There is no better time to get out and enjoy the Texas Hill country than the spring. Winding along back roads and taking in the quilt of color in the fields, picnics under the oaks, a quick dip in the stream. Just west of Austin you can take in all of these pleasures and more. dotting 290, you'll not only find fields of red, yellow, and blue, you can find red, white, and pink. Wine, that is.
One of my favorite areas to visit is just west of Johnson City in Hye. There you'll find some of the best wines being made in Texas. Because they are growing in popularity, many tasting rooms are requiring reservations on the weekends. Many have live music, food for purchase, and plenty of room to relax.
Maybe you are making a spontaneous trip west or don't feel like packing any refreshments. Stop at Hye Market for one of their sandwiches or an bottle to bring home. In Hye, you'll find:
William Chris- While there make sure to try the Mourvedre and Enchante and sit in the oak grove for a spectacular sunset.
Lewis Cellars- Making wine well beyond his years, Doug Lewis is making beautiful whites and Rosé. Swimspot is a lighter style refreshment on a hot day.
Yates - Ron Yates has made wine for Spicewood for years before launching his own boutique line. I was impressed by all I tried at the opening.
Calais Winery- Hailing from his namesake in France, Benjamin Calais makes no fuss about the tasting room. He built it himself into the hill to make it as green as possible. But don't let that fool you. The wine is of the highest caliber. A great tasting experience.
Compass Rose Cellars- For views and a killer brunch, head to Compass Rose for bottomless mimosas in a low-key friendly atmosphere.
Zero 815 - The newest member of the Hye family. I've yet to try the wine, so let me know what you think.
Hye Meadow Winery- They are pouring wines from various regions with catchy names and a fantastic patio. Room for the kids to run.
Whether you begin your day with a tasting class or end it under the stars, be sure to say hello to Daniel Kelada at Vinovium Partners. They are négociants offering courses, keg wines, family events, and help planning your day in the Hill Country.