California and Oregon may get most of the attention when it comes to great American wine. But if you want to sip a robust cabernet sauvignon overlooking neat rows of grapevines, you don’t have to fly to Napa. You can get the full winery experience right here in Central Texas.
Sample the best local wines at these inviting vineyards, all within 45 minutes of downtown Waco. You’ll find award-winning wines, creative blends, and a warm Texas welcome.
Note: Winery hours are subject to change. Always double check open dates and times!
Country Spring Vineyard & Wine Garden
Hoping to spend some time outdoors? Sounds like a great reason to visit Country Spring Vineyard & Wine Garden. Their patio among the trees is the perfect place to sip a glass of wine while a nearby fountain bubbles and fire pits warm up cool days. Inside, the tasting room feels like a cozy den with a fireplace, comfy sofas, and a wall of windows that open onto four and a half acres of vines and surrounding countryside.
What about the wine? You’ll find robust varietals like lenoir, mourvèdre, cabernet sauvignon, valvin muscat, villard blanc, and roussane. Or try one of their fruit wines for something sweet, like the Lime in the Coconut, Kiwi Pear, or Happy Puppy watermelon wine. You can also get a frozen bellini, hard lemonade, or warm wine apple cider to mix things up. Order a fruit and cheese plate or fresh-baked bread with herbed dipping oil to accompany your glass.
Country Spring Vineyard is located about 10 miles south of Waco, and is open Friday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Valley Mills Vineyards
With wines made from 100% Texas-grown grapes, Valley Mills Vineyards is working hard to put Texas wine on the national map. This family-owned vineyard uses fruit from their own vines and from nearby vineyards to create a strong lineup of award-winning bottles.
Sample big-bodied reds including tempranillo, garnacha, mourvèdre, and cabernet sauvignon, aged for 12 to 24 months in oak barrels. On hot Texas days, sip refreshing whites like albariño and vermentino, or chilled reds like their Counoise or Zephyr blends.
Their Estate Tempranillo is a must-try. The 2014 vintage won a Double Gold at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in 2018. (“Double Gold” means that every judge chose it as the winner.) And their 2019 vintage took Best of Class at the 2022 competition.
At the vineyard, you’ll find a beautiful limestone building housing the tasting room. Step out to the patio under a trellis covered in creeping vines to enjoy views of the vines and hills beyond. Valley Mills Vineyards is about 30 minutes from downtown Waco, and is open daily from noon to 6 p.m.
3 Texans Winery
The 3 Texans Winery is a labor of love for mom Kim and her two daughters, who own and operate the vineyard together. They’ve planted nearly 6,000 vines on their little slice of Texas heaven, including malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and tempranillo grapes.
Their 3,600 square foot limestone tasting room includes a beautiful side patio with scenic views across the vines. Enjoy a tasting of their dry, sweet, and sparkling wines, or try a white wine apple cider or a frozen wine bellini. Pair your glass with a charcuterie plate or a slice of decadent cheesecake.
You’ll also find a fun events calendar here, like makeup classes, cookie decorating classes, and goat yoga. Check their events calendar to see what’s coming up.
The tasting room at 3 Texans Winery is about 40 minutes from downtown Waco. You can visit between noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Red Caboose Winery & Distillery
You’ll find more than award-winning Texas wine when you visit the two locations of Red Caboose Winery & Distillery. At the Clifton location (about 40 minutes from downtown Waco), you can enjoy glasses of their full-bodied house wines like tempranillo, syrah, tannat, touriga nacional, zinfandel, and lenoir made from estate-grown grapes. Their La Reina Tempranillo won the 2012 Wine Business Monthly’s Top Ten award, and overall they’ve won an impressive nine Best in Texas Awards at GrapeFest in Grapevine, Texas.
The Clifton location of Red Caboose is also home to their distillery, where Old World-style copper stills turn organically grown grapes into vodka, gin, and brandy. You can sample the spirits as they come, or try specialty infusions made with garden-grown jalapeños and cilantro.
If you’re willing to drive a little further, visit the Meridian location to see the winery and the vineyard. They take an eco-friendly approach, using solar panels and sustainable geothermal systems to power their operations. Sit outside on the limestone patio overlooking the vines and spot the titular “red caboose,” an old Santa Fe train car that gave the vineyard its name.
The Clifton location is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Meridian location is open on Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.
Juniper Cove Winery
Juniper Cove Winery in downtown Whitney is both a wine destination and a community hub. Located about 45 minutes from downtown Waco, this inviting winery partners with smaller Texas vineyards to turn 100% Texas grapes into a variety of delightful bottles.
The wines at Juniper Cove Winery are no strangers to accolades. Petals, their Rhone blend, won the gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in 2023. They also cleaned up at GrapeFest 2023: Petals clinched first place in the Dry White category, and their Peachy Keen took first place among the Sweet Whites. Red lovers, try their mourvedre. It won the Gold and Best in Class at the 2021 Texas Wine Symposium & Competition.
You can sample their wines in the unfussy tasting room, with comfortable couches and a relaxed vibe. Juniper Cove Winery is a favorite with the locals, with events like open mic night, book club, comedy, and live music. The tasting room is open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. You can also set up a private tasting by appointment.