Most people in the Texas Hill Country are well aware and pretty well-acquainted with a little German town situated between Austin and El Paso. Well, actually, it’s a mighty “fer piece” from El Paso, but, still, it is between here and there.
Fredericksburg is Home to Many Orchards
Since at least as early as 1936, the Fredericksburg area has been the home of peach growers. A short search reveals red dots on the map, indicating names like Eckhardt, Marburger, Vogel and Jenschke, family names of orchards that have been around for generations.
Another Crop Grows Very Well
In more recent years, winemakers have discovered that the fertile soil around this German community is also pretty gut für das wachstum of grapes.
Starting with three acres in 1976, Bell Mountain Winery was the first to develop a Texas wine-growing vineyard in this area. If you like reading about the history of Texas crops, here’s a link to Bell Mountain’s agricultural story.
On a larger scale, Grape Creek Vineyards is taking the industry to a new level. Tourists come by the busloads to tour Grape Creek’s 100 acres, learning about wine production, then enjoying a taste of it for themselves.
Pizza and Vino
Wines from Grape Creek have been awarded over 200 medals from those who bestow the honors. At the winery on Hwy 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg, locals, travelers and club members enjoy pairing a glass or a bottle with delicious pizza from Grape Creek’s on-site Trattoria. Mmmm. I can almost smell it now.
Beautiful Hill Country Views
While cotton and wheat are still the basis for Texas agriculture, there are now well over 4000 acres of grapes being grown on the soil of our state’s vineyards.
Here at Grape Creek, where the breeze blows easy through the trees, it’s easy to imagine why. What has made the Napa Valley a famous destination in California is now well on its way to doing the same thing here in the Lone Star State. Click here for more on the history of Texas wine.
Perks for Wine Club Members
Most wineries offer perks for those who subscribe to the club. At Grape Creek, wine club members enjoy special seating areas, complimentary tastings, and discounts on purchases.
We’re Novices Who Only Know a Little
Mike and I have enjoyed many good wines and have been to Napa twice, but still, we are novices at the whole description thing. On the back of the tongue, it’s supposed to do something, while on the palate, it does something else. Basically, we need to take a class.
However, we do know that there’s a difference between good wines and those that are not so much. Here at Grape Creek, the distinction is clear to newbies and experts alike. These are good ones.
When the Party’s Over
Guaging my theory by the number of conversations I’ve heard with my own two ears, I would say that almost everyone who visits this utopian area of orchards and vineyards tries to figure out a way to stay.
Most of us just have to bear down and return home to the regular lives we lead. However, we can take peaches home for immediate enjoyment or stack them in freezer baggies for later.
We have eaten our Fredericksburg peaches on yogurt and cereal in the morning, put them in smoothies, and baked them in cobblers. Next, I think I’ll try this recipe I found on Pinterest…with a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, of course.
So, if you’re looking to spend a day away from the usual, take a little trip to enjoy the unique orchards and vineyards near Fredericksburg, Texas.
Encouraging intentional adventure,
PS: Have you signed up to receive my weekly newsletter? It’s easy to do here at the popup!