Family owned wineries of Texas Hill Country
Is wine tasting in Napa or Sonoma Valley on your 2021 vacation list? Do you crave the rolling hills of California wine country and visiting several family-owned vineyards? The good news is that you don’t have to book a flight to get a quality wine tasting experience at a family-operated winery! There are several family-owned wineries and vineyards in The Texas Hill Country that represent the history and heritage of Texas.
4.0 Cellars is the collaboration between three family-owned and operated Texas wineries – Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery, and McPherson Cellars. While 4.0 Cellars started as a small-concept tasting room, the vision rapidly evolved into something much grander. Their Fredericksburg tasting room offers various wines, from single varietal wines to diverse blends, all from vineyards located throughout Texas. The name 4.0 Cellars is inspired by the three separate wineries that form an unparalleled fourth winery. Additionally, the name also encompasses their shared goal of striving for 4.0 perfection. Schedule your tasting experience today!
A family-owned boutique winery in Stonewall, Texas – Ab Abstris is dedicated to producing handcrafted vintage wines in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Their 12-acre vineyard was planted in May 2018 and 2019 and consists of four acres of Tannat, two acres of Souzao, two acres of Clairette Blanche, two acres of Petite Syrah, and two acres of Montepulciano. Stop by their tasting room, which mixes traditional Texas Hill Country decor with contemporary materials.
One of the founding Texas Hill Country wineries, Becker Vineyard prides itself on creating award-winning Bordeaux, Burgundian, and Rhone-style wines. Their estate includes 56 acres of vineyards and lavender fields. Becker Vineyard features “state of the art” Italian designed bottling equipment, which was customized especially for them and will process 55 bottles per minute. While their wine is available for purchase at several retailers across the state, most of the wines they feature at the winery are winery exclusives. Becker Vineyards continues to focus on the “Wine,” the enjoyment is meant to be “Yours,” and the pleasure is all “Theirs.”
Bell Springs Winery is a family-owned and operated winery located only 25 minutes from Austin. Bell Springs Winery offers something for everyone, with an extensive list of white, rose, and red wines available for tasting by the glass or bottle. Enjoy views of the vineyard, indulge in chef-prepared food, and relax with local, live music. Your entire family is always welcome as Bell Springs Winery is kid and dog friendly.
Bending Branch Winery was founded in 2009 by Robert W. Young, M.D., his wife Brenda, and their daughter Alison. Bending Branch Winery marries traditional old world winemaking techniques with the modern science of Cryo-Maceration and Thermoflash fermentation to make Next World Wines. These innovative techniques extract the best qualities – color, flavor, tannins- to create bold yet balanced red wines. Bending Branch Winery’s signature grape is the Tannat, which has quickly emerged as a true champion of Texas terroir. Stop by their 56 acre scenic area property outside of Comfort and enjoy a glass.
It’s all about family at Bent Oak Winery. The Catalano’s contemplated building a winery for many years then eventually took the leap and created Bent Oak Winery. As they shook hands on a deal and celebrated with a glass of wine, they looked out over an idyllic vineyard; standing stalwart in the middle, they saw a majestic weathered oak. They took inspiration from the oak tree as their roots in Texas, Florida, and California tie them together, along with their commitment to creating accessible, balanced, and high-quality wines. They welcome you into their tasting room, where their wine ambassadors greet you; it will be like walking into your own home.
Bingham Family Vineyards is a multigenerational wine growing family that promises a joyful experience through 100% Texas-grown and crafted estate wine. Explore their large selection of Texas-grown varietal wines at any of their tasting room locations – Fredericksburg, Grapevine, or Meadow. When exploring Texas wine, at times, it can be hard to know where the wine was grown and crafted. At Bingham Family Vineyards, you can rest assured that you are enjoying 100% Texas grown and produced wine from the Binghams and their crew.
Micheal and Melissa Poole created Blue Lotus Winery out of their love of fine wines. After traveling the world and sampling different wines and meads, head winemaker and owner Michael Poole decided to bring the world of great wine with him to Texas. Blue Lotus Winery is dedicated to offering the finest wines and meads. Taste and experience their offerings for yourself and enjoy some time playing with their board games, puzzles, life-sized chess set, and giant Jenga set.
Winemaker Gary Elliott and his family have owned and operated Driftwood Estate Winery since 2002, with the vineyard in production since 1998. The California connection remains in the family, as Elliott’s sister Patty Bello and her husband operate B&E Vineyard in Paso Robles, California. Driftwood Estate Winer embodies the spirit and heart of Texas and radiates Texas pride in its production of high quality wines made from Texas grapes. The winery sits on a bluff overlooking the Estate Vineyard and the Hill Country from which visitors can enjoy award winning wines. The view from the bluff is spectacular, and the grounds are perfect for relaxing with your favorite glass or bottle of Driftwood Estate wine.
The Duchman Family Winery was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman to bring world-class winemaking to Texas. The Duchman’s learned that Texas has a similar weather pattern to Tuscany, which lent itself nicely to Italian grape varietals. Duchman Family Winery produces mainly Italian varietals and wine from only 100% Texas-grown grapes. The property offers unequaled views of vineyards, romantic gardens and picturesque sunsets against the rolling hills of Central Texas. Their focus is to provide the best experience Texas Wine Country has to offer.
Fall Creek Vineyards, is one of the oldest vineyard and winery in the Texas Hill Country. Established in 1975 by Ed and Susan Auler, after a trip to France to look at cattle for his family’s Hill Country ranch. The couple did visit a French cattle operation for two days and spent the next 19 days enjoying the French wine country from Reims to Burgundy to Rhone. A couple of years after that trip, the Aulers put a test plot on the corner of their ranch. Fall Creek Vineyard was one of the first Texas Hill Country wineries and continues to be at the forefront of the Texas Wine Industry. Visit Fall Creek Vineyard for a tasting, tour, or picnic.
Farmhouse Vineyard is run by the Seaton’s and Furgeson’s, a brother-sister combo from a multi-generational farm family that farms 7,000 acres of row crops and four vineyards at three sites. Farmhouse Vineyards is proud to supply grapes for some of the largest wineries in the state to the most boutique, including their own winery in Johnson City. Stop by the FHV Marketplace & Tipsy Trailer to sample their run of boutique wines.
Fiesta Winery is nestled deep in the heart of Texas on the Baxter Ranch along the Colorado River. The ranch has been family owned for six generations. Stephen Baxter decided to grow grapes on the family land, and soon with the help of his wife and daughter, Fiesta Winery began. Fiesta Winery has 4 locations – one in Bend, two in Fredericksburg, and one in Marble Falls. Each tasting room offers a fun experience with friendly staff who encourage guests to drink the wine they enjoy, instead of the one you’re supposed to.
Fredericksburg Winery has and still is a Switzer family owned and operated winery. Several family members including, three brothers and their wives, a nephew, a niece, and a grandmother make the winery what it is today. Fredericksburg Winery makes a full spectrum of red and white wines – dry, semi-dry, medium-sweet, sweet, one-step further to late harvest dessert wine, and two steps further for a port wine and a sherry. Any wine lover is bound to find a wine they’ll enjoy.
Grape Creek Vineyards was one of the first wineries on Hwy 290 in the mid-1980’s and is owned by the Heath family. Grape Creek Vineyards has crafted dazzling, award winning wines for nearly three decades, earning over 40 Double Gold and Gold medals from top International competitions. The winery has planted estate vineyards, expanded and developed their state of the art winemaking facilities, and created an exceptional visitor experience in their “Tuscany in Texas” tasting rooms. For the wine lover who wants the full experience of a working estate vineyard and winery, Grape Creek Vineyards is the winery for you!
Hawk’s Shadow Winery is a family-owned and operated winery that sits on a bluff overlooking beautiful Texas Hill Country views. Their uniquely Texan terroir produces strong character and qualities in the grapes grown around the estate, which gives their wines a richness and depth as distinctive as Texas. Owners Doug and Carol have always been horse people and have had horses, cows, donkeys, and domesticated feral cats since 1982. It was fitting to name their estate after a beloved horse, described as an affectionate lap dog trapped in the body of a 16 hands tall quarter horse. Though Hawk passed away in 2010, his spirit lives on along the hills and creek beds of the estate he knew as his home. Hawk’s Shadow Winery is dog friendly and invites you to bring your four-legged friends with you as you find a shaded table and relax over a bottle of wine.
Brian and Jennifer Heath, Heath Sparkling Wines and Grape Creek Vineyard owners set out to create the first winery in Texas dedicated to sparkling wines. Heath Sparkling Wines showcases vintage sparkling wines in an architecturally stunning tasting room with modern, clean lines and gorgeous vineyard views through uninterrupted window scapes. Open by appointment; your guided tasting will be unlike any other, as Heath Sparkling Wines showcases a beautiful fusion of sensory experiences highlighting the many virtues of sparkling wine.
Hye Meadow Winery is a family-run winery that will treat you like family. Their motto is “Serious Wine, Fun People.” The Hye Meadow Winery team aims to create artwork in your glass with unique blends and cutting edge techniques. Located on a gorgeous property under towering oak trees, you’ll feel right at home with their many yard games and friendly resident donkeys. Stop by and be a part of the Hye Meadow Family.
Chris and Jennifer Cobb turned their lifelong passion for wine into Kuhlman Cellars, which opened to the public in 2014. The Cobb family, including Chris’ parents, Diane and Reed Cobb, managed a small estate vineyard in the Texas Hill Country AVA before completing the winery. The name Kuhlman Cellars, refers to Kuhlman Creek which originates on the family farm and empties into the Pedernales River. The Cobb family recognizes the importance of the viticultural union between the climate and vine. The winemaking team continues the vigilant pursuit of research, experimentation, and education to produce handcrafted wines of unparalleled character & complexity. Make a reservation today and slow down, relax, and savor the wine life – vina vita.
Three men in the same family founded Lost Draw Cellars – Andy Timmons, their grape grower, and uncle to Andrew Sides, their winemaker, and Andy’s Father-in-law, Troy Ottmers. The Ottmers family has owned the property Lost Draw Cellars sits on since the 1920s. Lost Draw Cellars is committed to producing quality wines that highlight the Texas High Plains’ unique terroir. They pride themselves on planting grapes that thrive in the region’s semi-arid climate and strive to continuously improve the growing process while keeping sustainability in mind. Stop by Lost Draw Cellars and enjoy the results of this formidable working team.
Messina Hof is a family-owned business based on the three cornerstones of family, tradition and romance. Messina Hof’s history began over 40 years ago and now includes accolades, including the most awarded winery in Texas and the largest Texas wine producer with over 220,000 gallons per year. Messina Hof Winery has seen two generations of the Bonarrigos family continue the legacy of world-class wines and hospitality as they pioneer Texas wine to new and innovative frontiers.
The Turbeville Family first began making wine back in the early 2000s. This love of wine soon became Narrow Path Winery and Vineyard. Nestled in the hills above the Williams Creek Valley you’ll find Narrow Path Winery quietly tucked away from the hurried pace of the 290 Wine Road. Narrow Path offers an intimate tasting experience with distinctive, handcrafted wines in limited bottling made onsite with estate-grown fruit. Give them a call today and book your reservation.
The Kuhlken family has been growing grapes in The Texas Hill Country since 1995 when Larry and Jeanine first planted vines. Their children, Julie and David, founded the winery in 2006 and produced their first wine in the same year. Pedernales Cellars is dedicated to world-class wines, sustainable practices, and Texas Hill Country hospitality. Call or book your reservation online and ask if you can tour the underground barrel cellar. Then enjoy a glass of their benchmark Tempranillos and Viogniers while on the tree-covered deck.
Perissos Vineyard & Winery is the only vineyard located in the decomposed granite soils in the Texas Hill Country. The family vineyard and winery has 16 acres of vines with 13 different grape varieties. Sustainability stays a top priority with techniques such as fertilizing with compost and compost teas in the vineyard, and recycling rainwater with our 65,000 gallon rainwater collection tank. Their terroir allows them to grow and produce wines of great character and extremely high quality. Head to Perissos Vineyard & Winery and experience their 100% Texas grown wine program!
Pillar Bluff Vineyards is a family winery that specializes in French varietals. The dolomite in their soil increases minerality in all of their wines. Enjoy a glass while sitting in their gazebo surrounded by wildflowers.
Pontotoc Vineyard is a family endeavor. Husband and wife team, Carl and Frances Money purchased the estate in 2003 and immediately began restoring the sandstone farmhouse and clearing the fields with the vision of planting a vineyard. While Carl was an attorney, he had first learned viticulture while studying abroad in the wine district of Vienna, Austria. In the first few years of Pontotoc Vineyard, with friends and family’s help, especially Carl’s father, five acres of Tempranillo vines were planted. The entire Money Family has been involved in all parts of the winemaking from turning the soil, planting and pruning the vines, harvesting the fruit, and making and bottling the wine. The Money Family is a fifth-generation Texas farming family and takes great pride in bringing the fruit of their labor to your table.
Sitting on 15.8 acres in nearby Hye, Texas Ron Yates represents seven generations of Texas farmers and winemaking that is rooted in tradition. Ron Yates is a sister winery to Spicewood Vineyards, which has been filling Texans’ glasses since 1992. Visit the tasting room and soak up the Texas sunset on their outdoor patio while enjoying award-winning wines.
Saint Tryphon (pronounced tree-fon) Farm & Vineyards was developed from three core loves: Texas, the great wines of the world, and good people. We are a family farm: Silouan, Mary Elizabeth, and Anna Bradford, along with their horses, sheep, and chickens. From the farm to the vineyard, the team works to create harmony within itself with compost, rigor & invention. The team likes to boast that they are a bit interesting, wild, and authentic, just like their wines! Their tasting room is open, and reservations are recommended for parties of 8 or more.
Slate Mill Collective was once a flour mill located on the edge of Live Oak Creek in 1851. In 1964, Van Chester and Peggy Pagel Brown acquired the land, used primarily for farming while raising their three children. By 1990, Peggy began making the family’s first wines. After Van Chester and Peggy Brown’s deaths, the land was divided between the three children, and Dabs Brown Hollimon inherited the current vineyard land. Currently, Slate Mill Wine Collective supports a diverse group of winemakers and wines grown throughout Texas with a single shared tasting room experience. Try various wines from around the state!
Solaro Estate Winery is the culmination of generations of winemaking and passion for creating only the finest wines. The “S” in Solaro traces back to the ancient residence of the Solaro family in Italy and is the shape of Austin’s Barton Creek as it borders the Solaro Estate. The Estate has been in the Solaro family since 1909 as a working, self-sufficient farm dedicated to agriculture. With the rocky soil and the Texas heat, they knew the ultimate use of their family’s land would be vineyards. The Estate vineyards you see today result from detailed planning and using the most ultra-modern equipment and finest technology; the winery was specifically designed to maximize the production of limited quantities of complex and exquisite wines. Take in the clear spring waters of Barton Creek as you sip on Texas wine.
When Ron Yates bought the Vineyard in 2007, he brought his Texas family’s heritage and mixed it with a passion for Spanish wines. The Yates family and our Spicewood Vineyards team are dedicated to making the highest quality wines with Texas-grown grapes. Nestled in the Texas Hill Country amongst 32 acres of vines, take a load off and enjoy great wine in a relaxing atmosphere. Winemaker tours and tastings are available by reservation.
Greg and Deborah Gissler invite you to join in their passion for winemaking at Stoneledge Winery & Vineyard. Situated on a hill, the winery has beautiful views of the Texas Hill Country and a unique way of winemaking. The winery and barrel room buildings are both excavated into the side of a North-facing hill to help facilitate desired cool temperatures in the summer heat. A unique gravity-fed method is utilized from the crushing process all the way up to moving wine in our barrels. Stoneledge Winery & Vineyard is currently offering bottle sales for on-premise consumption. Enjoy a bottle of wine on the edge of their ledge overlooking the Hill Country, in the hill country terrace, or while playing horseshoes. The vineyard can be opened upon request for you to walk through with your wine.
Stone House Vineyard sits atop a high bluff overlooking Lake Travis in the Texas Hill Country. Angela and the late Howard Moench planted their first vines in 1999. While Stone House Vineyard is rooted in Texas, its heritage stretches to Australia, the home country of founder Angela. She continues to source grapes, winemaking techniques, and her winemaker from the Barossa Valley in Australia to craft wines that blend Texas and Australian methodologies and flavors to showcase two viticultural rising stars. Stone House Vineyard strives to produce complex and diverse wines from multiple locations that best express those appellations’ character. Make your reservation today!
Texas Heritage Vineyard started as a dream for owners Billy and Susan Johnson. They dreamed of a family vineyard and winery that could be passed down to future generations. The first vines were planted in 2015; twelve and a half acres have been planted to date. The Johnsons are long time music enthusiasts and supporters, which is why their event calendar is always full of Texas musicians. Stop in and enjoy some music while you sip on Texas wine!
Texas Hills Vineyard has a motto, “better wine through chemistry.” Founders Gary and Kathy Gilstrap have a background as pharmacists, which is where their innovative approach to winemaking of integrating traditional techniques along with modern techniques stems from. When the couple first toured the property now known as Texas Hills Vineyard, they compared the soil with their friend’s vineyard in Tuscany and found it virtually the same. That soil has produced grapes that created two gold medal-winning wines, Kick Butt Cab (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) and Toro de Tejas (Tempranillo).
Legato, in Italian, means a gathering of family or friends. Texas Legato invites you to bring your family and friends for a Texas Hill Country wine experience. Legato is also a musical term for smooth and connected notes or performance. Owners, Sulynn and Bill Bledsoe, aim to create smooth 100% Texas grown and produced wines. The winery is noted for its Malbec, Family Reunion, Sweet Peggy Sue, and GCP Mirtillo wines. Our Family Reunion is a blend of every red grape that came into the winery each vintage year.
Torr Na Lochs is the vision of childhood sweethearts Blake and Karen DeBerry come to life. The couple purchased the 180-acre ranch while living in Scotland. The name is inspired by their time there, which loosely translates from Gaelic to Hill Over Lakes. The winery has breathtaking views as it sits high above the Colorado River Valley overlooking both Inks and Buchanan Lakes. As native Texans, the couple is committed to wines made from only Texas-grown fruit. Indulge in an authentic Texas wine experience at Torr Na Lochs!
A 2013 trip to Tuscany inspired Dan and Sue Schulse to open Turtle Creek Olives and Vines. The tasting room works collectively with 160-acre private property, orchard, vineyard and working farm, Turtle Creek Olive Grove, located eight miles from the tasting room. For Turtle Creek Olives and Vines, family is the heartbeat and pulse at the center of everything they do. While the vineyard, winery, and farm are designed to promote Kerrville’s agriculture and tourism, they are also an example to their children that success follows suit with ethical practices and hard work. Book your reservation for a wine tasting or place your order for curbside pickup. Curbside offerings include local pasture-raised, no antibiotic or hormone-added lamb meat, local frozen whole-loaf bread, authentic family-selected olive oil buy-one-get-one, and discounts any wines from our list with 10% off three bottles and 15% off cases.
Westcave Cellars Winery & Brewery is family-owned and operated. The vineyard was first established in 1999 and has now grown to nine acres producing nine different varietals. Westcave Cellars Winery & Brewery specializes in producing 100% Texas wines in a French style. Make a reservation for a wine tasting today and share in the experience and love of wine, one taste at a time.
At William Chris Vineyards, the focus is on the low impact of 100% Texas-grown wine. Before their partnership, both Bill Blackmon and Chris Brudrett had numerous years of growing grapes in Texas. One night they sat together at a Hill Country bar and discovered their shared philosophy for winemaking. They believe Texas wines should represent the terroir and growing conditions of the Lone Star State.
In a world of outsourcing and disconnection from history, family-owned and operated vineyards work hard to preserve traditions and produce products that are worthy of their names. You don’t have to travel far to find wineries producing wines that would make any Texan proud. Visit the Texas Hill Country this winter or spring and explore the booming wine industry. You don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to love great Texas wine. Family-owned wineries are always happy to educate and introduce guests to all that the Texas wine industry has to offer.