by Leanne Holley, Editor, Texas Wine and Trail
It’s Springtime in the Texas Winiverse which can be summed up with two words: wildflowers and roadtrips! But before you hit the Highway 290 trail, read on. Texas Wine and Trail has created a list of tips for how you and your crew can make the most of your Fredericksburg, Texas wine experience.
TAKE A NICE CAMERA
Do yourself a nice favor and take along real camera. We know you’ll spend the majority of the trip using your camera phone. But when you step into a wildflower scene that is straight off the Travel Channel, or get to meet the winemaker, you’ll want to capture it in high definition. No doubt you’ll repeat the same shots with your camera phone so you can share them on facebook or email to everyone you can think of. But when it comes time to relive the trip or print and frame, you will be thankful that you captured at least a few special moments with a quality camera because the moment deserved it.
Tip: If you’ve relied on your camera phone for too long, there are a number of great point and shoots on the market complete with wifi, and under $200.
DRESS FOR ANY WEATHER
Texas gonna Texas and when planning what to wear during a Spring roadtrip to Fredericksburg that means you’re going to have to take a little of everything. Most of the wineries open around 10AM and are kept rather cool inside. If some of the wineries offer a tour then it will get downright chilly in the tank and barrel rooms, so everyone should be ready to throw on a light jacket, sweater or wrap. Nothing can take away from the tasting like your teeth chattering on the rim of a wine glass. As you head outside to the patio or vineyards it will heat up quickly, especially if you’ve been sipping on wine all day. So again be ready to peel those layers off as the sunny day wears on. You’ll also be doing a lot more standing, walking and tasting than you realize, so although you may feel inclined to sport those cute new heals, just don’t. Pack them in your bag to dress your outfit up that evening for dinner if you must. Follow our Pinterest Board: Texas Wine Style
Tip: Bring a large tote with some extra tissue paper inside to wrap/carry your purchases safely until you get back to your car, van or limo. You’ll likely be buying wine glasses and bottles from your favorite stops (or all of them!)
EAT TASTE SHOP TASTE EAT
Fredericksburg has so many incredible places to enjoy fine Texas cuisine, and of course they serve Texas wines from the local area and beyond. Restaurants like Vaudville, Farm Haus Bistro (a genuine herb farm) and Cabernet Grill – Texas Wine Country Restaurant offer a true Texas Hill Country dining experience, while eateries such as Otto’s German Bistro and Der Lindenbaum serve authentic German fair. And of course you can’t travel to Fredericksburg without walking the shops which made it a travel destination long before the wine industry did. You’ll probably be visiting a lot of the wineries located along HWY 290, but if you can, stop into a few of the satellite tasting rooms downtown while shopping. They may or may not be crowded depending on the time of day, plus it’s a great way to taste several Texas wineries whose main production facilities are located elsewhere, and these are within walking distance of each other.
Tip: Ask the tasting room manager where they suggest you eat, or their favorite snack spot. You might end up at a delicious hidden local gem without long lines or waiting lists. Many of the wineries offer cheese trays or other small pairings so you can put something in your stomach without having to wait for you entire group to break for lunch or dinner.
BED, BREAKFAST AND BEYOND
Another incredible dimension of Fredericksburg, Texas is its selection of places to stay. From luxury retreats and ranch homes to historic German cabins, they truly offer it all. Booking company, AbsoluteCharm.com is a great site with over 100 B&Bs to choose from, and you can refine your search criteria depending on your desired amenities and budget. And if you really want to immerse yourself into the world of Texas wine, wineries like Messina Hof Winery & Resort and Grape Creek Vineyard have you covered. The Villa Bed & Breakfast, owned by Messina Hof, was voted Best Romantic Getaway in Texas and is the only Four-Diamond resort in the Brazos Valley.
Tip: BedandBreakfast.com has the most comprehensive and user friendly listing/reservation site available. Plus they offer all kinds of specials, so pay attention to their website banners and take advantage of the savings they offer.
VISIT THREE TO FOUR WINERIES PER DAY
It’s important to take into consideration that you will not be able to visit every winery in Fredericksburg or even come close to it. And although Fredericksburg’s number of wineries pales in comparison to regions like Napa or Sonoma, wine enthusiasts can reasonably visit and taste at three or four wineries a day. This is one of the many reasons why wine tour companies like Texas Wine Tours and the 290 Wine Shuttle are great services. Everyone in your group can enjoy the wine experience without having to worry about driving, and because they encourage a schedule and provide a little education on the wineries before you arrive.
Tip: If you missed out on tasting at certain wineries because time didn’t allow, ask the waiters at the restaurants your dining in if they carry those wines. Or if a particular wine really made an impression while at a tasting, don’t forget to ask if the restaurant has it by glass so you can pair it with your meal to get a new perspective. Almost all Texas wineries have online stores so you can order your favorites from the trip and get them delivered straight to your door.
YOU DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION
Enjoy the tastings and drink what you like. Pink Floyd said it best, “no dark sarcasm in the classroom…” There is no one judging your wine knowledge in the Texas Hill Country! Sure your level of wine education can help your experience in Fredericksburg, but a lack of it can never hurt your trip. You do not have to be a connoisseur, oenophile, or even know what a Sangiovese is to have an incredible Fredericksburg wine vacation. You want to know more about the Texas grape varietals producing award winning wines for our state? Just ask the tasting room manager. You only drink sweet reds? That’s ok too, but you should definitely try something unfamiliar – you may discover a new favorite. The amazing thing about visiting the Hill Country wine region is the area’s attitude toward beginning and experienced wine drinkers alike: everyone is Willkommen!
Tip: For a great (and humorous) site for beginning wine drinkers, visit WineFolly.com where you can learn the terms you’ll often hear at the tasting room bar. Texas wineries are producing award winning wines from the Tempranillo and Viognier grape varietals. You might pick up a few bottles from different wineries and do a comparative Tempranillo tasting once home, or throw a Texas wine tasting party for your friends that missed the trip!
For more information from the Fredericksburg Texas Visitors Bureau CLICK HERE
Header image from flickr.com
The post Texas Wine and Trail Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Fredericksburg Wine Trip appeared first on Texas Wine and Trail Magazine.