To give you a little background, this quaint town was founded in 1846. It’s named after Prince Frederick of Prussia and is conveniently nestled in the middle of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, a twenty-five county region bustling with picturesque views of lush trees, rugged hills, hiking opportunities, bed and breakfasts and wineries and vineyards galore. It was also recently named one of CNN’s most romantic small towns.
With so many things to do and only 24 hours in Fredericksburg, I literally didn’t hit even the tip of the wine-dipped iceberg during my visit. However, if you ever find yourself seeking a romantic gateway, a girlfriend’s adventure or just want to explore someplace new in the Lone Star State, I highly recommend a visit to the Hill Country with at least a full weekend immersion in Fredericksburg.
Without further ado, here’s where I wined, dined and stayed and would recommend to you during your visit as well:
The opportunities to sip, learn about the history of wine making and get boozy while enjoying the views are endless in Fredericksburg. In no particular order are the four wineries and vineyards I experienced:
Grape Creek Vineyards was one of our first stops and my favorite of the four wine destinations we experienced. This vineyard is located on Wine Road 290, a collective association of thirteen wineries along US Highway 290 that each has their own schedule of fun unique events ranging from live music to grape stomps. We decided to take a tour before we indulged in our tasting to get a full lay of the land on the history of winemaking and to also understand the uniqueness of this specific vineyard . To begin the tour, we rode a tram to the production complex where all the winemaking magic happens. After riding past beautiful rows of vines, we ended up at the crush pad and tank room where our tour guide talked us through the fascinating wine production process. Our experience continued with us sampling a few wines aging directly from French and American oak barrels in the barrel room and ended with a very informative tasting where we really honed in on the various flavors and aromas of a selection of wines.
The taste and tour package at Grape Creek Vineyards is $30 per person and is definitely worth the experience.
William Chris Vineyards is also located on Wine Road 290 and has a very laid back unpretentious atmosphere to it, which I loved. Although we opted out of participating in a tour here, we did enjoy a glass of wine on the deck as the sun begin to set behind the endless rows of beautiful vines. This vineyard regularly has live music, barrel tastings and other special events as well.
Pedernales Cellars really brought out the Texas Hill Country charm and hospitality and I enjoyed hanging around the oval shaped-bar sipping and mingling with other tasters. While they do offer tours of their underground geothermal barrel cellar, they actually weren’t conducting any the day we visited which was disappointing since it was my birthday weekend. However, I still enjoyed my experience and the scenic views of the Perdernales River Valley at this family-owned wine destination are absolutely breathtaking. This cellar is also located on the widely recognized Wine Road 290.
Messina Hof is unique because it offers not only great wine but also a place for visitors to relax and stay awhile in its Manor Haus B&B, which has four individually themed retreats. Their website doesn’t mention they roll out the wine-colored red carpet for nothing! Our tasting here was also very pleasant and by the time we finished sampling, I must admit as much as I adore wine, I had experienced enough to keep me content for a few weeks. Not to mention, I had quite the buzz going.
All of the wineries and vineyards that I visited charge a tasting fee that varies depending on which one you decide to experience. The fees generally range between $12-$15 for a sampling of 6-8 wines. Most of the wine destinations also have clubs that you can join to receive exclusive invitations to events and private tastings, discounts on your favorite wines and merchandise and also special wine deliveries directly at your doorstep. Lastly, each of the wineries that I visited gifted us with a complimentary wine glass that has the destination’s logo printed around the bowl of the glass.
After spending quite a bit of money on the wine tastings, we decided to go the frugal route for our meals. For breakfast, we went to the highly recommended Old German Bakery & Restaurant for some traditional Germanic fare, which consisted of authentic German pancakes, bratwurst, schnitzel and irresistibly sweet European pastries. By dinner, we were so exhausted from the day’s wine adventures that we made a last minute decision to try out the Fredericksburg Brewing Company which is known as a “Bed and Brew” because of the accommodations provided directly above the restaurant. Here you could order anything from German food to your traditional American meals.
Fredericksburg is swarming with lodging options as there are more than 400 bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, inns and ranches for you to choose from during your visit. I’ll admit, searching for and selecting a place to stay was a bit overwhelming because each option is so unique and different from the rest. I ended up making the decision to stay at a B&B because I had never experienced one before and the property that I found was just too adorable to pass up.
The Loeffler-Weber Cabin was the perfect accommodation in Fredericksburg because it really takes you back to 1846, the year that it was built. This cabin is the oldest Sunday House in Fredericksburg and has a luxurious rustic feel to it. It’s conveniently situated on the popular Main Street where you’ll find most of Fredericksburg’s restaurants, shops and live entertainment when the sun sets. The Loeffler-Weber Cabin is one of thirteen properties at the Wine Country Cottages under The All Seasons Collection brand and in my opinion; it’s by far the most unique.
Highlights of my first cabin experience includes an amazingly plush king-sized bed that I literally had to pry myself away from, a hot tub on the back patio to enjoy a nice glass of wine and complimentary pastries, cereal and juices for a complete continental breakfast inside the cozy confines of my historic dwelling.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first adventure in Fredericksburg and can’t wait to check out some of the other locations in the Texas Hill Country!