Spirits

Dry Comal Creek Winery and Vineyard: Not Your Granny’s Winery (Anymore)

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Dry Comal Creek Winery and Vineyard has seen some big changes in the past few months. Under new ownership since March, gone is the winery’s “Tasting Room” selection of tchotchkes and boutique items (also noticeably absent is the winery cat, “Cheeks,” who has happily retired). In their place are streamlined furnishings, an expansive, breeze-cooled patio that overlooks the vineyard and an air of understated sophistication that this booming area, located just to the northwest of New Braunfels, has grown to expect.

Dry Comal Creek Winery sits on about 90 acres of land, off of Highway 46, midway between New Braunfels and Spring Branch. Nestled among vintage oak trees and rolling hills, the winery has big plans to make a name for itself, not only within the Texas wine community but beyond.

The previous owners of Dry Comal Creek Winery hand-picked the new owners, the Ralph Romero family of Ft. Worth and the change of ownership has been a long time in the making. After several years of negotiating, the Romeros finally took ownership this spring. The changes to the winery began almost immediately.

Your favorite Dry Comal Creek wines are still there.

Dry Comal Creek Wine

Photo: Facebook/Dry Comal Creek Vineyards and Winery

A few things, however, will remain unchanged at Dry Comal Creek. Wines that have made Dry Comal Creek famous in the Hill Country, such as their signature “frozen sangria” will remain on the menu. Also remaining is the resident winemaker, Joe Donnow, who has been at Dry Comal Creek for 8 years. The plot twist is that now Donnow will be able to flex his creative muscles with better access to Texas grapes and perhaps pushing Dry Comal Creek guests to explore a bit more refined palate.

Revitalized Social Scene

Dry Comal Creek Winery

Photo: Jenny Webster Jurica

Among the most notable changes to the winery is the revitalized social scene. On most weekends, you’ll find live music on the patio (a new stage is in progress) as well as a more varied and interesting food selection that pairs beautifully with the Dry Comal Creek wines. Children are welcome, and at the recent Mother’s Day event, the winery’s yard was teeming with children playing bean bag toss and washers, while enjoying delicious popsicles (alcohol-free, naturally). Dogs are also welcome (on leash and non-aggressive personalities only, please) as the winery looks forward to hosting a “Wine and Wag” event this summer to honor our four-legged family members.

A native Texan herself, Clarisa De Santo, the events and marketing manager for Dry Comal Creek, describes the people of Texas as a lovely combination of “prideful yet generous.” The same holds true for the winemakers of this budding Texas Wine industry. De Santo explains that the Texas winemakers are a close-knit group. Each is eager to help one another by offering advice and words of wisdom as they all navigate this (relatively) new world of Texas winemaking together.

A Good Year for Texas Wines.

Wine Barrels

Photo: Jenny Webster Jurica

There is even more good news for the Texas Wine industry. According to Sheila Laigle, the winery’s Tasting Room Ambassador and resident wine expert, Europe’s unusually harsh winter has greatly affected their grape production. This will drive up the price of European wines, making local wines, (like Dry Comal Creek) not only a more affordable option but also more prevalent.

Dry Comal Creek anticipates a big year for Texas wines, and they’re excited to be an active part of the community. Located just far enough away from the crowds of Gruene and New Braunfels but only a hop-skip-and-jump from Canyon Lake, Dry Comal Creek has become truly a destination and no longer just a pit stop on the way to the “real” Hill Country wineries farther north. Dry Comal Creek will win you over with their delicious, creative wines and their knowledgeable and engaging staff. Dry Comal Creek Winery and Vineyard is located at 1741 Herbelin Rd. in New Braunfels. Follow them on Facebook to stay in-the-know about all of their events.