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Texas Hill Country in running for top wine region in North America; vote now

Perissos Vineyard and Winery in Burnet County

Texas Hill Country wineries produce some of the best wines in the country, winning awards and accolades. USA Today is holding an online vote in its 10 Best Readers Choice contest for wine regions. Vote at the link in the story. Pictured is Perissos Vineyard and Winery in Burnet County. Photo by Stennis Shotts

Texas Hill Country wines have captured the nation’s attention, but the region is currently in third place behind the Walla Walla Valley of Washington and Finger Lakes of New York in a contest for the top wine region in North America.

You can make it No. 1 by casting an online vote in the USA Today 10 Best Readers Choice contest. Voting ends Aug. 2 at 11 a.m. CST. 

The Hill Country region, which includes the Highland Lakes, is among 20 wine areas across North America in the running. Also on the list, among others, are Napa Valley (California), Sonoma Coast (California), Monticello (Virginia), and Niagara Peninsula (Ontario, Canada).

Over the past two decades, the Texas Hill Country has grown into one of the most respected and recognized wine regions in North America, putting it among legacy spots such as Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast.

“While some may think of the Texas Hill Country as an ‘emerging’ wine region, professionals and dedicated winemakers have been doing great things in the area for a long time now, and it’s a great time for people to check out what Texas wines have to offer,” said Kate LaFleur, communications coordinator for Texas Hill Country Wineries, which promotes the region’s wines and wineries.

A strength of the Hill Country’s wineries is the variety.

“Maybe even more surprising to some is the vibrant collection of wineries scattered throughout this diverse region boasting world-class, award-winning wines,” LaFleur said.

The region is the second-largest American Viticulture Area in the United States with more than 50 wineries. Hill Country varietals include Viognier, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chenin Blanc, Aglianico, Sangiovese, and Mourvèdre. 

“While most wine enthusiasts travel to particular areas for their expertise with certain varietals, the Texas Hill Country’s expansive wine portfolio showcases a breadth of styles making it a fantastic region to explore your love for wine,” LaFleur added.

Hill Country wine enthusiasts already know how amazing and dynamic their wine is, but a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today contest would give them bragging rights, and Texans love to brag!

daniel@thepicayune.com