Fredericksburg, Texas is one of my favorite places to visit for a long weekend. Mr. Bee and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with friends and I wanted to share all the fun!
First, I found this lovely house on VRBO to rent for the weekend. The Rustic Grape Guest House the ideal place to stay. We stayed in the Farm House, a 1,500 square foot home with three bedrooms, 2 full baths, and a large open concept kitchen and family room with TVs in every room. It was perfect for two couples to feel like they had their own private space (she has other smaller spaces to rent on the property, too). The house welcomes you in with a big front porch with chairs and a daybed for reading or dreaming. Nestled on 33 acres with cows, horses and views of the Texas Hill Country, you feel like you are the only person around. But, you are conveniently three miles from downtown and along the 11 miles of all the wineries in Fredericksburg. Since the home is on the wine tour route, you can schedule door-to-door pickup to and from all the wineries. The owner, Lee, was great to work with, very responsive, accommodating and my deposit was returned within 24 hours of departure.
We arrived on Friday afternoon, checked into the house and had fun looking at all the artistic and personal touches. Lee set out a complimentary bottle of wine and glasses on the kitchen table. The kitchen was perfect for the dinner we enjoyed at the house that evening, and that large farm table beckoned us to play a card game of Liverpool Rummy as we sipped wine.
Before dinner we headed over to Barons Creek Vineyards for a tasting and wine appreciation class. It’s a beautiful property with a wine tasting salon and condos to rent.
Saturday morning we ventured to the Lavender Festival at Becker Vineyards. Tastings are $20 and include six generous pours of wine. While we were there, we signed up for their wine club where you can receive quarterly shipments of wines selected by Dr. Becker and their Winemaker, free wine tastings at future visits as well as invitations to events. Check it out here.
From there we visited Garrison Brothers distillery in Hye, home of the first and oldest legal whiskey distillery in Texas. We signed up for their Sit and Sip tour and it was fabulous. You learned everything from A -Z on how to make whiskey and the best part — there were several tastings along the way. I highly recommend this tour, but make sure you book in advance for the tours, especially on the weekend. Our guys really liked this tour and it was a nice break from wine.
One fun part of the tour was the opportunity to purchase, dip and label a signed and numbered, limited edition single barrel whiskey. Mr. Bee had fun going through the process with the whiskey maker on just the right technique.
At the conclusion of the tour we finished with a generous pour of whiskey to sip while we took in the view of the beautiful hill country.
After this, yes there’s more, we went to the best German restaurant in down town Fredericksburg — Otto’s German Bistro. There are several German restaurants we’ve tried in the past with good reviews, but we wanted to try something different – German with a spin.
Otto’s German Bistro opened in July 2013, introducing farm-to-table German cuisine to the Texas Hill Country using local, organic produce. Their culinary team crafts a seasonally focused menu that highlights not only what you can find in Germany and Austria, but explores the Germanic cuisine of Alsace, Northern Italy and even Texas! We started with a cocktail from their creative menu — The Evy with botanist Gin, hibiscus, lemon and bubbles.
We enjoyed our cocktails over some yummy appetizers of Flammkuchen, a flatbread with creme fraiche, gorgonzola, kale, caramelized onions, seasonal greens, bacon lardons and sherry gastrique, and Brot und Butter, homemade beet jam with warm bread. I have already been researching how to make beet jam. It is something worth trying even if you don’t care for beets. I loved how it was presented on a wooden board — slices of bread and the salt, pepper, butter and jam dolloped onto the board. So simple.
For dinner, we all tried something different and each loved what we ordered. I ordered Petrale Sole with celery root puree, kale and farro. It was as delicious to eat as it was to look at!
We passed on dessert because we had bubbly and peanut butter truffles back at the house. And, we were full!
The next morning we cooked a bacon and eggs breakfast and enjoyed coffee while taking turns in the hammock swinging in the shade under the massive trees.
Our last stop was Pedernales Cellars — named by National Geographic magazine as one of the Top 10 vineyards in the world to visit during the springtime. We each enjoyed a glass of wine, sitting in the Adirondack chairs just taking in the glorious views of the countryside.
Then, like that, it was time to drive home. There are so many more things to do in Fredericksburg and dozens of wineries to try, easily making this a week-long place for adventure. I’d love to go back in the fall when the weather is crisp and cool. Just image being cozy around the fire with a big glass of wine. That’s my idea of a getaway!