• August 29, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Sip and Savor: A Local’s Guide to the Top 7 Award-Winning Wineries in Austin

If you’re a fan of the fermented grape – whether you’re an experienced oenophile, or a casual wine drinker – Austin, Texas, throws open its arms to welcome you. From verdant vineyards spread across acres of countryside to bustling urban wineries, Austin is a city that takes its wine seriously. Having hand-picked the best of this city’s award-winning wineries, what we give you is a road map to sipping and savoring, from corner to corner, Austin’s most celebrated vintages. A toast to finding and feting a mix of all your favorites, old and new!

1. Driftwood Estate Winery

Driftwood Estate Winery checks all the boxes for the typical expectations of a vineyard – charmingly rustic, peaceful, and spread across an expansive 20 acres, flanked by the kind of scenic views you see in paintings. Only 25 miles southwest of Austin, you’ll mark the transition of urban bustle to quaint countryside as you arrive.

The winery covers the entire winemaking journey on site, from the vitality of growing grapevines under strict quality control to producing rich, distinctive wines. Here, each sip reflects a piece of Driftwood’s picturesque landscape.

Delectable Wine Tastings

  • Prepare your palate to enjoy their star offerings – a variety of spunky wines, from the award-winning Cabernet to ‘The Longhorn’ red blend, bursting with bold flavors, and the sweet, peach-infused Muscat Canelli.
  • For those who delight in white wines, the Albarino, characterized by its refreshing citrus notes and sensual floral aroma, is not to be missed.

Ambling Vineyard Tours

  • Walk through the lush vineyards, soak in the beautiful panoramic views, and get insight into Driftwood’s meticulous process of crafting the finest wines from grape to glass.
  • Take a leisurely stroll and breathe in the scent of ripening grapes, adding a touch of intoxication to the fresh air.

2. Duchman Family Winery

Duchman Family Winery, nodding to its Italian roots, has brought a slice of Tuscany to Driftwood in Texas. Sourcing solely from Texas-grown grapes, Duchman champions the belief that award-winning wines stem from a combination of authenticity, artisanship, and reverence for the mother vine.

Personalized Wine Experiences

  • Their extensive cellars house an assortment of remarkable varietals. The fruity and floral Vermentino and robust Aglianico – both testament to Duchman’s knack for turning Texas sunshine into sublime sips of Italy.

Quintessentially Italian Ambiance

  • Offering a slice of Tuscan tranquility, guests can enjoy tasting sessions under the comforting shade of cypress and olive trees, amid undulating vines.
  • If you want a postcard-worthy backdrop for your wine-tasting experience, the Tuscan-styled villa exudes rustic charm amidst the rich, Texas landscape.

3. Fall Creek Vineyards

Fall Creek Vineyards’s distinctive Texas wine narrative has unfolded since its inception in 1975. Based on the shores of Lake Buchanan, the tranquil vineyard offers a unique mix of history, stellar views, and award-winning wines that echo the rich Texas terroir.

Elite Wine Tasting Experiences

  • Their wine list is an exciting exploration waiting to happen. Adored for their red wines, don’t miss the GSM Blend and the famed Tempranillo, both of which have garnered numerous accolades for Fall Creek.
  • If you’re fond of white wines, their Chenin Blanc offers a heady combination of honey and tropical fruit flavors.

Detailed Vineyard Tours

  • A hands-on tour of the vineyards lets you bear witness to every stage of the wine-making journey. Discover the humbling unity of human effort and nature that gifts us with such splendid wines.

4. Spicewood Vineyards

Spicewood Vineyards, one of the proud homes of Tempranillo dedicated to craft wines that glorify the uniqueness of each grape variety. The picture-perfect 32-acre estate in the Hill Country has been producing award-winning wines since 1992.

Superior Wine Collection

  • Their Estate Chardonnay, renowned for its clean, fresh profile, deserves all the attention it gets, while the Sauvignon Blanc with its profound zest is also sure to charm your palate.
  • The Tempranillo, Spicewood’s avid passion, exists in exotic varieties and reserve editions to satisfy every wine adventurer, from the casual sipper to the serious collector.

Engaging Vineyard Events

  • Spicewood hosts an array of lively events throughout the year, turning ordinary winery visits into festive celebrations. From the annual Paella Dinner to the vibrant Harvest Festival, the estate knows how to celebrate wine and life.

5. Westcave Cellars Winery

Westcave Cellars Winery unites the essence of familial tradition and sustainable winemaking in the picturesque landscape of the Central Texas Hill Country. Spanning a lush 30-acre area, this family estate champions biodiversity and environmentally friendly viticulture.

Exclusive Handcrafted Wines

  • Their passion for sustainable farming practices translates to the wines they lovingly craft. Stand-out choices include the award-winning Roussanne celebrating its refreshing acidity, and the fragrant Estate Rose, a light-bodied wine that suggests notes of summer berries.

Remarkable Sustainable Practices

  • The estate’s tour reveals their remarkable efforts towards sustainable farming – a testament to their convictions for environmental care and conservation. See how they sculpt a wine’s journey, from an organic perspective.

6. Hye Meadow Winery

Meeting at the crossroads of old-world wine charm and new-world innovation sits Hye Meadow Winery. Situated amidst a gorgeous tree-covered property, this winery presents a welcoming setting where your senses can revel in a diverse bouquet of flavors.

Exciting New World Varieties

  • Delve into the superb offerings of the vineyard, including the hardy Tannat or the well-blended GSM. Both wines have created a buzz among wine lovers and critics alike.
  • On hot summer days, the refreshing Trebbiano with tropical and citrus notes is sure to cool down your palate.

Delicious Food Pairings

  • Complement your wine tasting with a delectable selection of artisan cheeses and charcuterie. Their perfectly paired bites heighten the wine’s notes, making for an immersive gustatory experience.

7. Pedernales Cellars

Pedernales Cellars, deeply rooted and respectful of the land, delivers the finest representations of Texas terroir. Their devotion to eco-friendly viticulture and high-quality sourcing marks them as a stalwart in Austin’s award-winning winery landscape.

Celebrated Wine Offerings

  • Their award-winning lineup is replete with bold, delectable sips like Viogniers, known for its vibrant, floral profile, and Tempranillos offering a mouthful of ripe red fruit flavors.
  • Don’t miss out on their spectacular Chenin Blanc – with its tantalizing tropical fruit aromas and zippy acidity, it’s a refreshing summer favorite.

Enlivening Wine and Dine Experiences

  • Pedernales Cellars frequently hosts music and food events, add an extra layer of enjoyment to your wine tasting spree. Groove along with the merry tunes and satisfy your cravings with delicious eats.

This definitive guide to Austin’s award-winning wineries serves more than just a list – it’s a treasure trove of experiences for all wine enthusiasts. The wines of Austin extend a universal appeal, a testament to the diversity and quality of the city’s burgeoning wine scene. One can’t help but feel the warm Southern hospitality and eclectic charm while exploring these vineyards. Pack your sun hats, slather on some sunscreen, and gear up for splendid days, steeped in sunshine, lush vineyards, fine wines, and unforgettable memories. Here’s to your upcoming wine adventures in Austin – bottoms up!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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