November 10, 1986, was a momentous day for the wine industry of Texas. It was then the Department of Treasury (Bureau of ATF) announced that it was establishing the Bell Mountain Viticultural Area. This is the first Texas winegrowing appellation to be recognized by the Federal regulatory agency.
The Bell Mountain Viticultural Area, set at an elevation of near 2000 feet, has a moderate climate for fruit production – warm but not too hot summer daytime temperatures coupled with relatively mild nighttime temperatures. The soils are distinctively high in mineral, notably iron oxide, and of course typically high Hill Country calcium oxide. The Area is on the slopes of Bell Mountain, highest peak in the region, which was first identified on the U.S. Geological Survey map of 1885.