Art at Siboney Cellars – Regina’s Flowers by Ms Zena Howe

Artist Introduction
Siboney Cellars features works from local and international artists, artisans and craftsmen.  Our first introduction highlights a wonderful installation at the winery by local artist Zena Howe. Read her interview and story for more about the work below. When you visit Siboney, be sure to view this large format work in our tasting room.

Hello!  Please introduce and tell us a little about yourself.
Zena Stetka Howe. That is not a common name you hear every day! I have been a resident of Johnson City, Texas for 17 years. Born and raised in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), I escaped to the Untied States in 1975 under Political Asylum. After a year of scrutiny from the United States Immigration for fear that my family and I were spies (can you imagine being accused of being a spy?), we were granted staying status in the United States. Finally in 1985 I became a Citizen of the United States. In the early 80’s I met my husband EJ. He was a pilot and I was flight attendant before becoming an artist.

How would you describe the type of work or art you do, broadly speaking? 
I am a visual artist and I work in many kinds of media in abstract style from paintings to sculptures to carvings to photography to printing, etc. How did I learn how to do all these things, “When you have nothing, and you want something, you have to make it yourself.” It is very important to use the right technique and materials so that each project has a lasting quality.

How big a part of your life is your passion for this work?
Wildflowers are abundant in this sleepy old town. I have been inspired over the years by this beautiful countryside and use my natural talent for art to reflect this inspiration.  I find the local landscape motivating and it leads me to see the art in what surrounds me.

OK as far as Siboney, how and when did you first become interested in Siboney Cellars?
From a gathering of my friends under the magnificent oak trees. We get together regularly for wine and great conversations!

OK now tell us about this project at Siboney!
Siboney Cellars are located in the hill country and my love for the wildflowers is obvious in my work. Making this project with wine foils seemed very appropriate for the winery.

What were some of the challenges of this project?
The foil work was very tedious and required quite a bit of time to gather the materials from family, friends and local wineries. Specifically it was a challenge to find wine bottles using green foil.

Why did you agree to do it, what are some of the motivations for your participation?
I enjoy seeing my art work at the local wineries. This project specifically will allow me to reach a broader audience.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our followers and fellow wine-lovers?
Stay thirsty my fiends and save the foils for me!!!

Do we have your permission to share this Q&A with our followers and the wine-loving public?
Yes. I am

Harvest 2021 – Fire Oak Vineyards

We have much to report on the Harvest of 2021! Barbara is nearly ready to put a bow on all the grapes coming in from our vineyard partners. We will sit down together and get a full rundown soon. Meanwhile, we can happily report that all the fruit from Fire Oak Vineyards is now safely in the cellar! This highlight reel gives you a great idea of the family and community spirit it takes to bring off a sustained hand-harvesting effort. Barbara received the harvest from Shelia Busch at Fire Oak, and we could not be more pleased. And as word reached the vineyard of the passing of Shelia’s mother in the night, family and community worked as one. With love in our hearts, the Infinite Sky overhead, and generations of children and grandchildren present, the harvest flowed. And we will do our very best to honor the effort and moments captured here in what is to follow. We applaud and commend the Busch family and their equally awesome vineyard manager, Adrienne Freeman, for the sustained, meticulous work they led.

Take a look at the harvest highlight reel!

Read More

Fire Oak – New Vineyard Partner in Central Texas

Long before we dared to dream of making it ourselves, we readily understood that wine is really made in the vineyard. We are fortunate to work with top growers like Neal Newsom and Lahey Vineyards in the High Plains. Indeed, your feedback on wines like Quatre Rouges, Solo, Tempranillo is so encouraging. Ditto the upcoming 2019 Merlot Cellar Selection! We also have a custom-farming agreement with a fantastic new High Plains vineyard grower we can’t wait to share with you next month. But today, we would like to introduce our new vineyard partners from Central Texas. And extend a special invite to their harvest festival at the end of July. Siboney looks forward to great fruit from Fire Oak Vineyard for many years.

Fire Oak Vineyard

Fire Oak Vineyard was established in 2017 (coincidentally, our very first vintage!) on a beautiful 30 acre site by Billy and Shelia Busch. Our partners, Bill and Mary Anne Waldrip, introduced us to the Busch family last year. After walking between the rows of their well-managed vineyard plots, we made arrangements to contract the fruit from this unique Texas terroir. Situated on a gentle slope of gravelly loam and clay soil at about 1500 feet elevation, this promising vineyard site is located near Goldthwaite, in Mills County. It’s just about 90 miles north of Siboney Cellars, off Highway 183. The Busch family is a delight. Shelia has boundless energy and enthusiasm, and Billy makes sure they stay well grounded — a perfect Kite-and-String arrangement! We truly admire their strong commitment to expanding the vineyard footprint for Texas wine.

Under the capable on-site management of Adrienne Freeman, with assistance from veteran grower Penny Adams, Fire Oak Vineyard has 15 acres under vine, and 8 varietals. Right in the middle of a relatively cool, wet 2021 growing season, Adrienne reports Verasion is underway. While we are guarded with our forecasts, we know the site is in strong hands. We also know that August can be a difference-maker in the Texas summer! We look forward to the next site visit. Meanwhile, here is a highlight reel from June with Shelia and Adrienne.

Harvest Festival July 31

The Busches host a grand harvest festival and blessing each year. Here is the link to their registration, you’re invited! Scheduled for Saturday July 31, it’s a great day for families of all ages, including a grape stomp, wine blending, vineyard tours and kids activities. Check out the schedule! And yes, we are delighted to be a part of this event with food and wine pairings of Siboney Cellars wines!

Siboney looks forward to great fruit from Fire Oak Vineyard for many years. And, we are happy to partner with such a wonderful Texas family. Barbara is already talking about the wonderful potential of hard-to-source Rhone varietals for our portfolio. And whispering about another sparkling wine option. To that we say, #JustYouWait!

And watch this space for a future story about our new partners in the High Plains!

The Story of Siboney’s 2019 Merlot Cellar Selection

As we prepare the 2019 Merlot from Newsom Vineyards for bottling, we thought you might like to read a little more about this very special Cellar Selection from Siboney. The wine premiered as a pre-sale barrel sample wine to Members at the Spring Release event in April, 2021. We will fully release this wine in the Fall. All Photos by Miguel Lecuona
Midnight in Plains, Texas. September 27 2019 – Harvest date of Newsom Vineyards Merlot

Neal Newsom grows some of the best grapes in Texas, leading to award-winning wines from his vineyard blocks in Plains, TX for many distinguished Texas Wineries.  We met Neal at his barn many years ago and are so pleased to work with him.  You have tasted our 2017 Tempranillo, that is from Newsom Vineyards.  Now comes the next wine from Newsom Vineyards – the 2019 Merlot “Cellar Selection.”

Newsom Vineyards - Merlot Block.  Plains, Tx
Merlot Block at Newsom Vineyards, planted in 1996, 1999, 2011

Much can be said about the 2019 High Plains growing season, but like any great story, Mother Nature saved the best for last.  Harvest was September 27, at 1AM — in other words, late and very late! The reason for this situation?  A pronounced High Plains heat spike in August caused some vineyards to become unbalanced… sugar levels soared while seeds and skins remained unripe. And then…. nothing.  The vines basically shut down. So the grower and winery each face a dead-mans choice — harvest with good sugars and questionable overall ripeness, or wait and see whether the vines, with a little more time, can balance things out.  So we played vineyard roulette during September.  

Slowly the seeds began to ripen and turn from a green to a dark brown over 30 days.  We visited Neal on September 19, tasted the grapes and thought if we could get one or two more weeks things might just balance out in the vineyard.  

Barbara, with Doug Reed of Hawk’s Shadow, Ben Calais, and Neal Newsom

As an experienced grower, Neal has many cares, many who depend on his choices. And he balances patience with practicalities. That’s why we love working with him.  On September 27, over dinner, we looked at an updated forecast to decide whether to return home, and there it was — a huge swirling mass of high plains thunderheads bearing down on Neal’s vineyards. Further, looking ahead, we could see the forecast showing more storny weather and fewer sunny days. No point waiting for an October Surprise with those risks. And so at that moment we made the game-time decision and contacted Neal to see whether he could fit the Merlot harvest into his already-tight schedule.  And, ’round midnight, he confirmed the plan of action as we were surrounded by lignthing storms on all sides.  The race was on!  Neal’s team worked in several vineyard plots to bring in grapes ahead of rains as they cycled ever closer. This image shows Neal’s harvester traversing his Syrah block as the storms edged ever closer.  Miguel scrambled onto the roof of his jeep with his Nikon and tripod to get the dramatic shot, thus creating the highest point in Plains at that moment, and impersonating a human lightning rod. What he lacks in smarts he makes up for in passion!

Racing against time… Harvester traversing a vineyard block at Newsom, against the backdrop of a High Plains Midnight storm

As the team set about the Merlot vineyard, the rains came — not enough to cause any dilution, but enough to create a bit of mischief on the loading dock.  Bins were blowing around, and Ben Calais pitched in on the forklift to keep the process moving under very trying conditions.  Janice, Neal’s wife, bundled up in a ski parka, cataloged each bin at the scale, and Barbara worked directly bin by bin with our grapes as they came in, to prepare them for a cold soak and the road home.  By 3AM, at 46 degrees in a 30 mph wind, the job was done.  We harvested about 6 tons of Merlot for Siboney that evening — Enough for 16 barrels. 

Back at the winery, whole-berry fermentation and malo-in-barrel, followed by a restful maturation for about 19 months resulted in a very promising young wine. As we tasted each barrel this spring, the excitement was quite evident, so we decided to bring a barrel sample to the Vineyard planting event on April 10-11 for you to taste. Following that, we committed to the final blend.  

Just 63% of the original harvest made the cut, comprised of wine from 80% one-time used and 20% new French oak, the 2019 Merlot Cellar Selection from Newsom Vineyards is complete.  It will be bottled in June, laid down for a few months, then released in the fall, nearly 2 years to the day from that unforgettable harvest in the High Plains.  Just you wait!

Nothing makes a winemaker smile as much as getting the harvest bin safely into the barn!

Cellar Note: Sourced from a special parcel of Neal Newsom’s family Merlot vineyard from 20+ year old vines, the harvest took place on September 27, 2019 as the vineyard was literally encircled by late season High Plains thunderstorms.  Racing against the oncoming rains, with the sky crackling with thunder and lightning, and the wind whistling through the vines, the temperatures dropped 30 degrees at 2am when Neal finally wrangled the grapes into the barn.  Barbara set our bins up for the overnight trip home.  From a harvest of 6.5 tons, just 63% of that selection made it into the final cuvée.  Barrel aged for 19 months, the final blend was committed in April 2021.  It will go to bottle in late spring, then rest for the summer, awaiting a fall debut and shipment.  This is a beautiful Merlot, and a wine that reflects the commitment of the grower and the perseverance of the winemaker.  Just you wait!

Futures purchased in April will be delivered in the Fall, 2021, as will the case bottle count and ABV%.

Only The Beginning! New Vines Lead to Estate Wines.

The Siboney Cellars Terrace Vineyard Planting and Spring Wine Release event is in the books! Thank you to all our members, guests, volunteers and partners. You have given us every chance to create great #TxWine and we can’t wait to share the fruits of this endeavor.

So many smiling faces in this video! We could not be more delighted with the turnout and the great energy from our members, guests, volunteers and partners on April 10-11. Thank you all for visiting us at the new home for Siboney Cellars, and for putting roots down with us in the Terrace Vineyard Block! For you vineyard lovers, check out the site details and additional photos below.

Short of having a baby, planting a vineyard is the most optimistic thing you can do in life.

All the photos you see in this video are available for you to have, with our compliments! To download, please visit this link. When you post your photo, please do tag us on our Facebook and Instagram feeds and let us know you’re sharing #Siboney!

Member Photos:

The estate wines coming from this vineyard are earmarked for the Wine Club. To join, visit and explore the Clubs page.

The next Member event is scheduled for Memorial Weekend May 30-31. Stay tuned for more details. And again, thank you for giving us the best possible start for 2021.

Siboney Cellars Terrace Vineyard

  • AVA Classification: Texas Hill Country
  • Region: Pedernales Watershed, 4 miles W of Johnson City
  • Topography: Sloped Limestone Terrace, live oaks, native grasses, wildflowers, and very much cleared cedar; no prior cultivation
  • Elevation: 1,450′ (443.2M), 35′ elevation change
  • GPS: 30.262326, -98.462126 (30°15’44,4″N 98°27’43.7W)
  • Soil: Well-drained Doss Silty Clay, Brackett Association, and sandstone aggregate to 24″; atop limestone foundation. Significant fossilized seabed treasures across the site.
  • Acreage under vine: 3.68ac
  • Varietals
    • Merlot 181 ENTAV-INRA on SO4 East block to Live Oak Mott
      • French Clone, originated from Bordeaux, certified 1973
      • Nursery: Wonderful, Kern County, California
    • Merlot FPS 24.1 on SO4Live Oak Mott and West Block
      • Italian Clone, VCR 101, certified 2002
      • Nursery: Novavine, Sonoma County, California
    • Total Planted: 5009 bench graft dormant vines
    • Vines survived wildfire, pandemic, and ice storms to reach Siboney
  • Spacing: 8×4, Bodark (Osage Orange) end posts
  • Orientation: South-North, with prevailing summer winds
  • Irrigation: Drip – rainwater capture and site well (depth 400′)
  • Soil and Site Analysis: Fritz Westover
  • Vineyard consultant: Bill Blackmon
  • Trellis Installation: Donny Jackson
  • Vine Planting: Luis Cortes and his team, by hand
  • Planting Date: April 5-11, 2021

With Gratitude…

Nearly 150 members and guests put roots down in our vineyard with us over the weekend of April 10 and 11! That just stuns us. We will never forget it, and we are every bit as excited as you to see it come to harvest in the future. Thank you!

We are blessed by our industry friends and project partners, all who share a love for the hill country and for Texas Wine: Legendary Texas Vineyard Grower Bill Blackmon who we hope never regrets asking to develop our vineyards at Siboney; (and thank you Tate, Andy and Evan!); Soil and Site Analyst Fritz Westover, whose joyous reaction to walking the site for the first time reinforced our own hopes and dreams; the vine-planting team led by my friend Luis Cortes, and his camaradas Javier, Sergio and Francisco. Thank you to Wonderful nursery for supplying the ENTAV Merlot clones. Holding that bundle in my hand must have been like Thor holding Mjolnir! And a very special shout-out to Sam Caselli of Novavine for his initial encouragement, timely and astute assistance and amazing service every step of the way. We also are indebted to Donny Jackson and his installation team; our Architect Kim Thompson of Reliance, and especially to Chad Meyers of Aquadocs and Blaine Langford of JK Bernhard, who pushed the limit on tying our wells together in time to commit the planting dates.

We also thank the expert volunteers who supported us to bring the event to such a success. Thank you Daniel Kelada, Kappy Simpson, Callisto Griffith, and Kourtney Collins. Thank you Chris and Elisa Hensz. Thank you to the Busch Family and Fire Oak Vineyards. Thank you Dee Dahlstrom. Thanks to our caterers, Mike’s Q on Saturday and Vivere on Sunday. We also appreciate the great music from Nathan of Spicy Loops, and the beloved Hill Country duo, Greg and Lisa Trace of Gold. And to Jason Cook, the Mayor of Hye, for loaning us those great tables and chairs from the Hye Hall!

And finally, this must be said: Our partnership with Bill and Mary Anne Waldrip has made every bit of this possible, and in ways we could never dare to hope. No project has extracted more commitment, trust and perseverance than this. We do this for our Members. We do this for Texas. We do this for Love. And we will work hard to make this site a point of pride for all of #TxWine. And it’s only the beginning. MRL

Read More

Winter into Spring – Awakenings

As the Hill Country embraces an absolutely gorgeous debut of Spring this weekend, we took advantage of precious time and sunny days to work on an area of the Site that will soon be in play with our first customer event, coming up quickly on April 10-11 (as we write this, Tickets are available on the website at

After you drive through the front gate of our new site, you will presently see a stand of very large heritage live oaks – some as old as the Republic of Texas. Just a limestone’s throw from the Terrace Vineyard… this grove is perfect for greeting guests, organizing tastings, or hosting live music. While the trees did not completely escape the ravages of the Ice Storm of a month ago, damage to major branches appears to be contained. If you’ve noticed, many live oaks seem to be molting very aggressively this year. It’s as though the evergreen leaves gave their last ounce of energy to save the tree. The replacement buds are just emerging.

So what we have is something this grove hasn’t seen in an age — dappled sunlight to the forest floor. There are many years’ worth of fallen leaves in this grove, layer on layer. We spent hours removing and clearing around a few trees to see what was underneath, and we have uncovered beautiful Agarita and Blue Grama native grasses, ready to spring to life. So encouraged by this beautiful display of greenery on rich soil, we pushed forward to clear more. We might have a week or two of this dappled sunlight filtering through these oaks, and if we get a good rain, we just might regenerate even more beautiful native landscape.

Then we had the idea to define these areas with quarried limestone from the winery excavation. With literally thousands of bright limestone rocks to choose from, we pulled them by hand from piles. Transported then laid them down, creating three rings around several sets of trees. This will now define a walking path through the grove, as well as an area for guests to relax in the shade of true Texas Heritage Oaks. And to cap it off, we uncovered a beautiful fossil in one of the excavation areas, a bi-valve from 60 million years ago. Also known as a Texas Heart or a Deer Heart, it fits perfectly in the palms of both hands.

The significance of this is important for any winemaker. Even at 1500 feet elevation, the Texas Hill Country was once an ancient sea floor. With salt water and calcium forming the bedrock of limestone, the complexity of our terroir is further underscored. We now have yet another reason to cherish this opportunity to plant our vineyard in April. An awakening that begins the next chapter in the forever tale of this beautiful region of the world. This perfect fossil specimen will be on display in our wine cellar, a validation that everything we do is interconnected.

We move from winter into spring. We walk the eternal bridge linking past, present and future. Ancient limestone terraces. Heritage oaks. And soon, a new vineyard.

Read More

A New Dawn at Siboney

The 10,000 square foot, 800 ton concrete foundation is poured!

Morning people own the world, don’t they? The most important events seem to happen at dawn, and bring undeniable clarity. Wednesday March 3 was one of those days for Siboney.

Mary Anne, on top of the world as the concrete slab is poured at Siboney Cellars!

Before the sun rose on a chilly hill country morning, Mary Anne was already in position. She sat on a limestone ledge, high above the excavation zone, bundled up and ready to witness the major effort about to take place. A goal she has pursued for the winery with determination was about to be fulfilled. Naturally an early riser, a 3AM start was not daunting for her. The symbolism could not be missed. A convoy of 40 cement trucks would soon descend on our location, delivering over 800 tons of concrete. There a team waited, tasked to build a technical slab that is literally foundational for everything to follow. Months of planning, preparation, pandemic delays, detailed site work, and even last week’s epic ice storm would all be buried under this beautiful slab today, and nothing would stop it!

Then the pump truck operator arrived and informed the supervisor that he forgot to bring the battery and gear to operate the boom. D’OH!

Well, when you’ve worked this long and hard to get to this very moment, what’s another two hours! Presently, the missing gear was en route, and after a round of hot chocolate shots for the team, the headlights from the first trucks broke through the darkness. Two at a time, the trucks offloaded their 10 yard cargo into the hopper. The big pump, directed by the now-fully-charged operator and the team handling the hoses, proceeded to pour the 4,000 psi concrete mixture all around the perimeter, bringing the full pad to a consistent level just below the rebar. Once that two hour process was complete, the rest of the concrete would pour, and presto! Slab!

With the rebar now encased, and the concrete setting around the plumbing and other pipes, the team turned its attention to the most technical aspect of the pour. Setting and aligning the 8 stainless steel slot drains in the barrel cellar and production room would occupy many skilled hands. Here, the slopes and creases of the new foundation received the most attention. A rep from Reeh Plumbing of Fredericksburg was on hand for any needed coordination. After 5 hours, the pour was completed. But the work continued and for the rest of the day, the 10,000 square foot slab was fussed over by the team. As the sun climbed higher into the beautiful blue sky, it revealed the superbly set finish. Trowels, skids, polishers, and even a concrete Zamboni applied just the right texture to the entire surface. And let me tell you, it is beautiful!

Blaine Langford – the on-site Supervisor from JK Bernhard – and the team from Lehne construction handled the project like real pros. Mary Anne summed it up this way: “It was exciting to watch the first batch of cement come out of that long orange pipe and fill the first rebar section of Siboney Cellars’ slab. As the team of men worked, each having a specific job, the long-awaited beautiful slab was poured, smoothed over, and polished. So many details went into getting to this place in the building process and that is continuing on as the walls go up, roof is put on, and the building takes life. Onward and upward!”

There’s lots of video footage for The Big Pour on our Facebook page. And we will show more at a Slab Party one day soon. It really is a fascinating part of the process with a ton of artisan work, as Mary Anne said. We did a few live broadcasts by drone from the site throughout the day. For my part, I was quite surprised how many people were genuinely excited and engaged at that early hour to watch us pour concrete! So head over to our FB Page for more. Meanwhile enjoy this epic sunrise over the site and raise a glass to Mary Anne, our intrepid morning person. It is a New Dawn at Siboney.

The Big Pour — the concrete slab is poured and set on March 3, 2021 at Siboney Cellars.

Travis and Hot Shot – The Origin Love Story of Two Siboney Cellars Wines

Travis and Hot Shot - a Siboney Love Story
Miguel and Barbara were married February 15, 2008.

[Note from Miguel: The big Texas #IceStorm2021 disrupted pretty much everything including this blog entry which was to mark the debut of the new website. Now that power has been restored we can update you on many things!]

Like you, we often wonder about the inspiration for wine names. Truth is, before we even named Siboney Cellars, we knew the first two wines would be named Travis and Hot Shot.

Barbara and I were married February 15, 2008. Prior the wedding, Barbara lived in Philadelphia, and I lived in Austin. We kept a running game of Scrabble going online, for many months. I played under an alias, Travis, because after years of spelling “L-E-C….U-O…. N-A” for Austin restaurant waiting lists (remember those???), I simplified to “Travis, party of 2” because every Texan can spell Travis! So that stuck. I was fortunate to win many of the early contests. But as is typical for Barbara, her competitiveness and determination are pretty much unstoppable. And sure enough, she got on a hot streak, and won 7 games in a row. So I wrote to her and said, “okay Hot Shot that’s enough of that!” Next thing I knew, she changed her Alias to Hot Shot.

Travis and Hot Shot were printed on the matchbooks for our wedding, and so naturally they are the first red and white wines for Siboney Cellars. And now you know the rest of the Love Story!

As for the wines? Both are delightful Texas blends of Rhone varietals, and we will create these each year. The 2017’s sold out. The new 2018 Hot Shot (Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier) is now available in our wine store. And the 2019 Travis (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre) is in barrel, and will debut this Spring. We’re sure you will show both of them nothing but Love!

Read More

Awakenings: Spring Blooms on the Terrace – April 2020

Note: As we write, we are mindful that literally everyone in the world is coming to terms with a new reality in 2020. We are also very proud of the many local heroes in our community who are personally leading their businesses to support the fight against Covid-19. We join them to maintain commitments with other local service businesses under significant economic pressure.  We also note the many industry colleagues in other parts of the country and across the wine world who are also taking up the fight – fund raising, volunteerism, and direct support of small businesses and local communities. We pray for health, safety, and rejuvenation in the Hill Country, across Texas, the country and around the world. #AloneTogether.

April 14, 2020:
The arrival of another beautiful Hill Country Spring is abundantly clear as we explore the new 52 acre site on US290 – the future home of Siboney Cellars. This is what gives us our hope for the future — the commitment to this land, this site. With each passing month, the a new facet is revealed. Take a video walk around the property with us.

It has been a relatively wet year so far — nearly 11 inches of rain since January, paying down the drought deficits of recent years. The landscape shows the benefits of ample winter and early spring rains.  First thing you will see are the diversity of flowers popping up – verbena, day lilies, and assorted wildflowers are dancing across the terraces. The big lower meadow is totally renewed and looks very healthy. And the ag barn adjacent to it is taking form. Trees, shrubs and wildflowers are erupting all around the property! (And for those tracking the peach season it is forecast to be a good one – count us in for that!).

We completed the preparation of the Terrace Block vineyard, and we have learned a bit more about the site — varied soil depths, compositions, formations and slopes across the 4 acre block, and it drains on the long diagonal. And there are wild onions tilled up as we go! With the typical summer wind coming from the top of the bluff at the rear of the property, blowing pretty much straight North, downhill, we are mindful of possible row orientation. Keeping vines healthy and refreshed with the summer breeze is a natural way to deter mold and mildew. And we will start tracking Solar Degree Days. The drone video shows the late day shadows crossing the face of the vineyard as the sun drops behind the terrace. All of this is foundational to a Terroir unto itself.

We so look forward to showing this site to you.

New Terrace Vineyard Taking Shape

“Short of having a baby, planting a vineyard is the most optimistic thing you can do in life.”

The first vineyard site at Siboney Cellars is situated on the limestone terrace, at about 1430 feet elevation. Located midway between Johnson City and Hye, this portion of the 52 acre parcel is gently sloping south-to-north (from the back of the property towards US290). We are struck by the depth, quality, and drainage already in evidence. We are ripping the soil to a depth of about 12-18 inches, revealing a loamy, earthy aggregate that sheds water yet retains moisture. Closer to the top of the limestone bluff, as the soil shallows up, we are seeing caliche and chalk-like composites that fracture easily in the hand. It has rained moderately over the past 30 days, and soil probes are reading 10/10 for wetness, yet there is scant evidence of pooling or heaviness in any of the soil.

A significant amount of cedar has been cleared (and the root structures of this scourge show just how ruthlessly efficient cedars are at sucking up water, greedily consuming the overall water table). Part of our process also includes defining the perimeter boundary of this vineyard site, in concert with the placement of roads, access points and vineyard infrastructure. You can see one of the identifying features of this site — a beautiful Mott of live oaks will define a future tasting area with a view of vines all around. We are doing our very best to retain a true sense of the beauty of the Texas Hill Country while creating the very best estate vineyard we possibly can. All of this will take the time it takes, but meanwhile we can’t help but be buoyed in spirit at the prospect of developing this site. Short of having a baby, planting a vineyard is the most optimistic thing you can do in life.

What are we planting? Stay tuned, more to come. Meanwhile, enjoy this short video overview of the site preparation work at the Terrace Vineyard at Siboney Cellars.