Texas is home to some of the lushest and most sought-after wineries in the whole world. If you’re looking for amazing wine in this region, wineries near San Antonio are a great pick
How Many Wineries Are In San Antonio?
San Antonio is home to 30 wineries and counting, so it’s almost impossible to see them all if you’re just visiting, but you could always give it a try! Winemaking in Texas started hundreds of years before California and Virginia, so you can trust that they know what they’re doing. With a Spanish and Italian influence, San Antonio is home to a wide selection of restaurants doing incredible tastings, in addition to the accommodation that’s wanting to stay forever.
A Bit Of San Antonio Winery History
Texas saw the earliest winemaking around the 1600s when Spanish missionaries planted grapes near the Rio Grande River near present-day El Paso. Unfortunately, prohibition took a huge toll on wineries and alcohol manufacturers all over the US, and the resurgence of the wine industry in Texas only came into real effect around the 1970s.
Although the 19th century wasn’t kind to the vineyards of Texas and San Antonio, they overcame it in the later years and now boast the lushest and most fertile wine growing land in North America, which boasts an impressive amount of tourism and wine exports.
What Is The Largest Winery In San Antonio?
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Taking a tour of a wine country can be intimidating, especially for a place with 30+ wineries to see. You’re likely to want to start at the big guys first, and then work your way around the ones in between once you’ve got more of a lay of the land. The biggest, most well known and top-rated wineries in San Antonio are The Stray Grape Urban Winery, making over 50 different wines to choose from. The Becker Estate winery boasts over 56 acres of land. Then there’s Augusta Wines, Becker Vineyards and Bell Springs Winery to name a few more.
The Oldest Winery In Texas
With land so fruitful with tons of different wineries, wouldn’t you like to see the one that started it all? It’s hard to tell which winery has been in the game for the longest because they’re all pretty modern and founded in the last two decades, or at least the version of them we know today, but don’t let this dishearten you.
The winemaking methods at these wineries still follow the golden standard, and you’ll be able to taste it. These wineries all take after the oldest winery in Texas, the Vel Verde winery in Del Rio, which has spread its 135-year-old methods all over the state, influencing the wineries we see in San Antonio today.
What Wine Is San Antonio Known For?
When the Spanish missionaries of the 17th century started their plantation in Texas, they were known to be the masters of hybrid grape production. The tempranillo grape, originally from Spain, thrives in the warm climate of Texas and the Pedernales cellar has its wine bursting with the cherry flavours this grape provides.
The sémillon and sauvignon blanc grapes of Becker winery make a unique and delicious version of the Sauvignon Blanc. This full-bodied yet refreshing blend is proudly local and definitively flavoursome. Texas wineries are also well known for their cabernet sauvignon, as the harsh heat can make for a ripe grape, giving off those tannin flavours you love in a strong cab sav.
Tis’ The Season
Texas has been known to be an excellent place for vineyards to flourish, as there is little rainfall and snow. When there is heavy rain, the rain can damage the grapes and negatively affect the flavour of the wine. This is due to the over-ripening of the grape, if the skin has been damaged by harsh elements then the grape will essentially rot and will be unharvestable.
This was, unfortunately, the case for the 2021 harvest, but the summer season made up for it. The summer wasn’t nearly as hot as it has been in the past resulting in an extended growing season. The extra hang time causes the grape to intensify in flavour, making it a good season for some potential vintages, so no complaints here!
Texas Alcohol Laws
There are misconceptions when it comes to the Texas alcohol laws from many tourists. Texas is known as a very religious state and it was common practice for there to be no alcohol consumption or sales on a Sunday. However, things have taken a turn for the better. There has been a change to the law and now Texans and visitors can buy alcohol until noon on Sunday. This law also doesn’t apply to on-site consumption, so if you’re visiting the wineries on a Sunday there will be nothing to worry about.
Activities To Enjoy
It’s no secret that Texas is the home of incredible wineries to visit, and San Antonio wineries are no exception. With all the options available it can be hard to decide, so remember to take a look at all of the nifty websites to see which one might tickle your fancy.
There’s a winery for every occasion, weddings, birthdays, romantic getaways you name it. There’s a plethora of guest houses and private cottages to choose from with endless landscapes covered in vineyards to swoon over.
With its Spanish and Italian influence, San Antonio is home to some incredible restaurants that offer wine pairings and first-class lunches and dinners to enjoy while visiting. There are booking options available, so it’s the perfect activity for a small group of friends to enjoy. Think pizzas, pasta, cheeses and speciality snacks to go with all the wine on offer. Leave it to the professionals to curate the perfect experience.
Plan A Texas Getaway
The Texas wine industry is booming. It attracts 1.7 million tourists a year, so there’s no reason to not be one of them. If you love warm weather, Spanish and Italian food, fruity crisp wine and breathe taking accommodations then you’ll fit right in.
Don’t forget to plan and book in advance, especially if you’re looking at the summer season as it is an extremely popular destination for fans of wineries near San Antonio!