It’s pretty simple: Texas Wine Month, also known as October, is the time to go out and explore Texas wine, whether that’s at a bar or restaurant, your own home or at the wineries in the Hill Country themselves.
Wineries like Spicewood Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards and Bending Branch Winery are consistently good bets as both wines to pick up and places to check out during day trips.
If you’re looking to go out and explore them and approximately 50 other wineries that dot the Hill Country landscape, the Texas Wine Month Trail is a guaranteed good time. It runs through Oct. 31 and is easy to do.
Just purchase a ticket ($40 for individuals, $70 for couples) on the Texas Hill Country Wineries website, and you’ll be able to visit any of the participating wineries during their tasting room hours. The tickets include a free sampling of their wines and a 15 percent discount on three bottle purchases — though you can’t visit more than four wineries per day.
Here are some other events that individual wineries will be offering throughout the month.
The Texas Chocolate & Wine Experience at 4.0 Cellars: Chocolate truffles paired with wines from 4.0 Cellars (a fourth winery from McPherson Cellars, Brennan Vineyards and Lost Oak Winery)? That sounds hard to resist but is fortunately available Monday-Friday at selected times; just make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.
Friday Night Flights at Fall Creek Vineyards: The winery’s Driftwood location regularly has this tasting from 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays as a way to kick off your weekend. You can enjoy flights of either red wines or white wines, many of them award winners.
Library Tastings at Becker Vineyards: One of Texas’ oldest wineries highlights the best of its wines with this intimate look at Becker. The event includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the production area and will conclude with a wine-and-cheese pairing. Sold yet? The tasting is $60 ($50 if you’re a wine club member); make an appointment for an upcoming Saturday at 1 p.m. The Library Tastings were put on hold during harvest but have returned for Texas Wine Month.
The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas’ A Taste of Texas Fine Wine. Members of the Texas Fine Wine group will be presenting a diverse array of their wines at this discussion led by Spicewood Vineyards’ Ron Yates, whose winery is one of the group participants. Tickets for this Oct. 12 event range between $35-$45 in price.
Texas Wine & Bites at Dine: This free Oct. 13 tasting at the Radisson Hotel’s restaurant on East Cesar Chavez Street will have wines from Bending Branch Winery, Brennan Vineyards, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars and Spicewood Vineyards, with Texas-centric appetizers from chefs David Garrido and Justin Mowery. Make sure to RSVP ahead of time.
3rd Annual Texas Fine Wine Dinner: Spicewood Vineyards is hosting this $80 Oct. 14 feast with four courses featuring flavors of the Texas Hill Country and wines from Spicewood, Brennan Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, Duchman Family Winery and Bending Branch Winery.
Fiesta Winery’s 6th Year Celebration: It’s time to party with this Bend-located winery, which is having food trucks, live music and dancing — and wine, of course — to herald six years of Fiesta. Tickets are only $10, and Fiesta wine club members can bring up to three guests for free.
Singing Water Vineyards’ Fall Festival: Love autumn? The Comfort-area winery is throwing the fest for you. Singing Waters will have two days of live music, food and an art show starting at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 22 and ending 6 p.m. Oct. 23.
Holiday Wine Release at Pedernales Cellars: The winery founders like to celebrate the Swedish they’ve added to their family tree, so they’ve got Glögg, traditional mulled wine, available at Pedernales and sister winery Armadillo’s Leap starting well in advance of the holiday rush. Pick up a bottle or two of the tempranillo-based wine starting Oct. 22.
Old Vine Petite Sirah Vertical Tasting: Bending Branch Winery’s Branch on High has a special tasting for fans of this red wine. It’s one of the few varietals that the winery has made in every vintage since 2008, and you’ll be able to try vintages 2008-2013 as well as a 2008 Port-Style Petite Sirah. The Oct. 22 vertical is $45.
Halloween Costume Contest at Torre di Pietra: Halloween might be on a Monday this year, but you can bring out your costume early for this “spooktacular” party on Oct. 29. There will be prizes for the best ones, as well as live music from the Shelley King Band, wood-fired pizzas and wines by the glass or bottle.
Halloween Masquerade Ball at Messina Hof Hill Country Winery: Elegant yet spooky — what more could you want from a masquerade ball at a winery? The night will start with a three-course dinner paired with Messina Hof wines, followed by spooky Halloween music for dancing and a masquerade mask contest. The Oct. 29 party has tickets for $80.