Wine-lovers' passport opens doors to more than 45 Hill Country vineyards this fall
Starbucks hasn’t officially brought back pumpkin spice lattes, and Spirit Halloween has just received its first shipment of ghouls, but that doesn’t mean fall-starved Texans can’t dream of snuggling up with a glass of Cabernet. Nonprofit trade association Texas Hill Country Wineries is bringing back its Texas Wine Month passport.
The digital ticket, redeemable throughout October, allows guests to stop by more than 45 wineries for self-guided experiences. Oenophiles will receive special discounts on bottles and are allowed to visit up to four wineries daily. With participating estates scattered throughout popular weekend destinations like Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and New Braunfels, it’s a chance to explore the Hill Country and soak in those autumn vibes.
Industry leaders like Becker Vineyards, Messina Hof, and Pedernales Cellars are part of the informal crawl, as are many lesser-known discoveries. Passholders can jaunt to Boerne to sip a low-intervention Petite Syrah at Boerne’s Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards or walk amongst the vines at Spicewood’s Stone House.
It’s all broken up by territory, with an accompanying downloadable map to make plotting a trip easier. Make sure it's saved before hitting the twisty roads — cell service may not be reliable out there.
Passes are $85 for individuals and $120 per couple, so consider an accelerated cuffing season. Proceeds benefit the Texas Hill Country Wine Industry Scholarship Fund, which has awarded more than $55,500 to 47 Texas students pursuing viticulture, enology, or hospitality degrees.
And if October seems like a long time to wait for a glass, THCW will be hosting a Fall Winemaker Dinner on September 7. Held at Sage in Fredericksburg, the event includes a six-course feast made by chef Henry Gutkin and pairings from some of the Hill Country’s best producers.