Barbecues and football are most often associated with Texas, but did you know that Texas also has the fifth-most vineyard acreage of any U.S. state?Wine has an extensive history in Texas; grapes were planted here before they were planted in California, and the Franciscan monks who planted them used wine in religious ceremonies. Planting has continued for hundreds of years, and although Prohibition put a stop to winemaking, Texas has recovered and is now an up-and-coming wine producing region.
Three wineries exemplify this trend. Perissos Vineyard and Winery, located in the Texas Hill Country appellation, planted its first grapes in 2005. Among its best wines are tempranillo, petite sirah and viognier.
Inwood Estates Vineyards is located near downtown Dallas and is operated by Dan Gatlin, who established one of the first fine-wine vineyards in the state in 1981. The winery was built in 2005, and Inwood is best known for its tempranillo-cabernet blend.
Pedernales Cellars is located east of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country appellation and is operated by three generations of the Kuhlken family. Pedernales harvested its first grapes in 2008 and specializes in typical hot climate red varieties like tempranillo and garnacha, though it also makes some surprisingly good whites, including a delicious viognier. Walk-in tastings are offered seven days a week.