Texas Hill Country is a unique and scenic region tucked away in the center of the Lone Star State. The rolling hills and limestone cliffs begin just west of Austin and run as far south as San Antonio, with narrow, twisting country roads and interesting small Texas towns dotting the area.
One of the hidden gems in Hill Country is a winery called Mandola’s, found just outside the tiny town of Driftwood, a short drive south-west of Austin. Visitors are greeted by row after row of grape vines as they turn up the long drive way, and by the time they reach the main building, they’ll swear that they’ve left Texas behind and have been transported to Italy. Everything about the setting helps to complete this illusion, including the architecture of the buildings, the meticulously landscaped grounds, and the rolling hills that surround the vineyard.
Mandola’s is surrounded by 20 acres of vines that produce the grapes that go directly into their home grown wines. The vineyard offers six different, and very unique, wines, that are reminiscent of something that would be made in the Italians regions of Sardinia or Sicily, blending the locally grown grapes with other fruits to create flavors that are unlike any other.The vineyard opened in 2006 and holds daily tours and wine tasting. There is also a large, beautiful restaurant on the grounds that serves up amazing Italian cuisine and has an extensive wine list that includes Mandola’s own creations as well as plenty of other great wines.
Visitors to Texas who are looking for a fun and unique wine experience should definitely make the drive to Mandola’s. The scenic Hill Country will make the experience a pleasant one, and the winery will offer plenty of fine dining and amazing wines as well. It’s a trip to southern Italy, no passport required.