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Destination Tennis, Horseshoe Bay: Wine Country
Renowned for longhorn cattle and springtime bluebonnets, the fields of Texas are now on the map for a surprising reason—vineyards.
Published Aug 30, 2023
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The Texas Hill Country AVA, or American Viticultural Area, attracts about 5 million wine-lovers every year. At 9 million acres, it’s the second-largest wine region in the United States. In 2021, USA Today ranked it the third-most-popular wine region in the country, ahead of California.
“When you think of Napa, when you think of Italy, now you need to start thinking about the Hill Country of Texas because it’s doing that well,” says Bryan Woodward, Horseshoe Bay’s managing director.
Mediterranean varieties thrive in the region’s climate. The most extensively grown grapes are hardy reds common in southern France, like syrah and grenache, as well as Italian Sangiovese and Montepulciano and Spanish Tempranillo. For white-wine palettes, muscats are a top choice, and rosé-lovers sample mourvedre blends.
Horseshoe Bay sets up custom tours of area wineries and can point you in the right direction for an independent ramble to world-class tasting rooms and behind-the-scenes experiences. Monica Puig, the host of Destination Tennis, loved her excursion to Perissos Vineyard.
“We got to see the whole shebang—the barrels that were aging, the ones that hadn’t been touched yet—and understood what’s behind each and every wine,” says the 2016 Olympic gold medalist. “Some of the reserve blends were absolutely incredible.”
The scenery dazzles, too.
“A couple of longhorns crossed into the vineyards,” Puig says. “It was very homey.”
You might start off at the landmark Cabernet Grill, which serves only Texas wines—nearly 200 bottles at that. Try a flight or take the advice of the sommelier at the elegant, award-winning restaurant in historic Fredericksburg. When you have chosen a favorite, visit the vineyard for an in-depth tasting—and raise a glass to the exquisite experience of a Horseshoe Bay getaway.
Horseshoe Bay Resort
- 200 Hi Circle North
- Horseshoe Bay, Texas
- $350/weekend night
One Thing You Need to Know: Uplift Vinyard’s Aglianico 2020 won a prestigious Decanter World Wine award in 2023.
Tennis at a Glance
Facilities: 8 hard courts, 6 red-clay courts, 12 dedicated pickleball courts.
Rates: Court rental, $25 per hour; clinics, $30 per hour; private instruction, starting at $135 per hour.
Good to know: Ultimate Doubles Weekends feature mid-match coaching to improve technique and strategy in a live situation. Rates start at $525 per person, based on double occupancy.