Invention Vineyards, situated on 35 acres of land in Fredericksburg, held its grand opening last month. Photo courtesy of Invention Vineyards.

Like fine wine, the Texas wine country is nuanced and ever-changing—and always revealing new depth and character. In recent years, the 45-mile-long Wine Road 290, between Johnson City and Fredericksburg on US 290, has exploded with new wineries and tasting rooms.

“Texas wine, and specifically the Hill Country and 290 area, has been booming for the last 10 years,” says January Wiese, executive director of Texas Hill Country Wineries, the nonprofit trade association that promotes the wine region and its more than 60 member wineries. “We’re seeing wineries from different parts of the state opening tasting rooms here and we’ve had an influx of out-of-state winemakers coming in. It’s just nonstop.”

For Texas Wine Month, we’ve rounded up a few of the newest places to stop, sip, and savor the local flavor on your next trip to the country.


Address: 13112 US 290 East
Hours: Sun-Sat 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tastings start at $30 per person

Few wineries are blending wine and wildlife like Craig Stevens and his wife, Chesney Castleberry. The couple is passionate about growing grapes and giving back, both of which they’re doing at Rhinory. Located on the edge of the Pedernales River, the main attraction on their 55-acre property is Blake, a rhinoceros that guests can go see while sipping a selection of delicious Texan and South African wines. (Try the family’s favorite, Texas Picpoul Blanc.) Since opening a little over a year ago, wine sales have enabled the couple to donate $100,000 to the International Rhino Foundation.


Airis’Ele Vineyards

Address: 11290 US 290 East
Hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri-Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tastings start at $25 per person

Pronounced air-is-el, this new-to-town winery is located just 10 miles east of Fredericksburg on the edge of the Beckmann Draw. Sample a selection of worldly wines from an old farmhouse that’s been lovingly renovated into a tasting sanctuary with panoramic views of the majestic oak trees. The property is casual, comfortable, and feels like home, thanks to the founding Bernard and Perrenoud families. On your next visit, chances are you’ll meet Bret and Chris Perrenoud—both are veterans from the nearby Becker Vineyards.


Invention Vineyards

Address: 4222 SH 16 South
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tastings start at $30 per person

The latest addition to Heath Family Brands—which includes hot spots like Heath Sparkling Wines and Grape Creek Vineyards—held its grand opening on Sept. 22. This stunning, 35-acre venue was formerly the site of Pioneer Family Mills, which dates back to 1851. It is now the home of a sprawling estate vineyard that features a winery and a production facility offering tempranillo, tannat, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot varietals.


Michael Ros Winery

Address: 982 Old San Antonio Road
Hours: Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun noon-5 p.m.
Tastings start at $30 per person

This boutique, family-owned winery opened in August with a focus on 100% Texas-grown grapes, most of which come from the brand’s own vineyards. The inviting tasting room was inspired by a buzzing Italian piazza filled with family and friends. Grab a glass and take a seat at one of the elegant custom wood tables made from local pecan trees.


Crown Hill Winery

Address: 171 Crown Hill Road
Hours: Fri-Sun 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tastings cost $25 per person

New to the scene, this boutique winery in Stonewall offers 100% Texas wines and a convivial outdoor patio that is both dog- and family-friendly. The young husband-and-wife duo, Robert and Becky Belanger, transformed a rustic barn into a charming tasting room where they serve seven authentic Texas wines, from an easy-drinking rosé to a bold petite sirah-tannat blend. Soon, they’ll offer live music and sunset wine tastings—the perfect pairing for the fall season.


Lost Draw Cellars

Johnson City
Address: 1686 US 290
Hours: Sun-Wed 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thur-Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tastings cost $25 per person

Lost Draw, one of the Hill Country’s most well-respected wine brands, recently debuted a new tasting room in Johnson City with the help of Austin’s Michael Hsu Office of Architecture. The project includes world-class tasting rooms, an outdoor bar and patio, and a state-of-the-art production facility. And, like their other location in Fredericksburg, it has education-driven wine tasting experiences that are some of the best in the state.


Bluemont Vineyard & Brewery

Address: 662 Woodrose Lane
Hours: Thu-Sun 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tastings cost $25 per person

The Zurschmeide family may have gotten their start in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, but the Texas Hill Country is a new home away from home. Their popular Texas outpost offers craft beer, cider, local wine, and a full menu of barbecue and bites—not to mention mixology classes, guided tours, and pairing menus.


Six Twists

Address: 425 E. Main St.
Hours: Wed-Sun 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Mon-Tue by appointment

Aficionados of sparkling wine won’t want to miss this newly opened venue in downtown Fredericksburg. The team, including advanced sommelier Andre Boada, has curated the best bubbles from around the world. Enjoy a large selection of wines by the glass, plus light bites, private tasting opportunities, and educational events in this chic, sophisticated champagne showroom.



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