The two most important things to me in a winery are the wine and the views, and you can't taste the wine through the internet so when I'm scoping out where to go, the views are what I focus on. Sweeping panoramas are easy to come by in the Hill Country but out of all the wineries I've been to, here are four that have the most scenic views I've found and each is a different type of view.
Pedernales Cellars is located in Stonewall, about ten minutes east of Fredericksburg. After your tasting, grab a bottle and head outside to the deck. There are plenty of trees to provide shade, room for little ones run around and a view that just goes on and on and on.
You didn't realize it on your drive along Upper Albert Road, but you gained enough elevation that now you're looking down upon US 290 and you have an expansive view of the Pedernales River basin. It just gives you the slightest feeling of watching the world pass by while you relax with a bottle of their Melange. Protip: Pedernales Cellars opens at 10 AM most days, start there to earn an extra hour or two of winery exploring.
La Vie Estate Winery
Continue along Upper Albert Road to the newest winery on this list, La Vie Estate just opened the first weekend of December 2021. Out here you aren't looking at hills in the distance, you're among them.
Sip your wine up in the trees and take in the rustic atmosphere of La Vie. Over time they plan to add cabins, a larger tasting room and more. There is a nice selection of wines, I don't normally gravitate towards these two varietals but the Trebbiano and the Cabernet Sauvignon stood out to me. It was great to watch the sun setting behind the hills from the deck.
Hawk's Shadow Estate Winery
Head towards Dripping Springs for a scenic drive to Hawk's Shadow and you'll be rewarded with another hillside deck. It almost looks as if the nearby peaks all moved off to the side so you can see them as well as the distant horizon. It's really a fantastic vista.
As long as you enjoy reds, grab a glass or a bottle of their Fortitude and soak in the scenery. The setup of the tasting room and outdoor area has a nice flow to it and gives everyone somewhere to go. Hawk's Shadow is a little off the beaten path so it might slip under your radar, but it's definitely worth the short drive from Dripping Springs or even Johnson City. Who's in a hurry?
When you arrive at Spicewood Vineyards you'll be greeted by the two furry friends who'll make sure the tasting room knows you're on your way. Most of the 32 acres here is occupied by the vineyards that Ron Yates uses as Spicewood focuses on estate wines.
Nestled in among the hills, you can see rows and rows of vineyards. Grab some of the Estate Tempranillo and wander around outside. Spicewood offers a different perspective than the other wineries on this list and it's a nice change of pace. It's a very short detour from 71 or 281 but isn't a hotspot for the wine shuttles, so it retains a peaceful feel that is largely by design.
If you're the type who likes to grab a quick tasting and move on to the next winery, you should be able to visit all four of these in one day. If you prefer to spend some time with a glass or two getting to know each venue, it's very easy to spend a couple of hours or so at any of these wineries. Cheers!