Over 30 vineyards and wineries to visit near San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – Cheers! We are mid-August, which seems impossible to me. Maybe it’s because the pandemic feels like a singular super long month.

This mid-month edition of the KSAT Things To Do newsletter is wine-themed.

Let’s ignore my penchant for a good California grape and talk about our lovely Lone Star State. Texas is actually the second most-visited wine region in the United States, despite being the fifth-largest wine-producing state, according to Rodeo Houston. Did you know ? I did not do it.

This led me down a winery and winery rabbit hole looking for some great places you might want to check out. I did some research and found 34 vineyards and wineries within a reasonable driving distance of San Antonio that all have great reviews. There are many more than I have listed, but this should help you get a good idea of ​​what’s out there if you like vino. And even if you’re not an oenophile, wine tasting might be an interesting new thing to try.

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More than 1.5 million people visit the Hill Country each year to experience the vineyards. That a lot of people can’t be wrong – can’t they?

And because I’m a handyman, I’ve linked to everyone I found and made you a map. It was nothing!


How is the harvest?

Winter storm Uri arrived in February, and then in the months that followed, Texas saw a ton of rain.

I reached out to some of the vineyards to see if it made a difference to this year’s harvests, and Fall Creek Vineyards Director of Winemaking, Sergio Cuadra, told me that this year was anything but typical.

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“The deep freeze we experienced statewide in February certainly affected many vineyards, reducing the size of the harvest in 2021. We also had more frequent rainfall, which introduced mold opportunities in some vineyards,” Cuadra said.

He told me that while the Hill Country region will see significantly reduced quantities of grapes for the 2021 harvest, the quality of the fruit will be high.

Just beware if you are looking for certain varieties or products this year. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension grape grower Brianna Crowley said growers with decent harvests will get a premium for their grapes.

“I would expect a lot of negotiation over the grapes, especially the popular varieties that are rare, and that could mean bottle prices will go up this year,” Crowley said. My advice (which you don’t have to follow) would be to buy in bulk if you can. It’s usually cheaper.

Augusta Vin Estate Winery owner Scott Felder also told me that some of the grape varieties in his vineyard were producing much less fruit than normal, but that the fruit the vineyard was producing “is of excellent quality and should produce high quality wines”.

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Augusta Wine Winery in Fredericksburg (Vineyard Augusta Wine)

Honestly, I thought more rain was going to lead to a much better yield for Texas vineyards this year. Learn something new every day, right? Felder said heavy rains “are very detrimental to fruit harvesting as they can break down the skin of the grapes, allowing the cracking and seepage of juice and the incursion of oxygen which can trigger premature fermentation.” It seems like a good thing.

The lack of intense heat (but let’s be real, it’s still hot outside) also played a role. Signor Vineyards sommelier André Boada told me that “the cooler than usual summer has resulted in a long growing season that is normally short and compact. Extra hanging time creates more concentrated flavor and intensity, which is a promising vintage. Sounds good to me.

By the way, Signor Vineyards is the beautiful place you see in the video player at the top of the article. If you are viewing this in the newsletter form instead of the article form, you can view the video here.

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History of Wine in Texas

According to Rodeo Houston, vineyards have existed in Texas since the 1650s, when Spanish missionaries planted mission grapes along the Rio Grande River near present-day El Paso.

Fast forward a few hundred years and now the United States Department of Agriculture reports that 7,100 tons of grapes were produced in Texas in 2020.

And Hill County, which people usually think of when they hear of Texas wine, isn’t even the largest producing region. The Texas High Planes and Panhandle is the top wine game dog in Texas.

Technically, Texas Wine Month isn’t until October (you can thank former Texas Agriculture Commissioner and former Gov. George W. Bush for that one), but you can start early with our curated list. . Hey, maybe make it a goal to visit them all – on different days of course.

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Liquor laws change in Texas

Ok, if you’ve come this far, the odds of you being a wine drinker, I guess, are decently high. It also means you’ve probably taken the classic Texas faux pas of trying to buy wine (or beer) before noon on Sunday at a grocery retailer.

Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1518 in May and without getting into the logistics of it – you’re basically going to be able to start buying beer and wine on Sundays from 10 a.m. starting September 1. in your friendly HEB neighborhood (or wherever you shop.)


Contact me if you have any suggestions for improvements to the newsletter or upcoming events you think people want to know about – [email protected]

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Mary Claire Patton, KSAT Digital Journalist

Copyright 2021 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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