Wine industry veterans opening new winery in Hye


Arrayed are some of the wines to be offered by the new Yates Winery, opening in Hye in September. Yates Winery is owned by the Yates family, which operates Spicewood Vineyards in Burnet County.

The owners of Spicewood Vineyards in Burnet County, Yates, are set to open their newest premium winery in Hye in September.

Led by owner, Ron Yates, along with the award-winning winery team from Spicewood, the new winery will make high quality wine in proximity to several other wineries on the Wine Road 290.

“We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved at Spicewood Vineyard since purchasing the winery almost a decade ago,” said owner, Ron Yates. “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.

“Spicewood Vineyard will remain committed to making Texas wine with estate-grown Portuguese and Spanish grapes. Yates will make top-notch Rhone, Spanish, and Italian style wines, along with several vineyard-designated Tempranillo wines with fruit gown in the Texas Hill Country, West Texas, Davis Mountains, and the Texas High Plains. Texas wine lovers will have a lot to choose from.”

Yates plans to offer a distinctive wine experience at a 6,000-square-foot, contemporary winery that includes a 20,000 case production facility, and an adjacent 1,800-square-foot, covered crush pad. Initially, guests will enjoy tastings of Yates premium wines on the patio overlooking the vineyards and in the production winery. They will be able to choose from eight wines to purchase by the glass or by the bottle to enjoy at the winery or while exploring the property, according to the Yates announcement this month.

In the near future, Yates plans to complete a pavilion that will serve as a tasting area with cheese and wine pairings, as well as a site for wine club and other events space—all adjacent to a relaxing swimming pool.

Also in future plans is an elegant, 5,000-square-foot tasting room, complete with a private room for library wines and cellar for private tastings. The tasting room building also is to feature an underground cellar for Gran Reserva Tempranillo aging.

“Building a completely new facility is a winemaker’s dream,” said Yates winemaker Todd Crowell. “I was able to design the winery from the ground up with the exact specifications we want to create the highest quality wines possible. We installed the finest state-of-the-art equipment such as a custom designed crush pad complete with a variable speed crusher and a programmable 'smart' press, a two-inch diaphragm pump for gentle juice and wine transfers, and fully jacketed stainless steel tanks accessible via aluminum catwalk.

“Soon, we will be doubling our tank capacity with French oak tanks and a champagne tank. The result will be excellence in the bottle.”

The winery is situated on 15.8 acres abutting Texas 290. Currently, four acres are planted primarily in Tempranillo grapevines, and an additional six acres of estate vineyards are planned. As a specialist in Tempranillo, Yates will plant that grape extensively in its vineyards, along with grapes such as Graciano and Petite Sirah.

”Beyond our estate-grown fruit, we work with well-established grape growers in Texas who share the passion for being in the vineyard to ensure we have a steady supply of high-quality grapes in a wide selection of varieties,” read the Yates winery announcement. “Yates has long-held relationships with top grape growers to source excellent fruit for its wines. Near-term vintages will include grapes such as Albariño, Grenache, Malbec, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Touriga Nacional and Viognier from top Texas vineyards like Bingham Vineyards, Bayer Family Vineyards, Martin's Vineyards, Reddy Vineyards, Seaton Farm & Vine, as well as others. In addition, Yates will source ultra-premium Pinot Noir and Zinfandel from California.”

Established in 1992, the family-owned and operated Spicewood Vineyards encompasses 32 acres of vines. The winery employs a seasoned team of winemaking experts, using start-of-the-art equipment to craft Spanish, Italian, Rhone-style wines with estate-grown and sourced grapes. Its conference center hosts weddings and special events, including those of the Spicewood Arts Society.

The new Yates location is less than 40 miles southwest of Spicewood Vineyards and will be open to guests by appointment only starting in September. For reservations, email First releases will include Albariño 2015, Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Viognier 2015, Mourvèdre Rosè 2014, Garnacha 2014, Mourvèdre 2014, Pinot Noir 2014, Tempranillo 2014 and Zinfandel 2014.

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