Hill Country Sips: Drink Wine Underground at Thirsty Mule Winery

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Tony Maples Photography


Should you be cruising down Highway 183 near Liberty Hill way, you might notice a sign advertising a thirsty mule. Now, this thirsty mule isn’t an actual donkey that needs a drink. This Thirsty Mule is a winery that caters to those parched of the grape.

pourPhoto: Facebook/Thirsty Mule Winery and Vineyard

Turn down the country lane to Thirsty Mule, and you’ll immediately notice that this winery is a little different. Yes, they have vines welcoming you onto the property, but the tasting room is burrowed four feet into the side of a hill. While the tasting room sits in front of the hillside, the wine cave extends even further into the hill.  Inside, the wine bar offers a tasting menu with a nice variety of choices for all tastes. Unless you are part of a large gang, Thirsty Mule welcomes you to drop in whenever you are, well, thirsty. No reservations required. Tastings are $10 for four 1-ounce pours and your welcome to buy a glass of your favorite and stick around to sip on it afterward.

grape harvestPhoto: Facebook/Thirsty Mule Winery and Vineyard

Dan and Becca Marek own Thirsty Mule but got their start with the Mule’s big sister in Georgetown, the aptly named Georgetown Winery. Georgetown Winery made a name for itself as the first winery in Williamson County as well as the most award-winning winery in the county.

Both the Georgetown Winery and Thirsty Mule source grapes from the Texas High Plains and a four-acre vineyard located in Rockdale, Texas, as well as purchasing some from California. Thirsty Mule earned bragging rights at the 2017 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo wine competition securing two bronze medals, one for their malbec and one for their Winemaker’s Select a red blend of shiraz and cabernet.

thirsty mule labelFacebook: Thirsty Mule Winery & Vineyard

Which four wines should you choose to taste? Of course, it depends on the kind of wine you prefer, but we recommend a little bit of everything. Start with a sweet wine like the Sweet Blush, then give the two award-winning reds a try. The malbec promises hints of deep red fruit and chocolate, while the red blend finishes smooth with light tannins and a touch of oak. Finally, finish your tasting off with the Chocolate Caramel Port. We dare you not to bring this last one home. Grab some vanilla bean Blue Bell and fudge sauce on the way home. Warm the fudge sauce and add a nice splash of the port. Stir and pour over your ice cream — instant love in a bowl. Shoot, this stuff is so good you won’t even need the ice cream. Pour it into your favorite sippy cup and enjoy. Thirsty Mule Winery, 101 County Road 257, Liberty Hill; phone 512-778-5190; hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.