WHERE IS THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY?The Texas Hill Country is a general geographical region in central Texas that occupies 25 counties. By urban landmarks it is located roughly west of Austin and north of San Antonio, buffering both cities. The area boasts dramatic hills, scenic rivers, rugged ravines and quaint towns. The area is highly agricultural, yet offers state of the art museums, music venues, art galleries, shopping and wineries. The restaurants offer high class fine dining to down home country vittles, all of which are delicious.
WINE, IN THE HILL COUNTRY, REALLY? Yes, really! The Hill Country grape growing area or officially the Hill Country AVA (American Viticultural Area) is the second largest in the nation. As of this publication there are 67 wineries in the Hill Country and that number continues to increase.
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GROW IN TEXAS? According to gotexanwine.org the varietals currently growing in Texas are:Red Varietals; Malbec, Tempranillo, Syrah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, LenoirWhite Varietals; Chardonnay, Blanc du Bois, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Orange Muscat, Muscat Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Gewurtztraminer, SemillonThere are additional varietals that vintners and universities are experimenting with to continue to expand Texas’ grape growing repertoire. Additionally, there are some native varietals that provide exceptional root stock which are disease resistant and perfectly adapted to withstand Texas weather.
WHO BUYS HILL COUNTRY WINE? According to Texas Tech University's Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute, in 2009, 1.2 Million cases of wine were produced in Texas. That number continues to increase each year. The primary consumers of wine in the Hill Country are women over 50 who have come to Fredericksburg to shop and drink wine!
OK, BUT IS IT ANY GOOD? Texas wineries have been entering tastings and competitions for the past 20 years, and now they are wining. According to Cravedfw, a publication out of Dallas, a blind tasting of viognier was held between classic California and French viognier producers and Texas producers. The top 6 winners were Texas producers, including Pedernales Cellars in first place and Becker Vineyard in third, both from the Hill Country. Not to mention the plethora of competitions that individual wineries enter and walk away with medals, including the 2013 San Antonio Wine Fest, where Becker, Fall Creek, Grape Creek, Sister Creek, Torre di Pietra, and William Chris wineries all won silver and bronze medals against California, Italy and other international competitors.
WHERE DO I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON HILL COUNTRY WINE?
www.gotexanwine.orgwww.texaswines.orgwww.wineroad290.com Any individual website for a Hill Country Winery.Food and wine publications out of Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston