 for three wines. Contact: 830-990-8747; www.fbgwinery.com

• Chisholm Trail Winery, 2367 Usener Road, Fredericksburg. Opening hours: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday to Monday; Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Tastings ($5 minimum): $1 to $3 each; I like all wines, $14 and up. Contact: 1-877-990-2675; www.chisholmtrailwinery.com

(Video) Fredricksburg Texas Wineries!

More food and sips

Other places in Fredericksburg that offer local food and wine:

• Chocolate, 330 W. Main St., 1-800-842-3382; www.chocolat-tx.us. Liquid center chocolates with bourbon, whiskey, rum, schnapps or wine, plus non-alcoholic fruit nectar or coffee. It also makes custom chocolates for five of the 290 wineries along the Wine Route.

•The Oberhof Wine Cellar's tasting room, featuring Bell MountainVineyards wines, is located at The Peach House, 1406 S.U.S. Highway 87. The Peach House is owned by Fischer & Wieser, a manufacturer of cooking sauces, salsas, mustard and jam. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can try all Fischer & Wieser products. Friday to Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday Thursday. Contact: 1-866-997-8969; www.jelly.com/dph

• Cabernet Grill, 2805 S. State Highway 16; 830-990-5734; www.cottonginlodging.com. Chef Ross Burtwell offers Texas wines, many from the Hill Country, at this upscale restaurant. Grouped around the restaurant are seven 19th-century cottages that have been converted into B&B accommodation. The landscaping masks the sounds of the nearby freeway.

• Very Cute Restaurant and Bakery, 249 E. Main St., 830-990-0498; www.rathersweet.com. Generous and delicious lunch sandwiches, giant breakfast muffins, as well as giant cake slices and unforgettable cookies. Bakery, Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (2:30 on Saturday).

• Street stalls throughout the area sell peaches, tomatoes, blackberries and other local produce in the summer.


For information on all Texas wineries: Texas Department of Agriculture, 1-866-489-9463; www.gotexanwine.org Rota do Vinho

290 events

The nine wineries on Wine Road 290 sponsor six themed events annually, pairing their wines with dishes prepared by the region's finest chefs. Visitors only pay the regular tasting fee, if any, for each winery. Data for 2010 are given. Contact: www.wineroad290.com

• January: Port 'n Pairings (January 23)

• February: Ragin' Cajun (February 27)

(Video) Fredericksburg Texas Wine Trip

• March: Vino and Pasta (March 20)

•June: The shepherd came (June 19)

•Juli: Chili and Chillin' (24. Juli)

September: Kiolbassa and Cabernet (September 18)

wine roads

Texas Hill Country Wineries, an organization of 22 wineries, sponsors five self-guided wine trails annually. Each runs over two weekends, with the exception of Texas Wine Month, which runs the entire month of October. Tickets or details: 1-866-621-9463; www.texaswinetrail.com

•February: Route of Wine Lovers

•April: Wine Route and Wildflowers

•August: Ernteroute

• Outubro: Texas Wine Month Trail

•December: Christmas Wine Trail


The Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest is held on a Saturday in October each year (nearest October 23, 2010). In addition to gastronomy and wine, it offers art, a cooking school, entertainment, games and an auction. Contact: 1-866-839-3378 or 830-997-8515; www.fbgfoodandwinefest.com

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(Visit Fredericksburg TX)
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4. Texas Hill Country Resorts You *WON"T REGRET* Visiting
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5. Texas Hill Country becoming more of a national wine destination
6. Ep 299: Texas Wine Country with the Wineries of Texas Fine Wine
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