These ‘Way Out’ Hill Country Wineries Will Make You Thirst for More

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Tony Maples Photography


With 42 wineries (and counting!), Wine Road 290 east of Fredericksburg, Texas is a dizzying lineup of wine-tasting opportunity. The downside is that they can be very crowded. Here are three vineyards a little off the beaten path, all of which have excellent offerings. All are members of the Way Out Wineries group, and these three are in the Texas Hill Country AVA.

Not Where You Expect to Find a Winery

Wedding Oak Winery in San Saba, Texas

Photo: Robert C Deming

If you were searching for a winery, San Saba might be the last place you would look. From Fredericksburg, take US Hwy 16 north for 72 miles to downtown San Saba, and you will find excellence in Texas wine presented by Wedding Oak Winery. Although this winery was only established in 2012, the winemaker and Texas A&M graduate Penny Adams has been in the business of making wine and teaching about wine since 1981. She was recently joined by assistant winemaker, Seth Urbanek, a Houston native and Texas A&M graduate who came into the wine business after serving in the US Army. Seth, who earned an MS in Enology at Cornell, insisted that his New York-born wife stand on a street corner in San Saba in August before agreeing to make the move to Texas.

Texas Hill Country Wine Started Here

Susan and Ed Auler at Fall Creek Vineyards

Photo: Robert C Deming

Every winery story starts with people, and this gracious couple started Fall Creek Vineyards in 1975. Ed and Susan Auler were the pioneers of the Texas Hill Country wine business and were the driving force behind the establishment of the Texas Hill Country AVA in 1990. Their wine is served around the world now, but when they visited France in 1973, Hill Country wine wasn’t even an idea. Ed and Susan took great risks and worked hard to create a wine industry we may be tempted to take for granted. Fall Creek Vineyards is 82 miles northwest of Austin at Tow on Lake Buchanan. There is now a second location 28 miles southwest of Austin in Driftwood.

Wine Starts in the Roots

Perissos Vineyards
Photo:  Robert C Deming

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