GC: Civilizing Texas: Wineries of Texas Hill Country tames the south

Trysta Eakin

June 16, 2011 at 1:16 a.m.

Nestled between rolling hills and the metropolitan areas of Texas Hill Country, wineries and vineyards provide year-round entertainment to more than five million visitors each year.

With several wine trails around the state to choose from, the Texas Hill Country trail has been deemed the largest and most expansive with 27 affiliated wineries, complete with artists, musicians and other entertainment.

Spanning from New Braunfels, over to Fredericksburg, and then nearly to Austin, back up to Llano and ending in Lampasas, this trail has an abundance of stops along the way to keep you occupied.

The Texas wine movement began near present-day El Paso in the 1600s, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture, as the Spanish missionaries cultivated grapes there.

Eurpoean settlers throughout the 1800s brought grapevine cuttings with them to Texas, starting their own vineyards, and by the early 1900s, 25 wineries were in production.

Surviving prohibition, the wine industry once again thrived as new vineyards open.

By 1986, the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival began, putting Texas on the wine map and opening a gateway to what the state's wine industry is today.

Here's a partial listing of the wineries you'll find on the Hill Country's trail:

Stone House Vineyard

Address: 24350 Haynie Flat Road, Spicewood

Hours: Thursday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment

Phone: 512-264-3630 or 512-264-9890

Located on Lake Travis, just a half hour away from Austin, Stone House has a few wines to choose from - a shiraz, tempranillo, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, claros, port and more.

Chisholm Trail Winery

Address: 2367 Usener Road, Fredericksburg

Hours: Open 7 days a week, noon to 6 p.m.

Phone: 830-990-2675 or 877-990-2675

Just outside of Fredericksburg, this country winery a selection of merlot, lenoir, sauvignon blanc, blanc du bois and more.

Comfort Cellars Winery

Address: 723 Front St., Comfort

Hours: Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phone: 830-995-3274

Known for their unique wines, this Comfort winery offers raisin wine, orange chardonnay, jalapeno wine and an array of others to choose from.

For a complete list of wineries participating in the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, go to www.texaswinetrail.com or www.gotexanwine.org.



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