So, #TBT to my venture westward to San Francisco and Santa Barbara plus the pitstop at a vineyard. Anyways, I’m basically a wine expert. Enter: Texas Wine Country. We headed up I10 past Austin and into the Fredericksburg city limits for #WineTime2K15. It was…. an experience. Think: cold, rainy and not drunk enough to deal with it. We made it through, and now have advice for you.
- Bring a blanket. AND an umbrella. We were miserable and cold.
- Skip the tasting; buy a bottle. Tastings are about 5-6 one-ounce samples (aka one glass of wine… TOTAL) for about $10-20. If you’re buying a bottle, you could probably ask to try it first AND you get a whole bottle for less than $30 in most cases. It is cool to try all the wine, but at the end of the day, wine is wine and all wine is fine.
- Drive safe! If you’re going with a group, weigh your driving options. Appoint a DD, hire a car, or sign up for a shuttle (for a small group or couple).
- BRING FOOD. Swear, none of the places we went to had actual food. There were some crackers and some cheese, but it was slim pickens and we were HANGRY. Eat before you go or bring a picnic.
- Bring wine home! You gotta. When in Rome, right?
- Find the live music. We hit up the visitor’s center and the nice little old ladies gave us a schedule and we found the places that jammed.
- Ask for recommendations! These ppl know their shit… as well they should.
- Do a shuttle if you’re a big group. It’s really hard to fit a big group on a shuttle. It’s kind of annoying.
- Try to go to all of the vineyards. There’s just too many. Pick just a few. Consult Yelp!
- Stay outside of the city limits—most hotel shuttles will pick you up if you’re staying in F-burg, so that way no one has to drink and drive.
- Wing your dinner plans… we kind of last minute picked a random place to eat in central Fredericksburg and our food was cold and gross. Ragretz. Again, consult Yelp.
- Save the best for last. You might run out of time or, if all goes well, be too drunk to enjoy.
- Give up your tokens/tickets willingly. When you taste, some places give you tickets or tokens (others have a pre-set menu). The token places don’t keep track really, so you can sneak a few more samples.
- Do all the wine tours. The fermentation process for wine is not different from vineyard to vineyard, so maybe do one if you want, then back to the bar.
Here’s where I went and wine you should go there:
- Becker Vineyards: Definitely the best in terms of atmosphere. TONS of wine options, live music, beautiful campus. Tasting was $15 and the tour was OK. Definitely a one-stop shop. Buy a bottle and split a picnic.
- Fat Ass Ranch: Hilarious name and merchandise, but yikes, the wine was way too sweet. If that’s your wine preference, you’ll love it. Also live music and small, but cool facility.
- Four Point: This isn’t actually a vineyard… it’s a tasting room for a wine collective that has vineyards across Texas. I definitely learned the most here—the tasting leader person knew everything. I bought so many bottles of wine there. The facility was average.