I didn’t know there was a little Bavaria in Texas.  Hill Country / Wine Country, I knew that was a thing in Texas.  As someone who likes food & drink, I’ll drive through scenic wine country & try stuff.  Not a problem.

Because I was driving, I couldn’t really do a wine tasting day.  I planned to stop at three wineries, and then see what else was around.  The owners recommended Becker Vineyards, which seems to be the largest vineyard in the area.  Their grounds were beautiful & they also farmed lavender so I bought a bar of soap.  

The gentleman serving allowed me to just taste one white & one red rather than a full tasting, understanding solo travel.  He also told me I was driving in the wrong direction & to go see downtown Fredricksburg first then drive down Highway 290 to see vineyards on the way to Austin, which was helpful.  I listened & found a parking place right next to Marketplatz on Fredricksburg’s Main Street.  It’s a cute tourist destination. I took photos of merchandising in lots of shops to save ideas.  There are lots of boutiques on this Main Street. It felt upscale and took quite a while for me to find a place that sold tourist magnets.  

The guy behind the counter asked if I liked armadillos. Sure. 

The guy behind the counter asked if I liked armadillos. Sure. 

The other wineries I stopped in were Mendelsohn’s winery because I had to stop at the Israeli winery in Texas.  It’s irresistible. I did a full tasting at Mendelsohn’s, being the only person in the place at that moment. The wineries in Texas have a lot of varietals.  You get a sheet & choose your tastings from several options. The last time I did a wine tasting thing, it must have been someplace more boutique-y, because I don’t remember having so many choices at any one stop.  The last winery I stopped in was Grape Creek. I didn’t do a tasting there either because I won’t drink & drive but the grounds were beautiful.

Stonewall, TX is on the way to Austin, so I stopped at the LBJ Historical Site & did a little learning.  Because I’ve taken a couple of Modern US History classes, I knew some things from President Johnson’s accomplishments including signing the Civil Rights act & Medicare/Medicaid.  Johnson & Nixon are the presidents who put a lot of the systems that today’s government wants to devalue into place.  It’s pretty interesting. Because of his own background in Texas, he was the first president to put federal dollars in to public education.  He was president when we landed on the moon. When we talk & learn about the 1960s, it’s often in reference to Kennedy or Martin Luther King but the man who did a lot of the heavy lifting, policy wise in the 1960s, was Lyndon Johnson.  Considering his life, I think the preservation of his lands in Texas is a fitting tribute.


My surprise find of the day was Dripping Springs Distillery.  I’ve done wine tastings in CA, NM, WA & now Texas.  There was a sign on the road for not a winery but a distillery.  That was something I hadn’t visited before, so I turned in. It was the nicest conversation I had all day.  They are a small batch producer working with quality ingredients in copper stills. I sipped instead of gulped (#driving) but here is where I ended buying booze.  They had a Texas Orange vodka that I could put an ice cube in & just sip on a hot day. It was delicious. That is a bottle I’m going to look forward to opening when I get home.

Staci Lichterman