1419 Burnet County Road 409
Spicewood, TX 78669
After the storm this week in Central Texas, Friday was a beautiful reprieve. My wife had the day off, so we decided to start our journey through The Hill Country wine region of Texas. Our first stop was Spicewood Winery. Spicewood was founded by Ed and Melinda Manigold. They grew their modest 1.5 acre vineyard to 17 acres before selling to Ron and Brad Yates in 2007. Texas wine lovers will miss Ed’s Sauvignon Blanc, and we wish him and Melinda good travels in their retirement.
The new owners of Spicewood walked right into one of those growing seasons that try the souls of Texas vintners. July 2007 brought rain and more rain to Texas. Grapes that are usually harvested in July and August were not brought in until September, and most of the crop was lost. To keep the winery running at full speed, winemaker Jeff Ivy brought in grapes from Washington and California to supplement estate production.
Spicewood is currently offering 11 wines, five produced using estate grown grapes and six made from imported grapes. The 2006 Sauvignon Blanc made from Columbia valley grapes and Yakima Valley Chardonnay were our favorites made from imported grapes. The estate offerings include an unoaked Chardonnay, Semillon Reserve, a barrel fermented Chardonnay, a Blush, and a Cabernet Claret.
The 2007 Hill Country Estate Chardonnay was fermented and aged on the lees for 8 months in 65% stainless steel and 35% neutral French Oak. Lightly tropical with flavors of pineapples and a hint of cream, this is a pleasant drink for $13.99.
The Cabernet Claret is an extremely light in color, looking essentially like a rose, and in fact, it also tastes like a rose. As a Cab, the wine is far too light, but as a drink in a glass, this wine would go well with a plate of Texas barbeque, and at $9.99, it does not break the bank to give it a try.
The most popular wine at Spicewood is their Bluebonnet Blush, and it’s $9.99. Made from 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine has a full nose of apricots, strawberries, and pepper. In the mouth, the strawberries and apricots follow through. The wine’s 2.5% residual sugar is balanced with enough acid to deliver a light-bodied summer wine that would work well with grilled chicken.
Four of the wines offered by Spicewood are reserve wines. Two of the reserve wines are estate produced: a Barrel Select Chardonnay and a Semillon Reserve. The Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented in 80% new French oak for five months. This wine shows lot of oak with a little green apple and vanilla.
Our favorite wine was the Semillon Reserve. Jeff Ivy aged the wine on the lees in 75% steel and 25% new French oak for two months before bottling. In the glass, the wine offers pears and figs, and in the mouth, the wine is round with a long finish. This wine alone is worth the drive across the six cattle guards to get to Spicewood.
Located about 40 miles outside Austin, off Highway 71, Spicewood Springs Winery is a must see for anyone interested in Texas wine. When you get there tell Ellen, the goddess of the tasting room, that WineEnabler.com sent you.
Listings of all wineries in Texas
We've reviewed the wineries listed in bold.
Central Texas Wineries
Alamosa Wine Cellars • Becker Vineyards • The Bella Vista Cellars • Bell Mountain Vineyards • Brennan Vineyards • Chisholm Trail Winery • Comfort Cellars Winery • Driftwood Vineyards • Dry Comal Creek Vineyard & Winery • Fall Creek Vineyards • Fawn Crest Vineyard • Flat Creek Estate • Fredericksburg Winery • Grape Creek Vineyards • Lost Creek Vineyard • Mandola Estate Winery • McReynolds Wines • Pillar Bluff Vineyards • Poteet Country Winery • Rising Star Vineyards • Sandstone Cellars Winery • Singing Water Vineyards • Sister Creek Vineyards • Spicewood Vineyards • Stone House Vineyard • Texas Hills Vineyard • Texas Legato • Three Dudes Winery • Torre di Pietra Winery • Wimberly Valley Winery at Driftwood • Woodrose Winery
North-East Texas Wineries
Barking Rocks Winery & Vineyard • Bluff Dale Vineyards • Brushy Creek Vineyards & Winery • Carmela Winery • Collin Oaks Winery • Crossroads Winery • Cross Timbers Winery • Delaney Vineyards at Grapevine • Grayson Hills Winery • Guerra Vineyard & Winery • Homestead Winery at Denison • Homestead Winery at Grapevine • Homestead Winery at Ivanhoe • Inwood Estate Vineyards • Khatter Vineyards • Kiepersol Estates Vineyards • La Bodega Winery • La Buena Vida Vineyards at Grapevine • La Buena Vida Vineyards at Springtown • Landon Winery • Lightcatcher Winery • Lone Oak Winery • Lone Star Wine Cellars • Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards • LouViney Cellars & Bistro • Maydelle Country Wines • Paris Vineyards • Red Caboose Winery • Red Road Vineyard & Winery • San Martino Winery & Vineyard • Sunset Winery • Su Vino Winery • Sweet Dreams Winery • Tara Vineyard & Winery • Texoma Winery • Times Ten Cellars • Triple “R” Ranch & Winery • Wales Manor • Weinhof Winery • Wichita Falls Vineyards & Winery
South-East Texas Wineries
Bernhardt Winery • Bruno & George Wines • Circle S Vineyards • Colony Cellars • Frascone Winery • Haak Vinery & Winery • Lehm Berg Winery • Messina Hof Winery & Resort • Piney Woods Country Wines • Pleasant Hill Winery • Purple Possum Winery • Rosemary’s Vineyard & Winery • Tehuacana Creek Vineyards & Winery • White House Winery • Wimberly Valley Winery at Old Town Spring • Windy Hill Winery • Yepez Vineyards
West Texas Wineries
Bar Z Wines • Cap*Rock Winery at Lubbock • Delany Vineyards at Lamesa • La Diosa Cellars • Llano Estacado Winery • Luz de Estrella Vineyards • Pheasant Ridge Winery • Ste. Genevieve Wines • Val Verde Winery • Zin Valle Vineyards