Experience Tuscany in the Texas Hill Country

In an article listing their choices for the best summer vacation destinations, the New York Times shared with the world what those who live in the Texas Hill Country already know – we’re number one. Citing the growing wine country, vibrant music scene, inventive cuisine and festivals, the author of the article declared that a visit to the Hill Country’s rolling hills was like a visit to Tuscany. However, the author is far from the first to note the areas resemblance to the rich landscape and feel of Tuscany. And luckily for those who live and play here, we can experience la dolce vita daily, minus the exhausting international flight and poor exchange rate.

One of the main characteristics the Texas Hill Country and Tuscany share are their gorgeous landscapes. Wide-open blue skies and rolling hills mark the areas, with ever changing colors of the seasons. Spring brings green hills with splashes of colorful wildflowers, while fall emerges in golds and reds. The land itself is fairly rocky, and the vegetation as a result is hardy and capable of handling a drier, warmer climate. Not only do these vistas make for gorgeous and peaceful living, they are perfect for the hiking weekender, combining docile and pleasant weather with stunning views and interesting land formations for anything from simple sightseeing to rigorous climbing or biking.

Also, thanks to the similarities in land, both areas share a terroir which is ideal for certain agriculture. In short, they both make fantastic wine countries. Both areas’ rocky, well-draining soil, temperate climate and low humidity allow for ideal grape-growing conditions. Local wines reflect this in their rich and complex tastes. As a result, the wine industry in the Texas Hill Country is booming, with over twenty wineries in the immediate area alone. Similarly, olive growers have started to take a foothold in the area, hoping to enjoy the success of the industry in Italy.

The style of Tuscany has also influenced much of the architecture of Hill Country property. Dotting the area in anything from cottages to sizable villas are homes and buildings which share large, colorful stone exteriors, wood accents and terracotta style roofs. Not only do these designs blend seamlessly with the rugged and charming landscapes, reflecting through their materials the nature around it, but the stone walls help keep home interiors cooler and more energy efficient in the warmer climates. Many of the vineyards in the area, especially, have chosen this style for their wineries. The gorgeous designs invite visitors to linger over their wine on patios overlooking the vineyards — which also makes these wineries popular locations for important events, such as a weddings and corporate parties. Just as the stone walls help keep residential homes cool, they similarly help moderate temperatures in buildings or cellars for proper wine storage.

The Texas Hill Country gives visitors and residences a taste of much that is wonderful about Tuscany. And yet, it gives so much more by adding its own singular charm and traditions. Life in the Hill Country may at times evoke similarities to other times and places, but with our exceptional way of life we have our own unmatched style.