Duchman Family Winery is close to Austin, Texas and only a 30 minute drive out of the city to Driftwood. Ranch road 12 turns onto Farm to Market road 3237 just over 9 miles before you turn left onto Ranch to Market road 150, rolling along for 4.6 miles reaching Duchman Family Winery. It’s hard to put into words the feeling when you turn off FM 150 onto the grounds, a very Tuscan vibe. The venue is beautiful and romantic, the perfect setting for a wedding!
The winery was founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman who had a mission to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. The wine is made and bottled in house by winemaker, Dave Reilly. Dave’s philosophy is to let the grape variety speak for itself and they varieties he chooses all grow well in the Texas climate.
An aristocracy of Texas wines has been steadily growing and continues to bloom every season. Glorified by true Texas patriots there are wine events across the state that range from intimate dinners and afternoon concerts to seasonal tours of weekend road trips during the year to visit regional wineries. There are many Texas wineries and at Duchman you have a great atmosphere, beautiful surroundings, excellent service, and delicious food.
The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit where cooler temperatures and a more global climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties. Duchman works with growers in the Texas High Planes AVA to produce Texas grapes that allow their winemaker, Dave Reilly, to make Texas wines such as Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto.
Vermentino is a white wine grape variety, primarily found in Italian wine. It is widely planted in Sardinia, in Liguria primarily under the name Pigato, to some extent in Corsica, and in Piedmont under the name Favorita.
Vermentino is sometimes harvested early to preserve its acidity and generally enjoyed young. It is mostly light in body, although some producers push for a second fermentation and store in oak barrels for a more complex flavor. Vermentino is widely recognized as one of the finest wines made in Texas and Duchman Family winery makes a beautiful Vermentino.
The 2017 Duchman Vermentino is an award-winning wine, scoring 90pts and winning Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition! This Vermentino is truly a world-class white wine.
I love to say this wine about as much as I like to drink it. A Tuscany headliner, yet it is also grown throughout central Italy and the world. A deep and dark colored grape yielding bright red wine after pressing.
The sangiovese grape loves limestone, enter Texas. Limestone is prevalent throughout the Texas Hill Country where the sangiovese grape thrives.
The Duchman Reddy Vineyard Sangiovese 2016 has a raspberry flavor with an earthy, woodsy finish. It is a thin-skinned, high-acid grape that performs well after aging in oak. Don’t be fooled by the thin coloring as the flavor really does have a punch.
Dolcetto is an Italian red wine grape variety widely grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. It is a little player in its hometown stacked against the bigger players: Barbera or Nebbiolo. It fits in nicely being cultivated and ready to drink while waiting for the heavy hitters to age.
The Dolcetto grape ripens sooner, is relatively easier to cultivate and also relatively hardy to withstand the Texas climate. A perfect grape for the newer vineyards while at the same time being easier on the pocket of the clientele.
The Duchman Dolcetto 2017 is a lovely deep ruby almost purple wine that offers aromas of red plums and blackberries, balanced with low levels of acid. This one is also enjoyed young, consumable within a few years after it has been harvested.
Take a tour
Take a free 20 minute tour which happens hourly. A staffed sommelier will take you towards the back of the winery with a generous view through windows overlooking the Texas Hill Country as they explain their winemaking process.
Where to eat?
They have picnic tables outdoors in the shade of the oaks to purchase a bottle and have a picnic. Be sure to bring a blanket if they are busy, you can find your own spot under a shady tree. Duchman Family Winery has a large outdoor seating area with lots of seating options for social distancing.
The Italian restaurant next door to the winery is a great complement to the Duchman Family Winery. This is the traditional ideal of a small, family owned Tuscan restaurant. At Trattoria Lisina you’ll find a unique take on Italian cuisine with recipes unchanged for generations, wine bottles on every table where you can sit with your family and friends throughout the evening.
Where to stay?
There is a B&B called the Inn Above Onion Creek in Hays County about an eight minute drive to Duchman Family winery. The Inn has 12 guest rooms, including two stand-alone cottages. The rooms are named after influential area figures from around 1900, like the Hays room (for the county’s namesake), and decorated in restrained Western style with exposed brick, fireplaces, and distressed furnishings. A three-course evening meal is included with each stay.
Are they dog friendly?
Duchman Family winery welcomes dogs on their property. Furkids are welcome to accompany their pawrents anywhere in the outdoor areas. Be mindful, you must pick up after your dogs and keep them on a leash.
Is there live music on the weekends?
Kick back and relax with a glass of award-winning Duchman wine and listen to some pretty amazing local talent. Bookings will be getting back on schedule for the upcoming season.