For Austinites, taking a road trip down Wine Road 290 is so popular, one is as likely to run into a friend in a tasting room as an east side dive. It's no wonder why two Texas powerhouses would band together to bring their portfolio to the busy (and boozy) Hill Country strip.
On May 22, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards and Wedding Oak Winery announced the opening of a new 5,000-square-foot facility at 6009 U.S. Highway 290 E. in Fredericksburg. The two brands will share the building, but will operate two separate tasting rooms with different entrances for each. Selections from either maker can be enjoyed outdoors on a veranda or a large back porch.
Both wineries are new to the area. Los Pinos Ranch has been nestled in the East Texas woods since 2000. Wedding Oak, established in 2012, is located halfway between Temple and San Angelo in San Saba, a town that proudly calls itself the Pecan Capital of the World.
“Our presence in the Hill Country wine region is long overdue, and we are thrilled that the time has finally come,” says Gerald Jones, managing partner of sales and distribution for Los Pinos, in a release. “After 18 years of making wines at our winery in Pittsburg, Texas, we are fortunate to have created a loyal following of devoted Texas wine lovers. With this expansion into one of the hottest wine regions in the country, we can now join fellow wineries in the effort to promote the Texas wine industry while giving us the opportunity to showcase our wines to enthusiasts visiting this popular destination.”
Guests can expect two distinct wine experiences at the distillery. Under winemaker Arnulfo Perez, Los Pinos specializes in Italian and Spanish varietals grown in the estate vineyard and in the Texas High Plains. Its wines have racked up several awards in the state, include double golds at the Texas International Wine Competition, eight medals at the 2018 Houston Rodeo Uncorked event, and Top of Class at the 2018 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
Wedding Oak has its own share of honors, include four medals at the 2018 TEXSOM and a whopping 22 medals at the 2017 Lone Star International Wine Competition. Its vinos are recommended for white wine lovers who want a true taste of Texas terroir, especially the crisp Marsanne.
Neither tasting room has an on-site kitchen, so those planning to make a visit over Memorial Day weekend should pack a picnic or visit nearby restaurants like German favorite Otto’s or elegant New American eatery The Nest.