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Two great ways to celebrate Texas Wine Month

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The Fredericksburg Wine and Food Fest

Take a short drive through the lovely Hill Country on Saturday, Oct. 26, and go to the 12th annual Fredericksburg Wine and Food Fest. We love their singular commitment to Texas wines, food, and the folks that make them. The cost is a mere $20, and the festival is so much fun that 3,500 folks take the time to come each year.

You'll have a chance to taste wines from 24 wineries, including seven from outside the Hill Country tour. West Texas producers Cap*Rock Wine, Cordier Estates (owner of Ste. Genevieve and Escondido Valley), Llano Estacado Winery, and Pheasant Ridge will be showing their first-rate wines. Merlot lovers won't want to miss the chance to try the rare and scrumptious version from Lone Oak Vineyards. Made in small quantities in North Texas, it hardly ever makes its way to our area.

There will also be cooking classes with Steve Howard of Buffalo River Cuisine; Terry Thompson-Anderson, author of the gorgeous cookbook Texas on the Plate; and Abigail Bird Donovan, a regular fixture at the Central Market Cooking School. For more information, go to www.fbgfoodandwinefest.com or call 866/TEX-FEST.

Visit a Winery

The single best way to celebrate Texas Wine Month is to visit a winery, meet the people, and taste their wines. We have 22 Texas wineries within a two-hour drive of Austin. During these gorgeous October afternoons, what could be better than taking a weekend drive in the Hill Country? After driving to every winery in the area, we have developed a routing system that allows you to comfortably see three wineries per day and enjoy some beautiful scenery along the way.

No good map exists to all of the wineries. Luckily, they all cooperate and help each other, so one winery will help you find the next one. We've also given you the phone numbers so you can call and get directions. Trip One is the closest to Austin, covering the area around Spicewood, Round Mountain, and north Lake Travis. Trip Two focuses on the area between Lampasas, Llano, and San Saba. Trip Three goes from Johnson City to just past Stonewall. Trip Four is centered on Fredericksburg. Trip Five works from Austin, through Wimberley, and down close to New Braunfels. Trip Six stays close to I-10 and works its way south of San Antonio. Trip Seven starts in Bryan and comes back to Austin through Brenham and Giddings. It's always a good idea to call ahead and make sure there's someone at the winery.

Trip One: Spicewood Vineyards (830/693-5328), Flat Creek Estate Vineyard (512/267-6310), and McReynolds Wines (830/825-3544)

Trip Two: Pillar Bluff Vineyards (512/556-4078), Alamosa Wine Cellars (appointment only, 915/628-3313), and Fall Creek Vineyards (915/379-5361)

Trip Three: Texas Hills Vineyard (830/868-2321), Becker Vineyards (830/644-2681), and Woodrose Winery (appointment only, 830/644-2111)

Trip Four: Fredericksburg Winery (830/990-8747), Bell Mountain (830/685-3297), Grape Creek Vineyard (800/950-7392), and Chisholm Trail Winery (877/990-2675)

Trip Five: Cana Cellars Winery (appointment only, 512/288-2582), Driftwood Vineyards (appointment only, 512/858-4508), and Dry Comal Creek Vineyards (830/885-4121)

Trip Six: Comfort Cellars Winery (830/995-3274), Sister Creek Vineyards (830/324-6704), and Poteet Country Winery (830/276-8085)

Trip Seven: Messina Hof Winery (800/736-9463), Pleasant Hill Winery (979/830-8463), and Lehm Berg (appointment only, 979/542-2726)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Texas Wine Month, Fredericksburg Wine and Food Fest

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