Cheers!

2 ambitious Austin wineries blend together at new Hill Country tasting room

New Hill Country tasting room blends together 2 Austin wineries

C.L. Butaud and Wine for the People
Randy Hester of C.L. Butaud and Rae Wilson, owner of Wine for the People. Photo by Heather Gallagher Photography

Two dynamite local winemakers are blending together to open a new Hill Country tasting room. C.L. Butaud and Wine for the People are opening their doors to the public beginning December 4.

The tasting room, a joint venture between the two wine companies, will take over the former Argus Cidery space at 12345 Pauls Valley Rd. Argus closed their tasting room in May, citing the financial impact of the pandemic. 

Though the two companies are different in style, they are aligned in mission: "to cultivate education and build a connection to Texas wine." Both companies boast wine crafted of 100-percent Texas grapes, and C.L. Butaud and Wine for the People currently produce their wines at Slate Mill Wine Collective, though they both plan to bring production to Paul Valley Road in the future, notes a release.

Local wine lovers are likely to know Rae Wilson, owner of Wine for the People, and Randy Hester, who owns C.L. Butaud along with wife, Brooke. Wilson is a seasoned vet of Austin's hospitality industry where she's worked as both sommelier and consultant. Wilson's Dandy Rosé has been a smash hit and is found on wine lists across the city, proving that she does indeed make wine for the people. Hester, meanwhile, has swiftly developed a reputation for minimal yet impactful wines. The brand's Tempranillo was even awarded Texas Wine of the Year in 2016 by The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas.

So how do you blend two distinctly different wineries together? To begin, Hester and Wilson revamped the cozy interiors into a warm, modern space. A custom interior bar space is accented with an overhead lighting installation, while glass-paneled doors give the tasting room a boon of natural light. 

While visiting, wine lovers can select a $25 flight of four wines from either C.L. Butaud or Wine for the People, or a mix. Pair it with a Casero cheese and charcuterie board to enjoy onsite, or pick up portfolios from either maker to-go by the bottle. 

Reservations are encouraged in this age of social distancing, but walk-ins are still welcome, and masks are required when not seated. To book a tasting or make a reservation, email info@clbutaud.com or info@wineforthepeople.com.

Those looking to make a day of it can also hit up Revolution Spirits and Last Stand Brewing, both of which are in the same complex. And Jester King — along with its newly opened hotel — is just down the road.