We started our business incredibly small-scale. Just two stainless steel tanks and a half dozen barrels. Our young team is self-funded and self-taught. No old, inherited vineyard or retirement bank account to reinvest. Every ferment, harvest, and glass poured has taught us a lesson. Every case sold goes straight back into production, straight back into making more wine. In 2013, we made 600 cases. In 2019, we made nearly 6,000.
We acknowledge the traditional expectations of wine service but choose to rewrite the norms to better serve our community, aiming to make our wine accessible to as many Austinites as we can. You don't need a Hill Country, pastoral vineyard and stuffy tasting room with an in-house sommelier to have a good wine experience. We’re in the middle of South Austin, in a warehouse district. No vines nearby. Everyone that serves is involved in winemaking, if not one of our three winemakers themselves. And we make and price our wines with every customer in mind. No matter your experience level, whether you’re a wine novice or a life-long lover, you’ll get the same passionate service from our team. No pretense, just wine.
As an urban winery, the only things we own are our tanks, barrels, and finished wine - no vines or vineyards yet, though we work closely with our grower partners and have plans for vineyard ownership in the future. Our business model allows us to work with a huge breadth and depth of fruit from all around this vast state of ours. We’ve spent the last 8 years hunting for the best fruit and the best vineyards, never settling for anything less than excellence. Over the years, we’ve grown our list of exceptional farmers who we trust whole-heartedly to grow the best fruit they can, so we can make the best wine.
Lastly, we’re a young team with a lot of energy and curiosity. Texas is a new wine region without any defined tradition. We see many avenues available to us, in marketing and service and packaging and branding, but particularly in production. Ancestral wine philosophies and techniques are making their way back into the wine world. We made our first “natural” or “low-intervention” wine in our third vintage. These days, 100% of our wines are Texas grown grapes, native yeast fermented, and without adjustments to acid/tannin. We make natural wines with body that your old-school dad will approve of, as well as can-conditioned piquettes; wild blends and varietal wines; a range of skin contact "orange" wines and vegan, san soufre, crushable reds. The wine world is big and changing all the time, we want to explore every corner and continue to encourage the diversity of grapes, the people who work with them, and enjoy them!
GROW: We create partnerships with small, family-owned vineyards across the country by contracting fruit from their vineyards. We only work with vineyards with a holistic view of farming: non-exploitative, sustainable, and regenerative practices that benefits the entire ecosystem - not just the vines. From planting to harvest, we're in close contact with the growers and get our hands on fruit as often as possible.
HARVEST: When harvest time rolls around, we hit the road. Varying on the final wine in mind, we receive whole-cluster (berries on rachis) or destemmed grapes. Grapes are often picked in the middle of the night and immediately transported in macrobins to us on refrigerated trucks, ensuring cool conditions and preserving fruit quality.
CRAFT: Now it's winemaking time. Grapes are unloaded and our team gets their hands (and some times feet) dirty. All the winemaking happens in Austin, from fermentation, to barrel-aging, bottling, and serving. No short-cut are taken - no added sugar or gimmicky techniques. We pride ourselves on honest winemaking. Each wine is representative of its unique varietal character and growing conditions (the year, the vineyard, down to the row and the individual plant). We love to play but we never lose sight of the terroir.
DRINK: We develop our wines with accessibility and approachability in mind. You won't find white tablecloths or snobbery here. Every member of our team is involved in the winemaking process as well as service. We're incredibility passionate about education. The wine world is a big, deep pool and it can be scary to dip a toe in; we're here to guide you through it. With over a dozen wines at any time, we make a wine for every palette and every price. We love what we do and want to share what we love so much about wine with you. A unique experience only available at The Austin Winery.