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A Texas Hill Country wine for every taste

Ashlie Newman of Horseshoe Bay invited her brother, Zak Newman, to Perissos Vineyard and Winery in Burnet. Highland Lakes wineries are worth a visit due to exceptional wine and great people such as Perissos’ Dalton Humphries (right), who go out of their way to make everyone’s experience special. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Bill Rives of Marble Falls has tasted some of the best wines of the world, including a nice glass while enjoying the French countryside. But Texas Hill Country wines are his favorites.

It’s not just his opinion either: Highland Lakes and Hill Country wineries continue to land prestigious accolades and awards for their products.

Renowned wine writer James Suckling even scored three of Fall Creek Vineyards' wines 90 or better out of 100.

“There’s a lot of wonderful wines being made here in the Hill Country,” Rives said. “And, we have some amazing wineries here, from the large ones to the more intimate settings. I would recommend people to get off the beaten path and explore some of the wineries that aren’t on the main road.”

January Wiese, executive director of Texas Hill Country Wines, an advocacy group promoting the area's wineries and vineyards, concurred with Rives' assessment. She pointed out that, over the past decade or two, area wineries have grown in number along with styles and quality.

She grew up in the California wine industry, mainly in the Paso Robles area of the Golden State, but moved to Texas about 12 years ago after marrying a Texan. She quickly fell in love with the burgeoning wine industry here.

“I think one of the biggest draws for visitors to wineries is that the whole wine industry in Texas has really grown, not just in the number but in the quality and the experiences.”

The Highland Lakes boasts expansive estate wineries and vineyards as well as more intimate settings such as Wedding Oak Winery, located on the courthouse square in Burnet. People can enjoy a tasting or even hold events at venues such as Wedding Oak Winery as well as many other wineries and vineyards in the Highland Lakes. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton


Rives and Wiese both pointed out that Hill Country wineries each offer unique experiences.

“There’s so many different experiences, including barrel tasting to wine and food pairings,” Wiese said. “Each winery has its own atmosphere, and many hold unique events for people.”

When it comes to Hill Country wineries, the mecca is probably the stretch of U.S. 290 west of Johnson City to Fredericksburg.

But don't limit yourself to just that area, Rives said.

“There are so many neat and cool places out here, just tucked away off the main roads,” he said. “You have Fall Creek in Tow, Perissos (Vineyards) over near the (Inks Lake State Park), and Fiesta (Winery) here in Marble Falls.”

Rives said Highland Lakes and Hill Country wineries have a flavor or style for every taste. He pointed out that the U.S. wine industry has worked tirelessly to dispel the myth that wines are only for special events or the upper crust of society. Wines have a place on every table in every household.

“Wines are a lot like food,” Rives said. “I don’t always want a big meal. I may want a breakfast taco or a PB and J. Wines are the same way. You may not want one that’s a heavy one but something for just sitting out on the back porch and enjoying the evening.

“You can find wines here in the Hill Country that go well for picnics or along with chips and salsa,” he added. “Or, yes, even wines you’d serve to heads of state.”

Go out, explore, and try Highland Lakes wines, Wiese and Rives both urged.

To get started, check out the list of wineries and vineyards on 101HighlandLakes.com.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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