Wine bottles from Becker Vineyards, one of the largest Fredericksburg wineries

8 Wineries in Fredericksburg Not to Miss

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Texas may not be the first place you think of for high-quality wine from the US. California or the Pacific Northwest – maybe – but probably not Texas. But you’d be missing out. Over the last decade, the wineries in Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country have evolved significantly, coming into their own through a heavy reliance on grapes that grow well in the Mediterranean and not trying to replicate what’s done in California. The live music and Texas hospitality don’t hurt either. In more ways than one, Texas wineries are owning being Texan.

Grapes on grapevine in Texas

Fredericksburg Wine Region

The Texas Hill Country Viticultural Area (the term for a designated wine grape-growing region) stretches for a massive 15,000 square miles. But the heart of Texas wine country is near the charming small town of Fredericksburg, approximately 1.5 hours west of Austin and an hour north of San Antonio.

Many of the wineries are concentrated along Highway 290–often called Wine Road 290–that stretches roughly 30 miles from Fredericksburg to Johnson City, Texas. The area is home to more than 40 wineries and tastings rooms with more being added all the time.

Best Wineries in Fredericksburg

With so many choices, it’s hard to know which Fredericksburg wineries to go or if you’ll like what you find when you get there. Here are eight of the best wineries in Fredericksburg where you’ll find remarkable scenery, award-winning wines, fun events, and more.

Relax and enjoy the wine tastings with a full- or half-day wine tour in Fredericksburg

Stacked wine barrels at Pedernales Cellars
Viognier Reserve aging at Pedernales Cellars

Pedernales Cellars

Set back a couple of miles off the main drag, Pedernales Cellars is located on 145 acres of sprawling Hill Country beauty. Its location off the highway provides great views from the deck adjacent to the tasting room where you can relax with your favorite glass of wine on a sunny day. It also allows for plenty of room for the vineyards and their state-of-the-art production area based around limestone insulation and a geothermal cooling system.

Pedernales Cellars had its beginnings in the 1990s in a grape-growing business started by Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken who planted a vineyard near Fredericksburg. Over a decade later, the couple’s two children and their spouses bought the sprawling property in Stonewall that officially opened as Pedernales Cellars in 2008. Today, the winery is known for its Spanish and Rhone-style wines and its commitment to Texas fruit–about half their grapes are grown on the property while others are grown in different areas of the state.

Wine bottle and glass on table at Pedernales Cellars
Trying out Cinco, made of a blend of five Texas grapes

But it’s not just about locally-sourced fruit for Pedernales Cellars. Winemaker David Kuhlken is committed to making the best wines possible, as demonstrated by their long list of awards.

The winery features live music on Saturdays and hosts special events (including cooking demonstrations!) throughout the year.

Top Picks: Tempranillo Reserve, GSM (blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre)
Tasting Fee: $20 for six tastings and souvenir glass; Reserve Room and barrel tastings are also available

Stone barn at Becker Vineyards, one of the oldest Fredericksburg wineries
The reproduction 19th century German barn echoes Fredericksburg’s hiistory

Becker Vineyards

Established in 1992, Becker Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in the Hill Country and the third-largest in Texas. Its 46 acres are filled with vineyards, lavender fields, and a reproduction late 19th-century German stone barn that houses the tasting room (among other important things).

The sizable tasting area at Becker Vineyards was nearly empty during my off-season visit, so I had plenty of time to chat with the knowledgeable staff and the couple across from me who was celebrating their honeymoon. But I was warned that weekends can be a little nuts thanks to the vineyard’s popularity and featured live music.

Wine and cheese for sale at Becker Vineyards, a top Fredericksburg winery
Picnic supplies to enjoy on the grounds

The crowds are drawn not only to the beauty of the place but to the many award-winning wines produced only of Texas fruit (and even labeled with Texas symbols like the longhorn named “Rawhide” who graces their Malbec label). Though only for sale in the Lone Star State, the quality of the Becker wines has been recognized as far as the White House–you can see the Presidential menus featuring the good stuff hanging in the entryway.

Top Picks: Reserve Malbec, Viognier
Tasting Fee: $20 for six samples and a souvenir wine glass; library tastings and other special options are available

Lost Draw Cellars tasting room with Texas-shaped logo and signage
Lost Draw Cellars welcoming tasting room

Lost Draw Cellars

“Wilkommen!” If you spend much time in Fredericksburg, you’ll see this German “welcome” more than once, but it never fails to make me smile because of the hospitality and nod to the city’s German heritage that underlies it. At Lost Draw Cellars, the greeting is emblazoned on the patio of their tasting room a few blocks off Main Street and offers a glimpse of the warm welcome visitors receive here.

With tables, couches, and plenty of room for live music, there is space for guests at Lost Draw to have tastings at the bar inside or relax with glasses of wine and food from local food trucks on the outdoor “Crush Pad” patio. With over 15 wines available, it’s an easy place to lose track of time.

Bottle of red wine and wine glass from Lost Draw Cellars
Lost Draw focuses on wines made with French and Spanish grapes

The wines at Lost Draw Cellars are from 100% Texas grapes, primarily from the Lost Draw Vineyards and Timmons Estate Vineyards in the Texas High Plains. Staff at the family-run winery love introducing guests to grapes that might be more unfamiliar such as Picpoul Blanc—a zingy French grape that pairs well with seafood and fried foods—as well as more common varietals like Zinfandel and Sangiovese.

In addition to learning about the wine, you may hear stories about the history of the property and the family’s roots, which go back seven generations in Fredericksburg. After all, at Lost Draw Cellars, it’s about welcoming visitors like family.

Top Picks: Spritztown Rose, Tempranillo
Tasting Fee: $20 for six samples; a reserve tasting and food pairings are available

Exterior of William Chris Vineyards, one of the best wineries near Fredericksburg TX
The William Chris tasting room in Hye

William Chris Vineyards

In a century-old farmhouse near Fredericksburg in Hye, Texas, you’ll find William Chris Vineyards. The cozy tasting room is filled with a handful of wooden tables where you can settle in for a tasting with a view of the surrounding Hill Country landscape. During busy periods, the larger, modern room next door opens up to accommodate the groups who file in on the weekends to taste the winery’s best offerings.

William Chris has been a leader in the movement to promote what they call real Texas wine, so you can be guaranteed that any of the fine wines you try here are made entirely with Texas-grown grapes. Using fruit from multiple Texas grape growers–including those in the Hill Country and the Texas High Plains–they make about 10 award-winning wines.

Red wine bottle and glass on table for wine tasting
Enchante is William Chris’ Bordeaux-style wine

William Chris Vineyards has live music every weekend and hosts frequent special events like cook offs and wine seminars.

Top Picks: Malbec Rosé and Enchanté, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot
Tasting Fee: $20 for six samples; barrel tastings, VIP tastings, and food pairing options are also available

Wine glass and tasting menu at Grape Creek Vineyards
Tasting the good stuff – Bellissimo – at Grape Creek Vineyards

Grape Creek Vineyards

The first two things you encounter arriving at Grape Creek Vineyards are the limestone belltower and the banner telling you that you’ve just arrived at “Tuscany in Texas.” Once inside the Tuscan-style villa that overlooks the Fredericksburg vineyards, you can try any of the 14 varietals and blends on offer, take a further tour of the grounds and production area, or try out Stout’s Trattoria. On the weekends, you can enjoy a glass on the patio with live music.

Grape Creek Vineyards was one of the first vineyards in Fredericksburg, opening their doors in the mid-1980s. Current owners Brian and Jennifer Heath took over and expanded the winery in 2006, and it continues to be family-owned and operated. 

Bottle display at Grape Creek, one of the top Fredericksburg TX wineries
Lots to choose from

Two of Grape Creek’s most well-recognized creations are the Viognier, which a staff member called, “everything that’s good about Texas–wildflowers, honey, and fruit,” and the Bellissimo–bold and spicy, reminiscent of Sangiovese. Both of these happened to be my personal favorites during my Fredericksburg wine tasting.

Grape Creek Vineyards doesn’t distribute, so they rely on several tasting rooms (including one on Main Street in Fredericksburg) and their wine club for their sales. If you can’t make it to Texas, check to see if yours is one of 13 states they ship to.

Top Picks: Viognier, Bellissimo (Super Tuscan)
Tasting Fee: $20 for six samples and a souvenir wine glass; other tasting and tour options are available

Bottling line and labels at Hilmy Cellars
The mobile bottling line for a new release

Hilmy Cellars

I had barely crossed through the front gate of Hilmy Cellars when I was met by the welcoming committee–three large sheep with black faces who seemed as momentarily perplexed by me as I was by them. Within a few seconds, I was old news and they went back to grazing among the vines. Once inside, I learned that the sheep–along with guinea fowl, a pair of friendly Great Pyrenees, and a few more animals–are all part of the team at Hilmy Cellars.

Each animal at Hilmy has its own job to do as part of the grape-growing and wine-making process, whether that’s eating the insects so owners Erik and Neldie Hilmy don’t need to use insecticides and pesticides, keeping weeds down, or protecting the vines from local deer. It’s all part of Hilmy’s biodynamic plan to do what’s best for the land in order to make the best wine.

Sheep eating weeds in vineyard at Hilmy Cellars
Sheep are just part of the team at Hilmy Cellars

This intriguing approach has a strong influence on the grapes grown here and thus on the Hilmy Cellars wines (distinguished by the bird on the label), which are made entirely from Texas fruit grown in Fredericksburg and sourced from other vineyards in the state.

In addition to the Hilmy Cellars label, Erik Hilmy a.k.a. wines are also available from the vineyard. These wines incorporate varietals from around the world, which feature the distinct characteristics of the terroir where they are grown.

Wine bottles at Hilmy Cellars, one of the best wineries in Fredericksburg
Well-loved selections from both of Hilmy’s wine labels

Hilmy wines are available for purchase in the tasting room, at select stores in Texas, or through the wine club, appropriately called “the FLOCK.” As with the other vineyards on Wine Road 290, Hilmy Cellars features live music and hosts special events that are listed on their website.

Top Picks: Erik Hilmy a.k.a. Viognier, Hilmy Cellars Sangiovese
Tasting Fee: $20 for six wines

Wine on the patio at Messina Hof Hill Country
Hanging out on the patio with a Messina Hof favorite

Messina Hof Hill Country Winery

The thing that stands out most about Messina Hof Hill Country Winery is the sheer variety and quality of their wines. With more than 50 available options, the selection is rather mind blowing and further proof of what a great winery can achieve with Texas grapes.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit two of Messina Hof’s locations — the Fredericksburg winery and the winery in Grapevine–and have tried about 20 of their offerings, so I have no doubt about the attention to detail that goes into everything they make. As part of the award-winning selection of Texas wine Messina Hof is known for, each location also has wines that are specific to that tasting room.

Black Spanish grapes on grapevine
Up close and personal with Messina Hof’s Black Spanish grapes grown on the property

Celebrating 40 years of winemaking in Texas, Messina Hof has been established in the Hill Country since 2011. The winery sits on about 10 acres along Highway 290, which includes its tasting room, standout Manor Haus B&B, and a vineyard of Black Spanish grapes (other grapes are grown at the original location in Bryan, Texas, and in the High Plains).

The winery is the perfect location for happy hour or an afternoon enjoying Messina Hof’s finest. Grab a wine and cheese plate and choose one of the dozens of Messina Hof wines and head outside to the patio for a relaxing time.

Top Picks: Gerwurtztraminer, Primitivo (Primitivo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Petit Syrah)
Tasting Fee: $12 for five wines

Display of wine bottles, glasses, and corks
Texas proud at Woodrose Winery

Woodrose Winery

Just 13 miles east of Fredericksburg, the first vines were planted at Woodrose Winery in 1999. Since winemaker and owner Mike Guilette took over in 2005, he has been steadily honing the wines and expanding the production.

One of the smaller wineries, Woodrose Winery takes a unique approach to their tasting room. Guests sit at tables and choose from one of four menus that include all reds, all whites, all sweet wines, or a mix of red and white varietals and blends (aka Mike’s Flight).

Wine glass and tasting menu at Woodrose Winery in Stonewall, Texas
Taking my time with the 2011 Merlot

The table service takes a bit longer than some of the stand-up tastings at other wineries, but it also allows for a little more relaxation. On nice days, guests spill out to the beautiful, oak tree-shaded patio to enjoy a glass (or two) with live music.

Top Picks: Seven (Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo), Zinfandel
Tasting Fee: $15 for tasting; souvenir glass is $3 extra

Grapes growing in Fredericksburg vineyard

Where to Stay Near Fredericksburg Wineries

Vineyard Trail Cottage — These 13 spacious cottages are well-positioned near several wineries, including Messina Hof and Grape Creek. You have access to the Pedernales River and are surrounded by the beauty of the Hill Country.

Hoffman Haus B&B — A few steps from Main Street, staying in this cute B&B makes exploring downtown Fredericksburg easy. Enjoy the homey atmosphere and breakfast delivered to your room.

A Barn at the Quarry — You can stargaze from the hot tub and watch local wildlife from one of the five comfortable suites at A Barn at the Quarry. Enjoy the quiet of nature outside of town.

With the exception of Woodrose Winery and William Chris Vineyards, I was the guest of the vineyards. All opinions about fruity whites and full-bodied reds are my own. An earlier version of this article included Torre di Pietra winery, which has since closed.

21 thoughts on “8 Wineries in Fredericksburg Not to Miss”

  1. We visited Torre di Pietra a few years ago – with the kids – it was a great experience and the wine was very good. I”ll be back in the TX Hill Country early this summer and plan to do more tastings, I’m noting your recommendations. 😉 Cheers!

    1. That’s awesome, Elaine. If your experience is anything like mine, I think you’ll really enjoy it. Have a great time!

    1. Not only does Texas have wineries, but they are really great. In a few days, we’ll be posting about Texas distilleries, too. Among lots of other things, Texas is a great place to get your drink on 🙂

  2. We just returned from the Hill Country. Henry Lewis is a new winery not to be missed. Kyle poured our tasting and she was wonderful. The entire operation is run by 6 people, including harvest, and their winery has a spectacular view. We are also members of Grape Creek and love them, but Lewis is a smaller new player so we were thoroughly happy to support and enjoy their products.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Chris. There seem to be a lot of new wineries and others on the verge of construction or opening.

  3. We visited the area last year and became members of Perdernales Cellars. We really enjoyed their wines. We just returned from another trip this past February. We visited William Chris in Hye and were very impressed. We also visited 4.0. Although 4.0 is more of a tasting room of other Texas wines, we found their wines to be very good and they are now combining to make special wines under the 4.0 label. We will definitely return and continue our tasting! It’s a fun trip!

  4. Texas is definitely not a place I think of when I think of wine country! But I love discovering local wines and these all look amazing.

  5. Laura, a friend of mine recently went on a wine tour. Ever since she got back she has been suggesting that my husband and I go on one together. It would be nice if we could find a wine tour close to home to try out. The Becker winner seems like it might be interesting to check out. I will have to show this to my husband and see what he thinks.

  6. I loved visiting Texas Hill Country wineries and look forward to my next visit, probably in 2018 though. We already have a lot on the schedule for 2017…

  7. You hit one of the best w/ Pedernales Cellars. Their Tempranillos are as good as they come. Next time, drive a little past there, maybe 10 minutes on FM 1623 to the Albert Ice House and Dance Hall. Only in Texas.

    Also might try stopping at Duchman Winery in Driftwood. It is a little south of 290, but worth it. Another place doing well with Italian and Spanish varietals.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations, Scott. There’s so much to do in the area that one visit certainly isn’t enough!

      1. Laura: I will be visiting Fredericksburg this weekend with my daughter and niece. The girls have never been to a winery. Which one would you recommend for their first visit? I have been to a few but, I am not well-versed in wine.

        1. They are all great and will be happy to educate your group on the different types of wines. If I had to guess, Messina Hof may have the largest variety to cater to different palates, but each of the ones mentioned here is a favorite of mine.

  8. My fav winery on the Wine & Wildflower Trail! Amazingly attentive & friendly staff with unique wines that unlike a lot of the other wineries grow their own wines!
    The Sangiovese is especially delicious, but the Tango Port wins the prize for literally being creme brulee in a glass!

  9. We recently became members at Westcave Cellars! If you haven’t checked them out, I highly recommend it.

  10. I would skip Grape Creek near Fredericksburg. They just seem to be too busy for new members. Once you become a wine club member the service goes down hill fast. You get trapped into selections that you cannot change and charged for wines regardless of your selection. The openness and welcoming feel of the winery that was present years ago is gone. I wound’t waste your time here anymore.

  11. We LOVED reading about your visit to the wineries in Hill Country. Glad you had such a great time – come back soon!

    1. Thanks! We’ll actually be returning in a couple of days, so we’re looking forward to trying some new things and revisiting old favorites.

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