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Texas Hill Country Wine Trail

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This weekend is a great opportunity to see the winemaker's art in progress. If you ever wanted to see what happens as they turn grape juice to wine, now is the time. Harvest is now complete, and the juice is fermenting. Luckily, 14 wineries in Central Texas will be open this weekend to strut their stuff. Each will have a brochure with maps to the various locations. All will be offering tastes of their wines, and in most cases the winemaker will be there to autograph bottles or copies of the Hill Country Wine poster. To give you a little help, below is a rundown of who's doing what.

Alamosa Wine Cellars

In Bend, 915/628-3313

Tasting at Rose Hill Manor, between Stonewall and Albert, on Upper Albert Rd. From US 290, turn left on RR 1623, just before Stonewall.

Jim and Karen Johnson, winemakers / owners, will be pouring their fantastic Sangiovese and serving it with some Hill Country Goat Cheese.

Becker Vineyards

In Stonewall, 830/644-2681

On Jenschke Lane, 10 miles east of Fredericksburg, off US. 290.

Ever wanted to stomp some grapes? You can at Becker. You can also taste some fantastic wines. Be sure to try their Viognier. Local musicians will entertain.

Cana Cellars

In Austin, 512/288-6027

Five miles past the Y at Oak Hill on US 290. Turn right on Fitzhugh; the winery is 1/2 mile on the left.

Plans not announced as of press time.

Chisholm Trail

West of Fredericksburg, 877/990-2675

From Fredericksburg, go west on US. 290 approximately 9 miles to Usener Rd. Turn left. Go approximately 2.3 miles, on the left.

In addition to wine, Chisholm will be offering cheeses, smoked salmon and smoked oysters, and cowboy tunes.

Comfort Cellars

In Comfort, 830/995-3274

On Hwy. 27 just south of I-10 across from the post office

Winemaker Robert Winmill will be on hand to answer questions and pour his delicious Zingria Punch.

Dry Comal Creek Vineyard

In New Braunfels, 830/885-4076

On Herbelin Road, 6.6 miles west of New Braunfels off Hwy. 46.

"Texas Style Wines," plus cheese and fruit.

Fall Creek Vineyards

In Tow, 915/379-5361

2.2 miles north of Tow by the northwest side of Lake Buchanan

Chefs David Garrido and Jason Felton will be cooking. Call for details. Reservations are a must.

Fredericksburg Winery

247 W. Main St., in Fredericksburg, 830/990-8747

A huge selection of wines, with Texas's largest selection of sweet wines. They will be releasing a medium-sweet Merlot and a dessert Chardonnay.

Grape Creek Vineyards

In Stonewall, 830/644-2710

On Hwy. 290 between Stonewall and Fredericksburg

Grape Creek will be offering barrel tastings of their Merlot 2000. Even more fun, you'll get an opportunity to taste the juices of various wines so you can get an idea of the metamorphosis that occurs during fermentation and aging.

McReynolds Wines

In Cypress Mill, 830/825-3544

Hwy. 71 W. to Hamilton Pool Rd. 24 miles to Cypress Mill, right on FM 962. 1 mile to Shovel Mt. Rd. From San Antonio: North on SH 281 to Round Mt., 6 miles east on FM 962 to Shovel Mt. Rd.

Winemaker Mac McReynolds is quietly making some very good wine. Ask him to give you a sample of some of his unfermented juice. Picnic facilities available.

Pillar Bluff Vineyards

In Lampasas, 512/556-4078

Tasting at Rose Hill Manor, between Stonewall and Albert, Texas, on Upper Albert Rd. From US 290, turn left on RR 1623, just before Stonewall.

Along with Alamosa, Pillar Bluff will be pouring at the Rose Hill Manor. This is your first opportunity to taste their 2000 Chardonnay.

Sister Creek Vineyards

In Sisterdale, 830/324-6704

On FM 1376, 12 miles north of Boerne

Located in a beautiful old 1885 cotton gin. Try their Merlot. Hill Country sausage and cheese will also be offered.

Spicewood Vineyard

In Spicewood, 830/693-5328

Hwy. 71 to Spicewood, left on County Road 409. Look for sign on right.

Be a winemaker for a day! Owners Ed and Madeline Manigold will let you pick your own bucket of grapes and stomp them! They will also offer the first tastes of the wine made during the last few weeks. Ask to try their Cabernet Sauvignon. It keeps getting better every day.

Texas Hills Vineyard

In Johnson City, 830/868-2321

On RR 2766, one mile east of Hwy. 281 in Johnson City

Another place you can stomp, but here you can make a personalized T-shirt from your red feet. Try their delicious Pinot Grigio and Rosé.

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