STONEWALL — A few weekends ago, I was browsing upcoming events in the Texas Hill Country area, and saw a listing for an annual “Grape Stomp” at Becker Vineyards just east of Fredericksburg. Having no binding commitments and a full tank of gas, my wife and I decided to hit the road and escape the daily Saturday routine in Killeen. We headed out to the beautiful Texas Hill Country east of Fredericksburg to see what Becker Vineyards was all about.
After enjoying a relaxing country ride of less than two hours, we arrived at the vineyard. Driving down the entrance road onto the property, we were welcomed by rows of grape vines full of green foliage. Pulling into the parking area left no question about the popularity of Becker Vineyards.
The vineyard grounds have a pleasant charm. The reproduction of a 19th century German stone barn is an appealing work of architecture and the large open lawn area provides ample space for visitors to enjoy an afternoon spreading out in the grass.
Looking around, we caught sight of the area where a dozen or so people were stomping grapes. My wife kicked off her sandals and felt the grape juice flow between her toes. T-shirts were available for purchase to imprint those grape stained feet upon and water to wash up with after.
During a brief tour, we learned the history of Becker Vineyards and the process of taking grapes from vine to wine. Established in 1992 by Dr. Richard and Bunny Becker, Becker Vineyards is the largest premium winery in the Texas Hill Country. Their first harvest was in 1995, and with more than 20 different red and white wines available, Becker currently produces more than 100,000 cases a year.
After tasting a number of wines, I found my favorite was the 2012 Tempranillo, an early harvested black grape mixed with the juice of sun dried cherries — a dry wine with a bold taste. My wife liked the sweet white 2012 Clementine — late harvested Viognier grape.
We spent about three hours at the vineyard. Kicking back under the large covered patio, we chatted with people visiting from as far away as Dallas and Houston.
Breaking from the traditional idea of a winery, Becker Vineyards is not solely a place to visit for wine tasting, but offers a number of different events throughout the year. Whether it is their annual spring time “Lavender Festival,” late summer “Grape Stomp,” or the fall “Punkin Chunkin,” there is something for the whole family to enjoy.
A list of upcoming events can be found at www.beckervineyards.com.
Pets are welcomed at the vineyard but must be leashed. Picnicking is encouraged and on weekends the on-site bistro offers freshly made salads, sandwiches and cheese boards. Six wine samples can be tasted for $12, which includes a souvenir wine glass. Becker Vineyards also offers complimentary tastings to active-duty military members who present their military identification.
Take U.S. Highway 190 west to Lampasas. Pass through Lampasas and head south on U.S. Route 281, traveling 57 miles to U.S. Highway 290. Head west on 290 toward Fredericksburg for 19 miles and turn left on Jenschke Lane. Travel about 1 mile to the entrance of Becker Vineyards on the right.