The stretch of state highway 29 between Burnet and Lake Buchanan is a wonderfully scenic area in the Texas Hill Country. With the granite slopes and surrounding lakes, you might wonder how could someone put a winery out here with all this rocky terrain? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find something like that out in that area though, so you could have a lovely spot to sit and sip as you enjoy the last slip of sunset tucking in at night. Well someone has! Owners Blake and Karen DeBerry purchased the 180 acre granite ponderosa about 11 years ago with the intent on retirement. Well, one thing led to another and now they have staked out their claim in the expanding Texas wine industry. Grape vines on granite you ask? Why yes! Some of the classic and great tasting old world wines in Europe come from vineyards on granite soils. Although much of the property is solid granite, there are plots that have good decomposed granite soil suitable for starting a vineyard. The 1250 foot elevation is just an added bonus for these young vines. Planting began back in 2014 with three acres of Syrah, Petite Syrah, and Malbec with plans to expand in the future. The building is quite beautiful and the tasting room is very spacious and open. The winery building was inspired after visiting another winery in Australia and as an ode to that inspiration, they have a special bottle from that winery proudly on display and highlighted on their entrance way and front porch. They have a great perch high above the surrounding Hill Country with views of Inks Lake and Lake Buchanan that you can indulge in as you sip their great wines. Plus, the roaming donkeys will be happy to great you as you drive in or out. (When you see the sign near the entrance about donkey crossing, take that literally – there are donkeys on the property and they like to roam across the area and may be taking a break on the road, so drive slowly and respect the animals.) Their inaugural selection of six wines are all made with Texas grapes. Currently, they are collaborating with winemakers from the Texas Hill Country and West Texas to help them get started with their wines. For whites, you’ll start off with the 2014 Fion Geal. It’s a six white blend that is quite clean and crisp. The chilled lemon-lime finish is refreshing during the Texas summer heat. The next white is a 2014 Roussanne. You’ll definitely pick up the nice citrus flavors with a touch of oak. The last white is a 2014 Sweet Sunset which is a 50/50 blend of Roussanne and Orange Muscat. This soft citrus wine is a sweet treat for the hot afternoons and would make a lovely addition to brunch. Rosé lovers will be pleased with the 2014 Rosé di Montepulciano. It’s a very nice, refreshing and smooth drinking Rosé that deserves to be served chilled to enhance the strawberry notes. For their fine reds, you’ll start with the Fion Dearg. This blend of Tempranillo, Mouvedre, and Carignan has spicy and smoky notes that meld with bold cherry flavors. You’ll definitely be pleased with the 2013 Sangiovese which rounds out the lineup. This last red has a nice balance of acids and tannins with subtle peppery notes in this dry wine. Future wines currently in the barrel include a Montepulciano, Dolcetto, and a red blend. Their grand opening will be September 12th, so mark you fall calendars and head out to welcome one of the newest wineries to the fold and check out all they have to offer. Their vineyard has great potential to show what the granite terroir of the Hill Country can do for the Texas grape growing industry. The potential for bold flavor profiles, aromatic fruit, and well balanced acids are positive here. We can’t wait to try the estate grapes wines in the future. This is a nice jewel to check out on your next Texas wine trekking trip. Congratulations to Blake and Karen on the start of something great in the Texas Hill Country! Cheers!

IMG_8030 -Torr Na Lochs

http://www.torrnalochs.com

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