About a 35 minute drive from Austin is the Texas Hill Country town of Driftwood. It is a fun area to visit on the way to San Antonio or Fredericksburg. Here you can find great food and wineries. I had never tasted Texas wines, but the producers are known for their full-bodied reds which were really excellent.
Make sure to visit:
Duchman Family Winery: This winery produces dry white and red wines using 100% Texas grapes. Their 2012 Montepulciano was particularly good and has received a gold medal at Texsom, an international wine competition. 13308 Ranch to Market Rd. 150.
Next door is the Italian restaurant, Trattoria Lisina for a fine dining experience. The Hays City Store, Cafe and Bar is also popular for casual dining at 8989 Farm to Market Rd. 150.
Driftwood Estate Winery: They feature dry white and dry red wines. I enjoyed their 2012 Longhorn Red, a 50% blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Syrah. Their 118 acre vineyard produces Cabernet, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sangiovese, Syrah and Viognier. 4001 Elder Hill Rd. in Driftwood.
Fall Creek Vineyards: Lovely tasting room and excellent staff. I really loved the Tempranillo Salt Lick Vineyard 2012, a perfect full bodied red as was their award winning Meritus red wine. Fall Creek was established in 1975 after the founders realized the soil, terrain and microclimate were similar to parts of the French wine country. They have a second winery in Tow, TX. 180591 FM 1826.
Salt Lick Barbecue: The brisket plate was outstanding with brisket, potato salad, slaw and baked beans. I couldn’t make up my mind about which cobbler to choose, so I did the half blackberry, half peach combo. A really great experience. It is a large complex with both indoor and outdoor seating, plus there is a wine tasting room. Don’t miss checking out the kitchen with its large barbecue pit. There is often live music.
Twisted X Brewing Company: Located in Dripping Springs, just north of Driftwood, this microbrewery has a tasting room featuring their locally produced beers. 23455 W. Highway 150. It is open Thursday through Sunday.
Wimberley Valley Winery, 2825 Lone Mountain Rd.: I visited this winery on the way to Wimberly. They are known for their sweet wines, both reds and whites, so if you are a sweet wine fan, then this is the place for you.
Wimberley, TX: Stop and take a break in this small town, with a charming downtown shopping district. There are arts and crafts galleries, gift shops, and stores featuring antiques, home furnishings, clothing and soaps. I was glad to find the River House, featuring home furnishings and accessories at 104 Wimberley Square. They carry pottery/ceramics from one of my favorite Mexican artists, Gorky Gonzalez from Guanajuato, MX.
In Wimberley you will find a number of bed & breakfasts and inns, wineries nearby along with microbreweries, a glass blowing facility with demonstrations, local theater and farmer’s market.
There are a number of restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops as well. Recommended are Jobell Cafe & Bistro, Kate’s Place, The Leaning Pear, Linda’s Fine Food Restaurant and Marco’s Italian Restaurant. The Wimberley Way, at 12911 RR 12, features Amy’s Ice Cream which was quite good. Inoz’s Brew & Chew also gets good reviews and has a large outdoor deck.
A close friend from Dallas recommends the Onion Creek Kitchens cooking classes at the Juniper Hills Farm in nearby Blanco, TX.
Outside of town is Cypress Creek Reserve Rum. Unfortunately, it was closed the day I was there. 1400 Jacobs Well Road.