Just north of Dripping Springs, but south of the Pedernales River are some spectacular Texas Hill Country views.  What a perfect place to establish a vineyard and winery!  This all family run business has done just that.  Owners Doug Reed, Tom Reed, and Chip Concklin opened up their tasting room in February 2014 and are serving some great tasting Texas wines along with generous Texas hospitality.  Tim Drake from Flat Creek has assisted with some consulting, as well.  They currently have seven acres planted on the estate with one area on its fourth leaf and the other on its ninth.  Varietals include:  Grenache, Syrah, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo,and Aglianico.  The vines look quite healthy and cared for.  As we all know, great wine starts with great grapes. Most of what is currently available for tasting has been sourced from the Texas High Plains while the estate vineyard has been maturing.  There are three whites for tasting, but by no means are these your traditional white wines.  As the owners will tell you, they make and serve “red style white wine for red wine drinkers”.  The 2011 Orange Muscat is dry with some tawny toasted notes, making it quite unique compared to other Orange Muscats in the state as this one is dry without the sweet side that traditionally is used for this varietal. The 2012 version (same vineyard, different year) labeled, Big O, has a bit more alcohol, but also tastes just as good yet completely different from the 2011.  Who thought that dry Orange Muscats could taste this good without being sweet, but the owners have done a fine job on those two.  The barrel fermented and unfiltered Chenin Blanc will initially present the buttery notes with a lovely smoothness then finishes off as citrusy.  The Texas Gal, a blend of Chenin Blanc and Muscat Canelli, has a hint of sweetness but not too much. For the reds, the 2012 Tres Robles is a blend of 78% Mourvedre and the rest comprised of Malbec and Syrah.  It’s light oak notes compliment the very strong strawberry, pomegranate and rhubarb aromas on the nose. Their local estate produced 2011 HSV is sold out but not to worry!  A new vintage is already bottled and should be released by Fall 2014.  You’ll also be in for a treat with their Wild Child 2.  It has a nice smokiness yet remains quite smooth.  They also have a Tempranillo barrel aged in Hungarian oak for twenty months….expect this one to be superb.  Twenty months is a good bench mark for the winemaker.  After all, quality cannot be rushed.  Also in the works is a Syrah that is quite herbaceous.  It, too, will be great on its own or as a complimentary blend in the future.  When we visited, they were just about ready to harvest in the next day or two as the sugar was looking good on the fruit.  We sampled some of their yet to be harvested Tempranillio grapes and they had wonderful flavors and characters for this yet to be aged juice.  You could tell that the 2014 Tempranillo is going to be great tasting wine and a keeper for the cellar!  We really enjoyed our initial visit to this up and coming rising star for Texas Hill Country Wineries.  The owners and staff (family members) are extremely friendly, make you feel comfortable and at home, and are very happy to visit with you about what is going on at the winery. Hopefully, their future crops will be fruitful and their cases will multiply!  We are definitely going back to check in and see how things progress and pick up some of the new releases. Cheers and Welcome to the Texas Hill Country Winery industry Hawk Shadow!!

IMG_4263 - Hawk Shadow Estate Winery