The Texas Hill Country is fast becoming a worthy wine destination to reckon with, and now a town commonly known as the “Pecan Capital of the WORLD” is pairing the fruits of its labor with a forward-thinking winery, gaining steam for their direct-to-consumer model. Located at the intersection of US 190 and Texas 16, Wedding Oak Winery is a member of the Top of the Hill Country Wine Trail, comprised of seven wineries, not the least of which is this gem in the crown of the town of San Saba.
San Saba, A Wine Gem in the Crown of Texas Hill Country
Wedding Oak Winery
Among the 3,500 acres of vineyards and 350 bonded wineries throughout the state of Texas, Wedding Oak Winery (established in 2012) is placing its efforts into making its home town of San Saba to wine what Myrtle Beach is to golf. With a blend of tradition and history, knowledge, and of course award-winning wine, this winery brings the type of small-town Texas charm to tasting tours that you’ve only dreamed of. Built inside a beautifully restored 1926 stone building, their tasting room is positioned on the very northern edge of Texas Hill Country.
By 2013, the production facility that allows for up to 10,000 cases of wine, was producing 3,500 cases in only its second bottling. With the extra space, owner/viticulturist Mike McHenry together with winemaker Penny Adams (recognized as the first female winemaker in the state of Texas) were then able to help other wineries with production.
Wedding Oak Winery Owners, Mike & Lynn McHenry
Getting its name from a 400-year-old oak tree still growing approximately 2.5 miles from the winery (the site of numerous weddings dating back to Native American folklore), Wedding Oak Winery is also the proud participant in a different type of union – a winery incubator arrangement with Old Man Scary Cellars.
The first of its kind in Texas, and based on similar projects in Carlton, OR and Walla Walla, WA, the incubator project works to expand Old Man Scary Cellars brand, appeal and wine varietals without the expense of reinventing the winery wheel, so-to-speak. Old Man owner, Dr. Gabe Hisel, will process his grapes at the new facility once they mature, and in the meantime, his partnership with Mike McHenry and team allows for new tasting room and additional production space for current product (such as a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon made with grapes from the world famous Beckstoffer Vineyards,) while giving the consumer a choice from two very different wineries; one contemporary and one traditional.
First Annual San Saba River Wine/Pecan Dinner & Pecan Jam, October 21, 2015
This quantity of choice does not come at the expense of quality, however. Wedding Oak Winery and Old Man Scary Cellars have the benefit of viticulture and horticulture degrees, coupled with the business foresight to diversify their varietals and produce product that will work best in the northern cusp of the Texas Hill Country terroir.
While Old Man is focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon, Wedding Oak is working with Sangiovese, Roussanne and Tannat. With the decades of Texas grapevine experience, which now-shared winemaker Penny Adams has as her resource, the two can educate consumers on the differences between grapes grown in different areas of THC and the state as a whole – isolating wines to specific vineyards and creating a tasting experience that is on par with spectacular. This leaves us believing that it is no mere coincidence that the acronym for Wedding Oak Winery is “W.O.W.”