Hill Country’s Highway 290 Is the Wine Road
Nearly two months ago my husband and I were traveling for business and used Hwy 290 in Fredericksburg to make our way to Austin. I am a proud native San Antonian and my husband is a transplant from a Northern state. Currently, we reside in Boerne and thought we were pretty knowledgeable residents, enamored with our Hill Country slice of heaven. So, why is it I had no idea how many wineries dotted Highway 290? Now, I knew we had a couple of vineyards in Texas but I had no idea of the explosion of the fine wineries along 290. So I dug in, so to speak, and thought I’d share what I found out about the Wine Road 290.
In researching this area, I found over 19 wineries in a 45 mile stretch of Highway from Fredericksburg to Johnson City and there are over 53 wineries from Austin to Fredericksburg that stretch all the way to Lampasas. That doesn’t even take into account the road from Comfort to San Antonio. This small town “Napa” is bustling with over 5 million annual visitors coming for the wines alone. So what do our award-winning wineries offer? I, who have never met a red I didn’t like, was delighted to find that the dry, hot Hill Country climate was perfect for a variety of grapes that do well in warm climates. Syrah, Petite Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, just to name a few of the amazing wines coming from our region.
And yes, where there is wine there must be complementary cuisine. Charcuterie boards, pairings, tastings and wild game offerings are some of the amazingly unique aspects of Texas—no one cooks game like the great state of Texas! Where wine and great cuisine meet, luxury comes along for the ride. In 2017 Fredericksburg was named one of the “Top 10 Cities where Million Dollar Listings have Skyrocketed”! If you can live in the “Texas Napa Valley” where a house costs a fraction of what a similar home in California would cost, then why not—welcome to Texas! “Have wine glass will travel!”
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are in the second most visited wine region in the US only behind Napa according to Orbitz, and some of us are not even aware of it. Let’s hit the hills where you live and support this eco-system in our own backyard. I raise a glass to the Wine Road 290 and the 53+ vineyards blazing a path in the Texas Hill Country. Bring designated divers and explore this gem!