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Texas Hill Country becoming more of a national wine destination; getting creative during pandemic

Destination Texas

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — When you think of wine country, California typically comes to mind. But the Texas Hill Country, just outside of Austin, is a growing destination for wine fans, even during the pandemic.

“We normally have a whole bunch of people in here tasting wine and enjoying all that we have to offer. Right now it is pretty empty since we are not allowed to be open,” said Spicewood Vineyards owner Ron Yates, describing his tasting room.

During the pandemic, Spicewood Vineyards is only offering bottles to-go, but Yates came up with a creative way to keep in touch with their usuals, while also keeping business going.

“We did a little wine tasting pack and sent it all over the state to everybody,” Yates explained. The winery is hosting a monthly tasting event, virtually. It features a live music performance, with a break for tasting between songs.

Yates, whose family has owned the winery for 12 years, said it’s been great to watch the Hill Country grow over the last decade.

“There’s you know, 60 plus wineries here in the Hill Country now, and you can go from winery to winery and taste 12 different grape varietals,” Yates said.

If you head north and cross over Lake Travis, you’ll find Flat Creek Estate.

“We’ve been fortunate that we have our restaurant here on site. So we’ve always been able to operate under restaurant guidelines,” said Amanda Koraska, who works with the winery.

Guests need a reservation indoors, but outside on the pavilion, anyone is welcome.

“You just come out. See our hostess at the bar. She’ll get you a bottle of wine, get your food order, and just pick a table and enjoy it,” Koraska said.

Plus, there’s another socially-distant option out back.

“Disc Golf has become super popular for us,” Koraska said. Guests can get a bottle of wine while they walk the course.

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