Texas wine veteran opens namesake Hill Country winery, Yates

Contributed by Yates. Yates is a new Hill Country winery from a veteran of Texas wine, with a specialty of tempranillo.

Contributed by Yates. Yates is a new Hill Country winery from a veteran of Texas wine, with a specialty of tempranillo.

When the 29-year-old Ron Yates bought Spicewood Vineyards in 2007, he made good on his promise to make it a serious destination for Texas-made Spanish grape varietals like tempranillo — but he’s fulfilling a very different dream with the September opening of Yates, a winery carrying his family name.

A little more than 30 minutes away from Spicewood Vineyards and located along U.S. 290 with other prominent Hill Country wineries, Yates is a 6,000 sq. ft. winery that will be able to process 20,000 cases of wine in its production facility and offer 8 wines by the glass or bottle in the tasting room once it opens next month.

“We’ve learned a lot from our success at Spicewood and will use that experience to create this new, namesake winery with a different focus,” Ron Yates said in a press release.

He noted that while he wants Spicewood Vineyards to continue its focus on “estate-grown Portuguese and Spanish grapes, Yates will make top-notch Rhone, Spanish and Italian-style wines” — while putting an ever-bigger spotlight on Texas-grown tempranillo, the versatile, heat-loving grape that many Texas wine experts, including Yates, say is the varietal that will come to define the state.

“As a specialist in tempranillo,” he plans to plant that grape extensively in the Yates vineyards, along with grapes such as graciano and petite sirah, according to the release. The winery, totaling nearly 16 acres, has plenty of land for estate-grown varietals.

“Texas wine lovers will have a lot to choose from,” he said in the press release.

And for them, he and his winery team from Spicewood Vineyards are planning to make the Yates winery a destination, as so many wineries in the Hill Country have become. The 5,000 sq. ft. tasting room will come “complete with a private room for library wines and cellar for private tastings,” according to the release; in the future, there will also be a pavilion for tastings, wine club meet-ups and other events. A swimming pool will be nearby.

All of it is brand-new. Yates winemaker Todd Crowell was “able to design the winery from the ground up with the exact specifications we want to create the highest quality wines possible,” he said in the release. “We installed the finest state-of-the-art equipment… The result will be excellence in the bottle.”

The new winery is starting with nine wines, including a 2015 Albariño from the Texas High Plains, a 2014 Mourvèdre from the Texas High Plains and a 2014 Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley in California.

Yates is located at 6676 U.S. 290 W., Hye. For more information, visit facebook.com/yateswines.


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