Wine weekend has officially become an annual tradition. Last year: Fredericksburg. This year: Dripping Springs. Also a tradition: Cold and rainy weather apparently.
We picked Dripping Springs because it was close to Austin and had a few cute wineries we hadn’t been to. We also picked it because it was one of the closest wine regions around Bee Cave where we were staying at the Sonesta Bee Cave hotel.
Here’s how we did one of the best weekends of my life in style!
Bee Cave Sonesta is a newish hotel to the area — and it looks it. Everything is so nice. We checked in kind of late Friday night (had to make an Austin detour to stop at Trudy’s for some Mexican Martinis), but despite that we were greeted by several super helpful and cheerful staff members.
I’m pretty easily impressed with nice hotels (because I don’t usually splurge on NICE hotels), but this one really had me falling in love with it! Rooms are about $200 a night, which if you have a full room of four, is pretty reasonable per person.
Again, in love. Everything was just so new and perfect. The beds were great — not your typical uncomfortable mattress, but the real star was the shower. Top ten best showers I’ve had in my life, and the coconut products were definitely a part of that. Leave your travel sizes at home. (Also: The coffee machine is clutch and easy to work, but they also have coffee downstairs.)
Big perk of the hotel was the trolley! The hotel is right next to this huge shopping center with tons of restaurants and shops. I think during the summer, this spot would be hopping. Early December on a rainy day — not so much. But we still had a lot of fun in the area, and the trolley really made it convenient.
If only it took us to Dripping Springs too.
We started at Solaro Estates, which also has a Houston tasting room! Very convenient since guess what: We loved all the wine. The $15 tasting included 5 wines, and I struggle to think of one I didn’t enjoy. But our favorite was the Tempranillo, so we bought a bottle to split.
One of our favorite things about Solaro was the facility. Gorgeous deck (complete with fire pit) and everywhere has a view of the vines. Drat you rain! But it was still super nice and fall looking.
On a whim we put down our wine glasses and stopped at Treaty Oak Distillery for cocktails (and beer!). This was such a cool pit stop and I wish I’d planned it better. There are distillery tours throughout the weekend that come with a tasting for $15.
Even without the tour or tasting, we had fun. The tasting room area is a barn and full of people of all ages (lots of kids too) and has a food menu and a full cocktail list. The special drink of the day was an Grey Skies, which was spiked Earl Grey tea and perfect for the rainy day. We also split a cheese plate that came with local honey. Delish.
We wrapped up our day drinking at Bell Springs Winery. By this time of the day, the rain was particularly annoying, so we stayed indoors for our tasting. The grounds, like Solaro, were also so cute! And outside there was a musician, so bonus points for live music!
The $10 tasting fee is waived if you buy a bottle, and guess what, we all did. The SAME bottle. It’s called Needy Bitch. It’s a red blend and is just $25. Most of the other wines we tried were extra sweet, kind of like some of the wineries we tried in Fredericksburg. One Needy Bitch was all we needed.
Pre and post wine we ventured to the Hill Country Galleria, which is right by our hotel. For brunch, we settled on Cafe Blue, a seafood spot with locations in Austin. And guess what. They have buy one get one on entrees before 11. Best. Brunch deal. EVER. We also got a mimosa flight that has a bottle of champagne and a few juices so you DIY your mimosa to your preference.
Overall, I thought the food was solid. Avoid the feta and spinach omelet, definitely get the Captain Crunch french toast and try the Eggs Benedict Arnold. V cajun. V delicious.
Post wine we ditched the car and trolleyed to Chiso’s Grill. I switched to martinis bc I was so over wine. Not sure I loved it — it was a bit sweet, but that could be my own problem after a day full of sweet wine. But whatever problem I had with my alcohol was COMPLETELY forgotten by the food. We had truffle fries, which were as good as all truffle fries obviously, but the burger, guys. The Green Chili Cheeseburger was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The pork belly tacos were also 10/10.
After dinner, we went to Woody’s Tavern, which I’m 99% sure is a Woodrow’s affiliate. (Same feel, similar name). This is a bar in a strip center (we literally stopped at a Barnes and Noble on our way to it from dinner). It feels like a bar in a strip center. We did, however, have an amazing time there.
We also had a final drink at the Meridian 98 in the Sonesta Bee Cave. We had a really great bottle of wine, but we were all so literally wine-d out.