Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fredericksburg, TX Pt. 2: Wineries

During our 4 day stay in Fredericksburg, TX, the Architect and I hit six wineries in and around the town.

Here are the wineries we checked out:

1. Pedernales Cellars - Stonewall, TX: This is one of the newer wineries in the Hill Country. They opened their doors in December 2008. I really enjoyed their whites, especially the viognier. However, I wish they had served the red wines at the proper temperature. Now that I have a wine fridge, when wine is not slightly chilled it tastes like I am drinking bathwater. Not a way to get me to buy the wine.

2. Grape Creek Vineyard: This place had the slickest operation out of the ones we visited. Upon entering there are two different areas where to taste wine - Black Label (higher end price points) and White Label. Being the oeneophiles we are we tasted both lines. We picked up the up the Cab Sav/Syrah and the Cabernet Trois. Their ports were also wonderful.

3. Woodrose Winery, Stonewall, TX: This has the best way to taste wines. You enter into the winery where you are greeted by an adorable chocolate lab named Lola. Then you grab a seat on the back deck set in a grove of trees where they bring the tasting to you.

4. Torre di Pietra: I did not like any of the wines I tasted here. I did not think they were bad wines, just not my taste. But I did like their blanco port and walked away with a bottle.

5. Rancho Ponte Vineyard: This was by far my favorite winery. We walked away with their Max's Merlot, Triple M Blend, and the Renegade Port. This is definitely a place I would order from in the future.

6. Fredericksburg Winery: Located in downtown, this is a no-frills operation, but produces some great wines. The tasting is also free!

Some tips for your winery tours:

1. Go here for a downloadable map of all the wineries in the Hill Country.

2. Make sure you get a "passport" for the Texas Department of Agriculture at the first winery you go to. Get four stamps in your passport then go online to redeem the passport for free stuff.

3. While most of the wineries have a tasting fee, if you buy at least one bottle the tasting fee is usually waived.

4. If you go in the Spring and Summer, pack a small cooler in your card with some ice to keep your new bottles cool while you visit other wineries.

5. In between wineries be sure to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated and so you don't get "wine fatigue." Nothing is worse than going to a great winery and being so sick of tasting wine that everything else ceases to taste good.

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