This guest blog post is by Cris Mueller.
Just thirty minutes southwest of Austin is our coy, neighboring hill country town of Driftwood that offers a posh day-trip, worthy to share.
Don’t be fooled by its peaceful nature. Rather, open your palette to experience a day chock full of infamous Texas cuisine and wineries on the Texas Wine Trail.
It’s the greatest time of year to pack up the car, take out your camera and venture off to Driftwood for wide open Texas skies, colorful wildflowers and foodie pics to make mouths water. Although there are many ways to wander the beautiful outdoors of Driftwood, I recommend you include two stops: a lunch of traditional Texas BBQ and a picturesque family vineyard.
It’s the Pits
The Salt Lick in Driftwood is well known for its historic ambiance. It features one of Texas’ most photographed BBQ pits, outdoor and indoor family-style seating spaces and a flexible B.Y.O.B. option.
Located at 118300 FM 1826, Salt Lick has made quite an impression on guests. It boasts eleven years of The Austin Chronicle “Best Of” awards, as well as recognition from Today Show, The Knot Magazine and Every Day with Rachael Ray to name a few.
This location is proof that things really are bigger in Texas…with rustic, picnic table dining, and servings that offer variety and a full belly for a reasonable average cost of $15-$20 per person.
What began as one of 54 ideas on a list of things the family could do to stay in Driftwood, the entrepreneurial, married duo of Thurman and Hisako Roberts converted Salt Lick from a grocery business to a family BBQ success. Salt Lick’s current owner, Scott Roberts, keeps the legendary family BBQ alive by using recipes and the barbecuing method his great grandmother Bettie Howard once used on the wagon train.
Plan to do more than just eat the award-winning BBQ during your visit. Bring a cooler loaded with your favorite beverages and have a listen to the live and local music playing on the patio. Salt Lick Cellars offers a taste of Texas wines by the glass or bottle, or grab a bucket of Texas beers out on the deck and opt for a game of bocce ball. Whatever you choose, make sure to bring a pocket full of bills to this cash-only location for a seamless day amongst the pits, hills, pecan groves and Texas Oaks.
Forty years after Salt Lick’s genesis, you can place online orders for the infamous BBQ, including meat, sauces and dry rubs, cookbooks and more. They can all be delivered to your door. For dine-in, catering, events or home delivery, Salt Lick in Driftwood is a must-try for any BBQ lover.
Texas Vines Bring Joyful Wines
Following a satisfying belly full of BBQ, take a 4-mile jaunt to the photogenic grounds of Duchman Family Winery. Scenic and nestled away from the already quiet road, you can find the vines, courtyard and tasting room founded by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in 2004.
Duchman Family Winery, located at 13308 FM 150 W, showcases wine made from Texas vines produced in traditional Italian style varietals. Seasonal release wines are bottled right inside of the Duchman villa, which also is home to the tasting room, barrel room, fermentation tank, and production area.
You can get familiar with Duchman varietals for only $10, any day of the week in their tasting room. The well-versed attendants will take you on a tour of Italian wines by way of Texas and make sure you have a great time while doing so.
Later, take your wine experience outdoors to spend some time in the picturesque courtyard, where picnic tables are tucked under the shade of Texas Oaks, leaving perfectly glittered specks of sunshine in every photo opportunity. Most weekend afternoons you can catch live music and Duchman welcomes you to bring along your favorite wine accompaniments like cheese, fruit or other picnic foods to enjoy in the courtyard.
Duchman Family Winery is one of the top wine destinations in Texas and included among the highly regarded Texas Hill Country Wineries. You can contact Duchman to plan a tour or private event, or just gather your friends and family together for an impromptu day out, to sample their award winning wines.
A Memorable Texas Trio
Interested in a Driftwood day trip? Luck would have it that Salt Lick’s Driftwood location will be hosting the Old Settler’s Music Festival on April 18-21, 2013, featuring Duchman as the sole wine sponsor. The four-day festival lets guests experience three of Central Texas’ best assets at once; live music, Salt Lick BBQ and Duchman Family wines. Duchman winemaker Dave Reilly has created two specialty blends for the upcoming festival that will be bottled to sport the commemorative festival label.
Cris Mueller’s heart is hooked to Austin, though she was sprouted in Albuquerque, NM. She has made herself at home in three countries, five states domestically, countless communities and suffers from severe wanderlust. She is a storyteller of passion, travel, food and good people doing great things. Want to ask her a question? You can find Cris in the sunshine, near the water and most likely in the middle of a great story.
Have you tried The Salt Lick or Duchman Family Winery? Leave a comment if you have any questions!