Come next spring, Central Texas wine lovers will have another vineyard and winery to tour when Hawk’s Shadow Estate Winery opens a tasting room on a sprawling hillside property, just north of Dripping Springs, that already hosts a couple of vineyards and the winery.
In the meantime, wine fans can get a sneak peek of what Hawk’s Shadow will become – and what it already produces. A two-day open house this weekend debuts the 2011 HSV Estate Red, as well as offers tastes of some of the other wines still in barrels, such as a mourvedre. Besides the Estate Red, on Saturday and Sunday visitors can enjoy the also-bottled Orange Muscat.
For the three owners of Hawk’s Shadow – two brothers, Doug and Thomas Reed, and their brother-in-law, Chip Concklin – the winery has been a long time coming. Doug Reed and his wife have owned the land that became Hawk’s Shadow for 24 years, at first using it as the stomping grounds for their mischievous horse, the first Hawk’s Shadow, before building their home on it in 2003 and the first vineyard in 2005.
All three men came from very different backgrounds, the Reeds from technology, Concklin from pharmaceuticals. But they were united by a passion for wine, and with the building of the second vineyard in 2010, got to work harvesting the grapes and figuring out what kind of wines they wanted to produce.
Doug Reed said they received a lot of help from Tim Drake, winemaker at Flat Creek Estates, who became almost like another member of the family. Hawk's Shadow joins a handful of other wineries in the Hill Country that include Flat Creek.
With about 2,300 to 2,500 cases of wine to Hawk’s Shadow's name, it's a very small venture so far, but the Reeds and Concklin hope to get the winery producing up to 5,000 cases someday – an obstacle this year because of unpredictable Texas weather.
In addition to growing grapes on 7 acres of vineyard on the property, Hawk's Shadow's winemakers bring in the rest of their fruity ingredients from around Texas. That proved a problem in 2011 and has been again this year, when a freeze in the high plains in the northern and western part of the state meant "the harvest was almost nothing," Doug Reed said.
Although he, his brother and Concklin had hoped for 2,600 cases of 2013 wine coming out of Hawk’s Shadow, there will only be about 800 cases. Still, they've got some tempranillo, shiraz and other wines waiting to be bottled – and tasted. Just keep an eye out for that big grand opening party in the spring.
The open house is from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 7500 McGregor Ln. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/HawksShadow.