The Definitive Guide to America's Most Unexpected Great Wine Destination

Contributor
The 290 wine trail, through the Texas Hill Country, offers many good things to drink (along with occasional deception)
wine

Andrew Chalk

This article is about wineries on, or near, U.S. 290

We start at Johnson City and head westwards towards Fredericksburg. It is 30 miles and eight hours if we stop at every winery for 20 minutes and take no time to get between them (!), so this is best split over two or three days. In the list below, a couple of tasting rooms have been omitted due to insufficient data.

Johnson City

Texas Hills Vineyard is a member and the founder of Wine Road 290, and makes wines from Texas grapes. In 2010, they produced 25,000-plus cases of wine from Texas grapes and will do so again when nature cooperates. Their grapes are 60 percent from Texas High Plains and 40 percent from their estate vineyard; last year all of their grapes were from the Texas Hill Country AVA.

Tasting sheet: All wines grape origin clearly marked.

Winemaker/viticulturist/expert around to talk details: Yes.

Special amenities: Patio.

100 percent Texas wine.

Lewis Wines: A new winery currently open by appointment only, using 100 percent Texas fruit from vineyards in the Hill Country and the High Plains. Owner/winemaker Doug Lewis, who trained at Pedernales Cellars before striking out on his own, is passionate about authenticity. The wines are good and most easily available via the website.

Tasting sheet: All wines grape origin clearly marked.

Winemaker/viticulturist/expert around to talk details: Yes. May be the assistant winemaker, Duncan McNabb. Ask him why he left a major medical school to become a winemaker.

Special amenities: Reservation only.

100 percent Texas wine.