The Texas Hill Country Rivals Napa with Its Flourishing Winery Scene

Years ago Napa used to be a sleepy little town in northern California where those in the know would sneak away to enjoy tranquility and an exceptional glass of wine. However, the secret is now out and this once quiet getaway is now overrun with tourists and wine aficionados who turn what was once a relaxing weekend into a whirlwind tour complete with winery waitlists and traffic jams.

Naturally, those who like peace and tranquility have migrated away from this mayhem and found themselves a new watering hole. The question is, where is it?

Lucky for us Texans, it's the Hill Country.

Your New Designated Driver

In my element, drinking all the vino #bestday #memorialdayweekend #wine #texaswine

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Just like Napa, touring the wineries of the Texas Hill Country requires a vehicle as you meander down East 290. While that's fine if you have a sober driver, there is many a weekend when the entire party would rather be enjoying a refreshing glass of wine together.

Thankfully a few enterprising Texans recognized the need for friends to be able to drink together and have brought you the 290 Wine Shuttle

With 14 different wineries on its list of stops, visiting the wineries in the Fredricksburg area has never been easier. For $24.99 you can get an all day pass that allows you to hop on and off the shuttle at your leisure.

Whether you just want to take a quick peek or you fell in love with the winery and are planning on lounging for two hours, with the 290 Wine Shuttle there is no timeline.

The air-conditioned shuttles run on Saturdays from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm and on Sundays from 11:00am-5:00 pm, during which period they will make the rounds to pick up wine lovers every 15 minutes.

On weekdays you can book a private tour, which gives you and your party more flexibility with your itinerary. 

Where to Find the Shuttle


The shuttle takes off from the Fredericksburg Visitors Center, located in downtown Fredericksburg. While you don't have to stop off at every winery along the route, you will need to pick up your wristband and begin your journey here.

On the shuttle's counterclockwise journey along Highway 290, you will be able to access the following wineries: 

  • Mendelbaum Cellars

  • Inwood Estates

  • Grape Creek Vineyards

  • Torre Di Pietra

  • Becker Vineyards

  • Fat Ass Ranch & Winery

  • Four Point Cellars

  • Messina Hof

  • Fiesta Winery

  • Wedding Oak Winery

  • The Vintage Cellar

  • Six Shooter Cellars

  • Armadillo's Leap Winery 

  • Barons Creek Vineyards

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And if you want to purchase wine, go wild. One of the perks of booking a tour on the wine shuttle is that they will store your bottles for you while you enjoy wandering from winery to winery.

And with so many excellent Texas wineries to visit, you are sure to find quite a few bottles to bring home.

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