One of the Texas Hill Country’s best wineries is toasting to a milestone birthday this month.
Duchman Family Winery, located in a picturesque Tuscan villa-like building, has spent the past 10 years making wine from Texas-grown grapes and remaining faithful to Italian varietals — two hallmarks of the winery that the owners and winemaker plan to continue doing in the future.
“I can’t believe we’re already celebrating our 10-year anniversary,” proprietor Dr. Stan Duchman said in a press release. “We simply had a passion to bring fine, authentic wine to the Central Texas area, and it’s amazing how much it has grown.”
He and his wife, Lisa, turned over the winemaking to Dave Reilly in 2009, who kept the focus on signature varietals like trebbiano, vermentino, sangiovese, dolcetto, montepulciano and aglianico. They are marking the milestone with a sold-out wine dinner at Duchman, located at 13308 FM 150 in Driftwood, on Friday.
Last October, we featured Duchman Family Winery in a story about seven Hill Country wineries that are taking Texas wines to the world stage. Here’s what we had to say about them:
When Duchman Family Winery winemakers Mark Penna and Dave Reilly — who took over the program a couple years before Penna died in 2011 — were approached with the then-unheard of mission of focusing on Texas-grown Italian varietals, they took on the challenge with gusto. They’d been swayed by Stan and Lisa Duchman, who started up the winery in 2004 after a love affair with the wine-heavy culture of Italy.
Penna, followed by Reilly, let the award-winning wines speak for themselves. Reilly now finds vermentino, montepulciano and aglianico and Duchman’s other Mediterranean varietals to be the future of Texas wines, and general manager Jeff Ogle couldn’t agree more.
“Aglianico is the varietal with the most potential in Texas, although a lot of people say it’s tempranillo,” he says, noting that Reilly has helped to build likely the largest crop of aglianico outside of Italy.
Duchman’s fierce focus on Italy carries over to the winery building itself, a stately stone-and-stucco structure mirroring a Tuscan villa. Its scenic, almost otherworldly design has made it the location of many Hill Country weddings. And it’s also right next door to an Italian restaurant, Trattoria Lisina, for an easy wine-and-dine day trip.