Duchman Family Winery
Duchman Family Winery
13308 FM 150 W
Phone: (512) 858-1470
Contact: Bill Elsey
The Duchman Family Winery was co-founded in 2004 by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country. Like many winery owners today, their passion for wine and winemaking grew out of their love for the great wines of Europe and the U.S. and their longstanding friendships with many of the great restaurateurs and sommeliers.
The Duchmans have had the privilege of visiting some of the great wine-producing regions of the world from the revered producers of Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay from California to Oregon as well as enjoying days of conversation with some of the prestigious owners and winemakers from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Italy.
Italy is where the Duchmans shared some of their most thrilling food and wine experiences and it was in the land of Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Aglianico, and Vermentino that they found the inspiration that would ultimately take shape with the Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, Texas, about 20 minutes southwest of downtown Austin.
Their love of the unique Italian grape varieties as well as similar weather patterns to Texas inspired them to work with viticultural consultant Bobby Cox and growers in the Texas High Planes AVA to produce grapes that would allow their winemakers, Dave Reilly (right) and Mark Penna, to experiment with making wines like Vermentino (grown primarily in Sardinia and along the Italian riviera) and Sangiovese (raised primarily in Tuscany but also throughout Italy) and Dolcetto (grown in northwestern Italy in Piedmont and Val d’Aosta).
This year alone, five years from the first vintage at the winery, the Duchman Family Winery Vermentino was named the Texas Monthly magazine “wine of the month” and the Duchman Family Winery Dolcetto brought home a double-gold medal from the prestigious San Francisco International Wine competition.
While the Duchmans have parted ways with their previous partners and now are the sole proprietors of the estate, they continue to rely on their beloved winemakers Dave Reilly (above, right) and Mark Penna (below, left), who have been making wine at the Duchman Family Winery since the first vintage in 2004.
The winery continues to source the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA, where cooler temperatures and more “continental” climate are ideal for the production of fine wine made from Italian grape varieties.
But as the winery grows, the Duchmans have also continued to experiment with a wide variety of grape types and remain steadfastly committed to their goal of producing fine wine in Central Texas using Texas-grown fruit exclusively.
The Duchmans also remain fully committed to the tradition of good old Texas entertaining (with a sprinkling of Italian hospitality) that was established with the building of the events center adjacent to the barrel room where they host events from weddings to wine education classes.
The newly revamped tasting room, managed by Certified Sommelier & Certified Specialist of Wine Bill Elsey (below, right), remains one of the top wine destinations in Texas and continues to draw scores of locals and visitors alike during the week and on weekends. All of the winery’s current releases can be sampled and purchased at the winery’s tasting room and the estate’s beautiful Italianate villa and grounds are open to visitors who can enjoy their wines and gourmet cheeses and charcuterie (also available for purchase at the tasting room) seated at the estate’s rustic picnic tables: a slice of the Italian countryside in Central Texas.
The Duchman family also owns a distribution company which brings fine Italian wines to Texas called D’Amore Wine Selections. Among other wines they represent in the fine state of Texas, they are the proud Texas distributors of the Italian wine portfolio of legendary importer Kermit Lynch and one of Europe’s most prized wine portfolios, Marc de Grazia selections, which represents some of Italy’s most famous winemakers from Piedmont and Tuscany. The Duchman Family Winery labels are also distributed through their distribution company.
Where and whenever you catch up with the Duchmans, one thing is for certain: you’ll always find a smile on their faces and something good to drink in their glasses!
Winemaker: David Riley
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