Set along Katy Trail State Park, small-town Augusta (population: 250) packs in the crowds for wine and beer tastings. The Augusta Winery caters to them with multiple venues. A pergola-covered Spanish-style wine and beer garden provides open-air seating to listen to live music and sip on a bottle purchased at the neighboring shop. It's chilled and ready to go with a pizza made fresh here or a picnic you pack.
Down the street, you'll find a lively tasting room where people line up three-deep at the wood counter for free samples. “We don’t want you to pay for something you might not like," says Jessica Cahill, manager and marketing director. Two of the most frequently requested pours are semidry Seyval Blanc and Reserve Red. “They attract the masses because they aren’t to sweet or too dry,” Jessica says. Sometimes people are surprised to discover how good the wines here are. "They don’t expect us to have good wine, but our Norton is equal to a Cab. We prove Midwest has good ones." Our favorite? The peppery vintage port.