Texas Hill Country Wine & Food
Hill Country is famous for fantastic BBQ, river rafting, delectable peaches, Luckenbach, swimming holes and its namesake beautiful rolling hills of limestone and granite. It is also the second-most-visited wine region in the US (after Napa). Only a couple of decades into it, wine producers are making some damn fine juice and creating a totally unpretentious and seriously fun destination for people who like all types of wine to taste the good stuff!
Many Hill Country wine producers are making wine with grapes not well-known in the US like mourvedre, cinsault, tempranillo, sangiovese, viognier, roussanne and vermentino, warm climate grapes grown for centuries in Spain, southern France and Italy. These spunky producers are not growing sure-sells like chardonnay or cabernet and are instead experimenting to find the best fit for the Texas terroir. In tasting rooms at Lewis Wines, William Chris, 4.0 Cellars, Hye Meadow Winery, Lost Draw Cellars and Duchman, winery staff skillfully steer guests from comfort-zone wines to their stylistically similar varietals. The innovative spirit of this burgeoning region and commitment to acquainting people with new wines will quickly win over more traditional wine drinkers and delight the curious souls.
Best of Texas Hill Country Wine
Lewis Wines: Elegant expressions of 100% TX grapes
William Chris: Equal parts experimentation and artistry
Lost Draw Cellars: Long-time grower spins wine gold
The Alentejo, Portugal Connection
A drive around Texas Hill Country is enchanting. The bright blue sky, the stately oak trees, the granite hills that glow under the scorching sun and the solitary stretches of road that end suddenly at the main square of a charming small town. It is strikingly reminiscent of the Alentejo region in Portugal, a wine region since Roman times. [I am not the first to realize this connection.]