A brand spanking new winery is in the Texas Hill Country! In fact, it’s so new that it’s still under construction! Well, that doesn’t prevent this winery entrepreneur from unofficially opening up their doors. Owners Mike & Denise Batek may have started ankle deep in the winery business with a couple of barrels over at William & Chris Winery, but now they are all in and there’s no turning back. Besides a hope and a dream, Mike is a graduate of Texas Tech’s viticulture program. Along with Jeff Ivy, the winemaker, these two gents are working on building a fine facility in Hye as well as making some great wine. The wine production building is where tasting is currently done. It is quite spacious and looks like it has capacity for their current and future needs. There are currently five wines available for tasting. All grapes were sourced from Washington, but don’t let that dissuade you from trying them (sometimes when wineries get started, they have to source grapes from out of state until they get their own vineyard situated). To our die-hard Texas wine lover readers, keep in mind that Washington has some excellent grapes. The two whites available are a Chardonnay and a Gewurztraminer blend, both 2011. The Chardonnay has about 10% Riesling for a little extra twist and is “naked” – aka unoaked. It is quite crisp and fruit forward. The Edelzwicker is the 50/50 Gewurztraminer and Riesling blend. It is quite aromatic and is excellent when served chilled. The blush wine, also 2011, is not overly sweet and is very refreshing in this Texas heat. It is a Gewurztraminer with 2% Cabernet added. The two reds available are 2010 vintages. The Sangiovese has a surprisingly good depth and complexity for such a varietal. It has about 25% Cabernet added to it. The Cabernet Sauvignon is young and fresh, and should continue to age well for a couple more years. Yes, it is good to drink now, but we think it will only improve if you let the wine gods enrich the flavor a little longer. Of course, we will feature these wines more in depth in a future blog posting. Sometime in July, Mike plans on releasing wines sourced from Texas grapes (both 2011 vintages). One will be a Viognier and the other will be a red blend of Tempranillo, Merlot, and Mourvedre. Though the tasting room and event buildings are still under construction, don’t let that hinder you from admiring their majestic oak trees that form the backdrop to this exciting new venue. It is quite spectacular! How could one ever say no to this piece of wine country? There are plans in the future to add a vineyard. Mike is thinking about starting with Touriga and Aglianico. Both grapes have shown great promise in quality and yield in the Texas Hill Country. Who knows, maybe a port will be in the works, too! There are some events happing at the winery starting in July (including a pig roast) with the official grand opening on July 27th. This winery is a great addition to Hye and the Texas Hill Country. Do make this one of your stops on your next wine trek. Cheers!

Hye Meadow Winery