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Fall Creek Vineyards
by
Kathy Sullivan

Summary: The canopy foliage of tall bald cypress trees and rows of grapevines grace the driveway leading to the building where the Fall Creek Vineyards tasting room is located. This is also a secondary residence of Susan and Ed Auler, owners of Fall Creek Vineyards. You can taste wines from one of the largest producing wineries in Texas.

Fall Creek Vineyards

We met Buzz Costner in the Fall Creek Vineyards tasting room and enjoyed our visit to the winery with him as our tour guide and tasting assistant. Buzz gives a detailed tour and knows the wines.

We learned that on a trip to France to purchase cattle for their Fall Creek ranch, Susan and Ed Auler became inspired to experiment with wine-growing on their Texas ranch. As owners of a large Hill Country ranch north of Austin, they noticed similiarities between their terroir and the vineyards they visited in France. They returned to Texas with many ideas but no cattle.

In 1975, they planted 2 1/2 acres of grapevines and in 1979 sold their first bottle of wine. The vineyard continued to grow and flourish with the purchase of 400 acres designated as Fall Creek Vineyards, and in the 1980’s Ed Auler established the “Texas Hill Country Appellation” as a region. The Aulers have several other contracted vineyards in the Hill Country which grow exclusively for Fall Creek Vineyards. Plantings of Black Spanish vines have been added for the production of their first Port wine in 2009. The on-site vineyards benefit from their proximity to the nearby Lake Buchanan. The hot summer days yield to cool nights, ideal for grape growing.

Fall Creek Vineyards     Fall Creek Vineyards

Today this large independent winery and vineyard sit adjacent to the Auler’s Fall Creek Ranch. Fall Creek Vineyards is one of the largest wineries in Texas, producing about 48,000 cases of wine.

In July 2008, the winery released two MISSION San Antonio de Valero wines: the 2007 MISSION Sauvignon Blanc and the 2006 MISSION Cabernet Sauvignon. The purpose of this special release is to raise awareness and funds for the preservation of the Alamo. A portion of each bottle sold will go to the restoration of the Alamo, and these wines will be a permanent part of the Fall Creek Vineyards portfolio.

Fall Creek VineyardsFall Creek VineyardsTasting Room

The tasting room is comfortable and includes a granite tasting counter. Behind the tasting counter, the winery displays numerous colorful t-shirts. A table in the center of the room displays giftware and there is a display of items along a sidewall. A fireplace decorated attractively with antique upholstered chairs and an oak barrel table adds to the ambiance of the room. Above the fireplace, a large Hill Country landscape painting is displayed.

Barrel Room

Anyone who enjoys history will want to note the doors to the barrel room. These large wood doors are from the Louis Pasteur Hospital stable in Paris, France. A stained glass window of grapevines adds to the character of the barrel room. Added to the grapevines, it reads, “I am the vine, ye are the branches” John 2. The barrel room is also the location for small events and classes. The winery can be booked for weddings, meetings and dinners.

Fall Creek Vineyards

Fall Creek VineyardsWines

White Wines

Chardonnay offered an aroma of apple and caramel nuances. The taste was smooth with apple, pear and caramel notes. The finish was crisp and fruity with mild oak tones. The Sauvignon Blanc 2007 had a citrus aroma with a grapefruit taste. The finish was crisp with citrus notes.

Red Wines

Meritus 2005 a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah had a ruby opaque color. The aroma was earthy with pepper notes. The smooth taste accompanied blackberry, earthy and pepper notes. The finish was crisp with bold tannins. Merlot offered an aroma of dark fruit. The taste was of dark fruit with a bit of earthiness. The fruity finish had a perceived sweetness. Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 had an aroma of blackberries with a smooth blackberry taste. The finish was fruity with soft tannins.

Enjoy a visit and wine tasting (open every day except holidays) at Fall Creek Vineyards.

Fall Creek Vineyards
1820 County Road 222
Tow, Texas 78672

GPS: N30º 54.007’ W98º 27.513’

 


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