Whenever Mrs. CurryOnTravel and I want to have a relaxing weekend, we travel to the Texas Hill Country. It’s easy to get lost in the farms, hills, and experience the charms of a small town. Tough we have visited several vineyards before, a visit to 1851 Vineyards in Fredericksburg, made this past weekend truly special.
Located west of Austin, the Texas Hill Country is composed of several small towns such as Fredericksburg, Dripping Springs, Llano, and Johnson City. These up and coming towns are getting famous due to the wineries in Fredericksburg. Over the past several years, wine lovers have flocked to the region and due to its popularity the number of vineyards have soared to 52!
Hop In for a Ride
When you drive on Highway 16, you can spot 1851 as the numbers are broken up in different barrels on a truck. The name is derived from the year the land was purchased, and as you walk through the tasting room the rustic decor stays with you. It was a pleasure meeting Jeska, and her parents John and Dabs. She explained how they started the vineyard, how the old barn doors became the tasting table tops; and an old bowling lane became the bar counter. You’ll feel the Southern hospitality when John walks over and tell you a joke, and Jeska stops by to chat in between coordinating different wedding proposals (she made sure both were a “Yes”).
Hacking Tip: Call 1851 Vineyards in advance to make a reservation for your party, or to plan something special. I have seen the staff go above and beyond to ensure their guests are taken care of. From wedding proposals to Bachelorette parties, we saw the team handle it all while having fun. Tell them CurryOnTravel sent you.
Have Wine by the Bottle
The wine tasting really impressed us. We started with the Trebbiano, a white grape, and the crisp of the wine stays with you. As a red wine drinker, Mrs. CurryOnTravel really liked this one. We worked our way through the list and ended with their famous Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was hard to decide which bottle to order, so we ended up getting one, and then later, two. Pair the tasting with the great selection of cheeses that really compliment the flavors.
What a pairing
You have to take John’s nickel tour of the wine-making process. He does a great job of explaining the complexities while keeping it light-hearted and fun. John and Dabs bring their personalities to the mix, as he handle the logistics of growing the grapes while she handles the refinement and taste of the wines.
Famous Barrel Room
It was a perfect ending to our weekend: some new friends and some great wine. We laughed and sipped as the day turned to dusk, and the lights came on in the patio. As we drove back, we both asked each other, “How come we didn’t come here before?”
How to get there
1851 Vineyards is located in the heart of the Fredericksburg wine region. You can drive from Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. It’s just over an hour drive from Austin, and you can beat the traffic by getting to Fredericksburg early and enjoy the small-town offerings.
Where to stay
There are a great number of Bed-n-Breakfasts in and around Fredericksburg, but you have to plan in advance. Hotels are available in Fredericksburg and Austin. You’ll find some great house-sharing alternatives in Dripping Springs and Kerrville.
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