Western Trips

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Two Unique Texas Wineries / Plan Your Visit

Texas Wine Industry
Texas has a dry and sunny climate that makes it ideal for wine production. Texas also ranks Number 5 in wine production in the entire U.S. following California, New York, Washington and Oregon.

eden hill winery
Eden Hill Vineyard & Winery
As many know, the Spanish missionaries who traveled with the Conquistadors were well known for planting grape vines near their missions. It is a fact that the first vineyard established in North America was in El Paso circa 1662. The Spaniards established their first mission in Alta California in present day San Diego in 1769 and grape growing was then introduced to that region.

More grapevine cuttings followed the missionaries as people from Europe brought them to the continent  after the missions were built.  

Texas Wineries

Texas has more wineries in operation than you may have thought. There are 310 wineries in Texas, ranging from small producers who concentrate on tourism for the majority of their sales to large wineries who have developed state, national and international markets. Texas boasts approximately 5,000 acres of producing vineyard land and produces a variety of great vintages each year. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay have the highest number of plantings in the state.

Texas has eight recognized American Viticultural Areas

Texas High Plains: Located west of Lubbock in the Panhandle area. The elevation ranges from about 3000-4000 feet. The climate here is very dry. The Texas High Plains AVA includes over 8 million acres and grows over 80% of Texas’ wine grapes.

Escondido Valley: This AVA established in 1992 covers 50 square miles in Pecos County in far West Texas and is located near the city of Fort Stockton.

north texas wineries
Texas Hill Country: This AVA is quite large and is located west of Austin and San Antonio. A significant fact is that it is the second largest AVA in the entire country. Two smaller AVA's listed below have been designated within the Texas Hill Country due to the unique micro climates they embody. The Texas Hill Country is one of the most scenic areas of the state and the wineries located there often include beautiful vistas.

Bell Mountain : Designated in 1986, it is the first established AVA in Texas. It covers five square acres about 15 miles north of Fredricksburg and is within the Texas Hill Country.

Fredricksburg : This viticultural area covers about 110 acres and is located within the Texas Hill Country.

Mesilla Valley: Located at the far western tip of the Texas border north and west of El Paso, this area is hot and dry with a long growing season.

Texas Davis Mountains: This west Texas AVA is cool and wet with a relatively high elevation ranging from 4,500 to 8,300 feet.

Texoma: Located in north-central Texas, north of the Dallas / Fort Worth area, this AVA contains about 3,650 square miles along the Texas-Oklahoma border.

Texas Wine Production

Texas wine production has been growing.  In 2010 there were approximately 8,500 total tons of grape production. The 2010 price was about $1,250 per ton. The 2010 survey of Texas wine production was conducted by the Texas Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA.

texas hill country wineries
Stone House Vineyards

The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association supports three annual wine competitions that prominently feature Texas wines.

These are...The Lone Star International Wine Competition, The GrapeFest People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, and The Munson Cup Competition (Texas Non-Commercial Wine Competition).

You may also enjoy the Western Trips articles found on the links below...

A Texas Hill Country Wine Tour

Historic Buena Vista Winery / Sonoma California

Visit the Inner Space Caverns / Georgetown, TX

Featured Wineries

We have featured two Texas wineries and vineyards in this article. One is in far north Texas and the other in the Texas Hill Country near Austin.

Eden Hill Vineyard and Winery

Eden Hill Vineyard and Winery  is a winery, wedding and event center about thirty minutes north of Dallas, Texas. Eden Hill produces Texas wine from fruit grown in their own vineyard. The vineyard at Eden Hill was planted in 2008. Eden Hill Vineyard and Winery produces red, white and dessert wine from their 2 acre site. The winery is located in Celina, Texas, just 30 minute drive north of Dallas, and 20 minutes west of McKinney. For more information on this winery and vineyard see website...www.edenhill.com

stone house vineyards
Stone House Vineyards
 Stone House Vineyard

Stone House Vineyard is located within the beautiful Texas Hill Country. The winery is surrounded by 6.5 acres of close-planted Norton vines. The grapes are grown in soil composed of limestone, clay and sand. The beneficial cool breezes off the adjacent lake contribute to the high quality of the grapes produced.

Stone House Vineyard is located northwest of Austin and is about a 30 to 45 minute drive from the city. For more information on this winery and vineyard see website...www.stonehousevineyard.com

We have visited both of these wineries and highly recommend both.

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips)