Add another stop to the long and growing list of must-visit Texas Hill Country wineries. Hawk’s Shadow Winery, which can be found down a narrow, winding road west of Dripping Springs, held an open house the first weekend in November to introduce its wines to the public.
Owners Doug and Tom Reed and Chip Concklin first planted grapes on the 76 rolling acres in 2009. “My brother and I enjoyed wines and were often in California on business,” says Doug Reed. “We did lots of wine tastings out there, then started collecting wines. We had the property here and decided to plant some grapes and see what happened.”
One afternoon,while looking through a glass panel on the front door of the house, the owners saw the shadow of Hawk, a horse, standing on the other side. Someone snapped a photo, and a name was born.
The vineyards are planted with seven different types of grapes, including Grenache, Tempranillo and Syrah. Reed calls 2013 an “exceptional year” and has high hopes for the wines to come. The partners sold their first grape harvest, in 2009, and the wine made from them won awards. Since then, they have had ups and downs, with disappointing harvests in 2010 and 2012, but the 2011 harvest yielding the HSV estate vine released at the open house.
The Reeds have been assisted along the way by Tim Drake, winemaker for Flat Creek Estate in Marble Falls, and Chris Brundrett, of William Chris Winery in Hye, Texas. Doug calls this kind of cooperation typical for the wine industry — especially in Texas. “They helped keep us out of trouble, and our approaches to wine-making have good synergy. We consider ourselves on the inventive side, which is one advantage to being a small winery. We’ve had more hits than misses so far.”
Ultimately, the winemakers want to grow to a 5,000-case winery and stay there. “We want to maintain quality and improve every year. We’re passionate about that,” says Doug.
The winery name came from one of the Reeds' horses, named Hawk. The family began boarding its horses on this property in 1985, purchased the land in 1989 and then built a house. One afternoon, they looked through a glass panel on the front door of the house and saw the shadow of Hawk standing on the other side. Someone snapped a photo, and a name (and logo) was born.
Another lucky accident created what has become Hawk’s Shadow's signature pairing. At a tasting event, the winery inadvertently served carrot cake while pouring the Orange Muscat. The two turned out to go together quite well (we tested it out for you — they do) and are now a feature at tasting events.
Currently, the winery offers tastings by appointment, including pourings of the HSV and Orange Muscat and barrel tastings of 2012 Mourvedre wines.
In March, a new tasting facility will open on a hillside overlooking the lower vineyard, Dead Man’s Creek and the Hill Country. Meanwhile, the Orange Muscat is for sale at the winery and at Hye Market.