Raising a Glass to Texas at World-Class Pedernales Cellars

by Bebe Brown on January 19, 2021 in Lifestyle, Drink,

Owned and operated by a sixth-generation Texas family, Pedernales Cellars is committed to crafting world-class wine from 100% Texas fruit using sustainable practices.

Pedernales Cellars’ award-winning Texas Tempranillo and Viognier are benchmarks for these grape varietals in the state. The estate vineyard, Kuhlken Vineyards, was planted in 1995 by Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken in Texas’ oldest AVA (American Viticultural Area), Bell Mountain, which lies within the Texas Hill Country AVA. In 2006, their children, Julie and David, founded Pedernales Cellars. 

Photo courtesy Pedernales Cellars

The Family

As a family affair, each brings their unique professional experiences to the bustling business. Larry and Jeanine met each other working as computer programmers on the Apollo 11 mission, a love story commemorated by a special bottling called Over the Moon Rose.

Julie (aka Dr. Julie) is a graduate of Stanford University, has a doctorate in philosophy and taught at universities in both the US and the UK. She finds that her many years of teaching and writing aid her in managing the marketing and sales of wine in the front of the house. 

David is a Rice University graduate and has an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at UT Austin, which is a strong foundation for his roles as president and winemaker. He developed his winemaking style through collaboration with a number of local winemakers as well as training through the well-respected UC Davis Viticulture and Enology certification program. 

The family is currently nurturing the next generation, most of whom are still teenagers, but already actively participating in the vineyard, tasting room and cellar.

Photo courtesy Pedernales Cellars

The Estate

Pedernales Cellars’ first wine was a 2006 Family Reserve, sourced entirely from Kuhlken Vineyards. Ground broke soon thereafter on the winery facility and tasting room, located just south of Stonewall and overlooking the scenic Pedernales River valley. 

The winery is devoted to sustainable practices and features the largest underground barrel cellar in Texas, which is kept at a steady 55-60 degrees by an environmentally friendly geothermal cooling system. Guests to the winery can tour the facility and then relax with a glass of wine on the tree covered deck with breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country.

Photo courtesy Pedernales Cellars

The Wine

Pedernales wines are sourced from both the Texas Hill Country and Texas High Plains. Harvest usually starts in late July when the family hand picks the grapes at Kuhlken Vineyards. Then, Pedernales red wines are aged in a mix of American and French oak for 12-18 months, and packaged in its sleekly designed bottles. Wines from Pedernales Cellars have won accolades on both the national and international stage, including Double Golds at both the San Francisco and the Lyon International Wine Competitions.

How to Buy

If you are looking to try Pedernales Cellars wines, one option is to order from their website.  Pedernales can ship to over 30 states, so you can get them almost no matter where you, or friends and family, live. In Texas you can also visit your local wine merchant and find a selection of Pedernales wines, most notably the iconic Texas Viognier and Texas Tempranillo. In restaurants, scan the wine list for the Cuvee 1853, a food-friendly red blend that marks the year the family settled in Texas.  

Cover: It’s a family affair at Pedernales Cellars. Courtesy photo

This article is a sponsored collaboration with Pedernales Cellars