Bell Mountain Vineyards is located in Fredericksburg. They planted their vineyard in 1976 and the winery opened in 1983. The winery is owned by Robert (Bob) and Evelyn Oberhelman. The winery was originally called Oberhellmann Vineyards but they then changed it to Bell Mountain Vineyards.
When we first went to Fredericksburg, we visited the Bell Mountain Tasting Room which is located on Main Street of Fredericksburg. We were under the wrong impression that you could not visit the actual winery and that is why there was a tasting room. This belief was compounded by the discovery of Oberhof Wines, made by Bell Mountain Vineyards, in the rear of the Das Peach Haus store. Das Peach Haus is a wonderful store which we need to visit every time we make it to Fredericksburg.
After a couple years and ready to make another trip to Fredericksburg, I decided to find out what the true story was and learned you could visit Bell Mountain Vineyards. A plan was then made to visit the winery.
We found the winery outside of Fredericksburg and co-owner Evelyn Oberhelman met us in the tasting room. Tastings are done standing at the tasting bar and it is a free tasting for all open bottles of wine they have. The tasting is poured from the bottles and Bell Mountain Vineyards uses both corks and screw caps. Pretzels are available to cleanse your palate.
During our tasting we learned the Bell Mountain Texas wine was Estate bottled and the Oberhof Wines were sometimes blends and included non-Estate fruit. They do use 100% Texas grapes in their wines though.
The winery also makes Vina Rita Wine Cocktails which is an interesting concept. For those bars which do not have a liquor license but can serve beer and wine, the Vina Rita Wine Cocktails come in flavors such as Margarita and Pina Colada.
After our tasting, Mrs. Oberhelman gave us a very interesting tour of the winery. She explained they produce 7,000-10,000 cases of wine a year. Vineyards surround the winery and Malbec will be planted in 2012.
When you have visited all the big name wineries in Fredericksburg, make a trip to visit one of the oldest wineries in the state and enjoy the hospitality from the Oberhelmans at Bell Mountain Vineyards.