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

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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.

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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.

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.