Fall is for Texas Wine Tasting - Twisted Texas

They say the Texas Hill Country is the next Napa Valley.  For those who have seen the rolling hills of Northern California, with its Michelin-starred restaurants and vines as far as the eye can see, a bit of skepticism is in order.  But there is no doubt that winemaking is a Texas industry on the rise.  New vineyards pop up each month.  And the wines being produced there keep getting better and better.

While we love summertime in Central Texas, autumn is the season for wine tasting.  Wineries open their doors with full southern hospitality.  Live music, local eats, and special events abound as the days cool off and the grapes ripen on the vine.

One of the up-and-coming areas for wine tasting in the Texas Hill Country is centered around the charming town of Dripping Springs.  Local winery owner Nate Bell has teamed up with others in his business to comprise the “Dripping Springs Wine Trail”.  Twenty dollars will get you an all-day pass on a luxury shuttle which runs a continuous loop between historic downtown Dripping Springs, Nate’s Bell Springs Winery, Hawk’s Shadow Winery, and Westcave Cellars.

Last week, the Access ATX Team went to check it out.  Here’s what we found:

Bell Springs Winery: the perfect patio for a glass of their Peach Chardonnay.  The winery features live music on the weekends.  The staff was always ready with a recommendation.  And their tasting room also had a lot of nifty wine gadgets that would make a perfect holiday gift when paired with one of their Texas wines.
Gorgeous Views at Hawk’s Shadow Winery
Hawk’s Shadow Winery: the best views in the Texas Hill Country.  The wine label features a shadow of a horse…which is a bit confusing given the name ‘Hawk’s Shadow’…until you hear the owner tell the tale of their beloved horse, Hawk, and how he would stand outside the door begging to be part of the fun!  Perched on a hillside, the winery offers amazing views of the countryside and even of Lance Armstrong’s old estate.  If you’re lucky, you can wander into the cellars below for an exclusive barrel tasting of their Lone Star Zin, made exclusively with Texas grapes.

Westcave Cellars: the list of wines is long and vast at this last stop.  A charming tasting room with lots of windows to let in the Texas sunshine, it is the perfect end to day of sampling all that the Texas Hill Country has to offer.  A note of warning though…while the owners might love the wines they make, they don’t love overindulging…so make sure you’re on your best behavior or you won’t be able to taste these delicious samplings!

And of course there is no better place for lunch than the many restaurants in downtown Dripping Springs.  Our gang enjoyed the day…while some groups might want to be in and out of the tasting rooms quickly, we took our time, and had a full day of wine tasting and good memories.  Luckily, the Access ATX van is also offering transportation to/from downtown Austin.  So those of you who like wine as much as we do will get home safe and sound.

The Dripping Springs area also features many craft breweries, distilleries, and favorite swimming holes.  We are already planning our next adventure!

A safe and fun ride home!