In the Lake Travis area, we’re spoiled with a great selection of wines made right in our backyard. From Merlot to Chardonnay, all styles are fermented here, making for delicious wine trails just down the road from us.
And while you may be more acquainted with wineries in nearby Fredericksburg or Dripping Springs when you tour and taste, there’s a new winery on the scene in Spicewood that is looking to change the game when it comes to making wine in Texas.
“My idea is to bring a little piece of Argentina to the heart of Texas.”
Meet Bennett and Eugenia Sewell from El Gaucho Winery, the duo behind one of the freshest wineries in Texas.
A Taste of Argentina in the Heart of Texas
If you haven’t dabbled in the South American style of wine, now is the perfect chance to take a day trip out to the scenic hills of Spicewood for a glass or two of their Malbec, one of Argentina’s most famous varieties of the drink.
Nestled in the largely still undeveloped countryside of Spicewood off Kathy Lane, El Gaucho Winery is inviting to visitors no matter what your experience in wine may be. The space itself has been transformed from several acres of Texas roughage with a house on it to the spacious and beautiful spot it is today.
Bennett and Eugenia have been hard at work for almost a year building out the property and making sure the setting for serving their wines is just right … and it shows.
From the cowhide-covered floors to the outdoor ovens filled with flank steaks and spiced sausages, they have filled in even the tiniest of details to help transport you thousands of miles to Eugenia’s home country.
And when you’re sitting outside sipping a robust Reserve Malbec as you glance over the hills at the last bit of sunset, you almost forget that you’re in Central Texas and not in scenic mountain-covered Argentina.
For the Love of Wine
It was a match made in wine heaven, it seems. Ten years ago Bennett found himself in the middle of Argentina on a hunting trip, but it was his pass through Mendoza — one of the largest wine making areas in the country — that he realized his true purpose.
When he came back to Texas he decided to hire a consultant to help him set up the beginnings of what would later become El Gaucho. And that consultant that he ended up hiring? It was Eugenia, his future wife and business partner.
A master of many trades and one of the most vibrant wine ambassadors you could hope for, she has had her hand in wine making and entertaining since her time living in Argentina. But what brought both back to Austin to start this venture was the burgeoning educational opportunities for their son, and also to enjoy the new development taking place in the greater Austin area.
“We like to say ‘we’re not kid-friendly; we’re kid-enthusiastic,’ “Bennett mentions as we tour the newly landscaped plot complete with mini Stonehenge and tiny tee-pees for the kids.
Spicewood was the perfect spot to make their new winery home. After months of landscaping and decorating, El Gaucho Winery is open for you to purchase wine and enjoy tastings Thursday through Sunday.
The Real Life El Gaucho
To get the distinct flavors of Argentina in their wines, they grow and source their grapes from the South American country, with the help of a knowledgeable winemaker, Juan Carlos, a real life El Gaucho or “cowboy”.
When he’s not in the other part of the earth’s hemisphere watching after the farm, he’s in Spicewood tending the ovens and serenading visitors with his playful folk songs.
He’s a wealth of information on the subject of growing and fermenting their special grapes, such as the Torrentes variety that make colorful splashes throughout their wine selections.
Their two farms down in Argentina, Finca La Passion and Finca Austin, serve as homes away from home, and also allow in their ability to mentally transport you to this place on earth, one glass at a time.
Thursday – Sunday 12-7