Every year, Wine Enthusiast releases it’s list of top 10 wine travel destinations and if you know anything about wine, you probably think you have an idea about what those destinations are. Sonoma, anyone?


Think you know what all of the top 10 destinations are? Well, we’re 99.9% sure you’re probably wrong. That’s because one of their choices is surprising and very interesting… Texas Hill Country.


If you’re from Texas, this may not be such a shock to you. In The Austin Chronicle, Wes Marshall wrote “It’s about time. Those of us who follow Texas wines have known all along that some great wine is being made around the Hill Country… and it is wonderful to finally see our hardworking winemakers and grape growers get their proper respect from this internationally respected publication.”


Wine Enthusiast notes that Texas is the number 5 wine-producing state in the U.S. and the Texas Hill Country AVA is the second largest in the nation. They say visitors flock to Hill Country to sip wine, but they end up drinking in the romance of the Old West with a sea of cowboy hats, pickup trucks and cacti.


International Business Times shared some really interesting stats that show Texas Hill Country is definitely on the rise: they had 46 wineries and nearly 600,000 cases in 2001 and more than 220 wineries and 1.2 million cases in 2011. There are three-dozen wineries within a 25-mile radius of the regional hub of Fredericksburg, about 90 minutes west of Austin.


A few other facts we learned from Wine Enthusiast?


  • They think the best time to visit is in October when the weather is a little cooler and there are several activities on the Texas Wine Trail.


  • You can get five wine sips for $5 at Driftwood Vineyards (along with some amazing views)


  • Favorite vineyards to go for a tasting include Lewis Wines, Flat Creek Estate and Perissos Vineyards and Winery.


  • Texas Hill Country is big on hearty reds rather than cool, refreshing whites: Tempranillo, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.


Consider us intrigued. We’re going to have to add Texas Hill Country to our travel list this year.