Wine may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Texas, but the Hill Country and surrounding area actually has an abundance of wineries and vineyards. The Texas Bluebonnet Wine Trail organizes five annual events that include seven wineries around the greater Houston area. The special themed events typically include a tasting at each winery — some of them paired with different foods — over the course of a weekend or two. Tickets are typically $35 for one person or $56 for a pair.
The five events are:
- Wine and Chocolate Trail (Held the first two weekends in February)
- Spring Bluebonnet Wine and Cheese Trail (Held at the end of March into early April)
- Harvest Trail (Held during two weekends in July)
- October Wine and Sausage Trail (Held the first two weekends in October)
- Holiday Crystal Wine Trail (Held the first two weekends in December)
While the special events are certainly a treat, wineries on the Bluebonnet Wine Trail are open for tours year-round. Here are the details on where, when and how to visit each location on the location on the trail.
Messina Hof Winery and Resort
This winery has three locations: Fredericksburg (west of Austin), Grapevine (in the Dallas area) and Bryan (in the College Station area).
Open since 2011, the Fredericksburg winery — vineyard included — is placed on about 10 acres of hilly land. The tasting room boasts more than 50 wines, including wines on tap, as well as food. Tours are Fridays and Saturdays at noon and 3 p.m. Four bed and breakfast rooms are on the property for those who want to make the trip a special weekend getaway.
9996 U.S. 290
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624
Dubbed the “urban winery,” the Grapevine location is in a rebuilt historical hotel in Downtown Grapevine. It’s a little more formal, with reservations and a group of at least six people required for tours. Reservations aren’t required for the main winery, though, and extended hours and a food menu are offered.
201 S Main Street
Grapevine, Texas 76051
The Bryan location has been open since 1977 and is housed in a building original to the land. The tasting menu here rotates monthly based on winery employee preferences. A wine bar is on the premises with extended evening hours and appetizers. Daily specials for military, healthcare professionals, and Aggie alumni are available. On Fridays, a special nighttime tour is offered.
4545 Old Reliance Road
Bryan, Texas 77808
Located west of Conroe and a little over an hour drive outside of Houston, Bernhardt Winery is surrounded by hills and pecan trees. The winery puts out in excess of 6,000 gallons of wine (and sherry!). There are several more tiers of tastings, some of which include full glasses of wine or food. The winery is also accompanied by a bed and breakfast, which has two different room options. Additionally, from April through November, there are concerts on the property every Sunday evening.
Cork This! Winery
This winery, also west of Conroe, includes bottles with sassy names like Rich Urban Biker Merlot and One Night Stand Cabernet Sauvignon. Happy hour is all day on Wednesdays. As a plus for the region’s sweltering summers, they’ll make your wine a slushie for just a couple extra bucks. Adding to the fun, every other month the winery hosts a “Botox, Wine, & Chocolate” night, which is exactly what it sounds like. At this winery, you can arrange to bottle your own wine, which includes custom labels, as well as wine and snacks to consume while bottling.
Peach Creek Vineyards
Located southwest of College Station, the vineyard on this property has been in the family since 1943 and was originally farmland. This spot is dog-friendly, and asks for visitors with furry friends to call ahead so the owners can put their dogs in a separate area.
Pleasant Hill Winery
Opened in 1997, this Brenham winery boasts wide-open views of trees and fields. Pleasant Hill Winery produces 12 wines and is open on weekends for tours and tastings. For a fun activity, check out their custom t-shirts that include your footprints after stomping grapes.
Smack-dab between Houston and Austin, Saddlehorn Winery is housed in a renovated barn on a ranch that measures nearly 400 acres. The vineyards, planted in 2006, include three acres of grapes that will yield 900 cases of wine. If you join Saddlehorn’s wine club, which is free, you will get a complimentary tasting. An added perk to visiting this winery is the wood-fired pizza oven they put to work on Saturdays.
Texas Star Winery
This winery is set on wooded land east of Brenham. The crew here dabbles in more than just grapes — Texas Star specializes in wines created from hibiscus, plum, cranberry and prickly pear cactus as well. The tasting room is open every weekend in a converted home on the property.