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Feb 11, 2014 08:24 AM

Winery Recommendations Close to Austin

3 couple friends are coming to Austin in late March and want to do a wine tour. I've done the Fredericksburg wineries and a few close to Johnson City but haven't tried any closer to Austin. I'd appreciate your thoughts about two or three that would interest folks that love the California vineyards. Thanks for your suggestions and I'll let you know what we try.

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  1. Mandola's is a nice space in Driftwood. Not far away and the food is pretty good. Honestly though I don't know if I can vouch for it since its been several years since I've been.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rptrane

      Living in Kyle now, our go-to mini wine tour involves hitting up Duchman winery (which is next door to Trattoria Lisina, the Mandola's restaurant referenced above), Driftwood Estates, and Salt Lick cellars. Driftwood Estates is situated atop a hill with a lovely view of grapevines and countryside. Salt Lick Cellars is next door to Salt Lick which is in and of itself worth taking visitors to. They have a big shaded patio that also has an outside bar in good weather. Wimberley is also kind of in this vicinity and worth exploring w/ visitors. you can get a glass of wine and walk around the town with it.

    2. This is by no means a recommendation:
      But, I just got this living social deal, 3 hour winery tour.

      It doesn't say where it goes.

      1. Not wine but Bourbon. Garrison Brothers in Hye is a great time! Great product, fun tour, beautiful drive to Hye. Be sure to make your reservation online before hand. There were tons of people showing up to go on the tour without a reservation and they were turned away because it was sold out.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chispa_c

          I was in Hye last spring, on a Saturday, and there were 3 or 4 winemakers doing tastings in the general store/liquor store there (next to the post office, across from the dance hall). Varying quality, but it sure was fun. There was also a guy serving bbq out back, and some picnic tables where we enjoyed lunch.

          I have two recs if the o.p. is willing to go out as far as Johnson City again (and hasn't been to these): Between Hye and Johnson City is Lewis Wines, currently only open by appointment. Tastings are personal and fun and I liked the wine there. These are young guns trying to improve on the Texas wine reputation. Worth checking out.

          Also near Hye is William Chris winery. They have a nice tasting room and in good weather you can sit on their large deck and order cheese plates and drink their wine.

          Have a great time and let us know what you find!

          1. re: storefronteats

            You must've been at Albert Hall. Coolest little dance hall. We fully intend to catch Aaron Watson, Cory Morrow or Kevin Fowler out there sometime. We stopped by there before we went to Garrison Brothers. Key is taking the back roads to get there. Such beautiful Texas Hill Country scenery.

        2. An old acquaintance and workmate retired and is now working with her husband running Hawk's Shadow vinyard out in Driftwood.