Spirits

Hill Country Sips: 3 Wineries Worthy of a Visit in Stonewall

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Three wineries in Stonewall thrive with Texas roots that run deep – roots so deep that they are considered Texas winemaking pioneers. Read on to discover how these early Hill Country wine purveyors continue to make names for themselves today.

1. Becker Vineyards

beckerPhoto: Facebook/Becker Vineyards

Richard and Bunny Becker scratched an itch they had to find a cabin getaway close to their San Antonio home. In 1990, they found such a place in Stonewall. Marrying their passion for gardening and fine wine, the Beckers decided to plant some grapes. In 1995, they plucked the first grapes from their estate vines.

Now, more than 20 years later, their weekend getaway spot churns out more than 100,000 cases of wine per year. And with several different styles and blends of wine to choose from, no matter how many times you visit, you’ll always discover something new to like. Becker makes the perfect starting place to dip your toes into the Hill Country wine scene.

For a white wine, try the Becker Reserve Roussanne, a gold medal winner at the 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition and a silver medal winner at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition.

For a red vintage, taste the 2014 Becker Reserve Malbec – winner of a silver medal in the Houston Rodeo wine competition or the 2013 Texas Cabernet Sauvignon which brought home a gold from the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Becker Vineyards, 464 Becker Farms Road, Stonewall, (830) 644-2681; Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

2. Pedernales Cellars 

pedernalesPhoto: Facebook/Pedernales Cellars

The Kuhlken family planted the first vines at Pedernales Cellars in the early 1990s. Larry and Jeanine founded the winery and passed their passion for growing grapes and making wine down to their children, David and Julie.

The winery’s name reflects not only the respect the family has for the history of the area but also the land in which they grow the 17 acres of estate grapes. The Pedernales (which means flint in Spanish) River runs through the Texas Hill Country and after both David and Julie’s husband, Fredrik, found Indian artifacts made of flint on the property, the winery practically named itself. Using sustainable and ecologically friendly growing and management practices, the family ensures that they’ll continue to produce good wine for years to come.

Fittingly, the wines made here display characteristics of the wines of Spain and the Rhone regions but with a Texas twist thanks to the land and the climate. The winery grows a variety of grapes including tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Albarino, Mourvedre, grenache, and small amounts of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, but also uses grapes from other growers throughout Texas. Try the 2015 Viognier Reserve. The 2012 vintage won a grand gold medal at the Lyon International Wine Competition.

Try the 2015 Viognier Reserve – a gold medal winner at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition. For red lovers, try the 2014 Tempranillo Reserve, Texas High Plains – a double gold winner and named Top Texas Wine also in the Houston competition.

Pedernales Cellars, 2916 Upper Albert Road, Stonewall, (830) 644-2037; Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

3. Kuhlman Cellars

KuhlmanPhoto: Facebook/Kuhlman Cellars

Kuhlman Cellars may seem like a new upstart next to the older established wineries mentioned above. But winemaker Bénédicte Rhyne is a pioneer in her own right. Educated in France and a 10-year veteran of Ravenswood in Sonoma, Rhyne knows her stuff. She’s no stranger to the Hill Country or its terroir and crazy climate having provided consulting services to area wineries since 2002 prior to becoming a winemaker.

The Cobb family, owners of Kuhlman, got their start as winegrowers on a small family farm just north of the winery. The Kuhlman name comes from a creek that runs through the family’s property giving nod yet again to the history and heritage of the Hill Country. Doors to the winery opened in 2014 offering proprietary blends the winery creates that reflect the environment from which the grapes come.

The winery provides a unique tasting experience as well, pairing small plates and wines for a fee. These tastings are by appointment only, so be sure to make a reservation first.

Kuhlman Cellars, 18421 East Highway 29o, Stonewall, (512) 920-2675; Hours: Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Last tastings begin one hour before closing time.