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History

With deep Texas roots, a passion for quality, and an appreciation for the future, our winery, conceived in 1975, embraces the best of our tradition and legacy while coursing towards a dynamic representation of globally-competitive, modern wine. Fall Creek Vineyards was conceived through worldly inspiration, and while distinctly Texan in terroir, our wines are crafted with world-class skill and vision. We are proud to share our wine with you. 

 

“We started with the dirt and the vines took root!”


Welcome to FALL CREEK Vineyards, planted in 1975, as the first Texas Hill Country winery! Our family’s heritage is deeply rooted for 5 generations as ranchers, always providing good stewardship of the land we so love. Our resolute goal has been to match the right grape variety to the correct terroir, to grow wines which reflect the complex soils of each specific site and to taste the emotion and joy with which the wines have been conceived!

We produce benchmark wines to stand shoulder to shoulder with the notable wines of the world. Our mission is well stated by Director of Winemaking at Fall Creek Vineyards, Sergio Cuadra, who said, “I did not come here to make great Texas wines, instead I came here to make great, world-class wines that just happen to grow in Texas!” Judging by the flood of accolades and awards, FALL CREEK Vineyards is doing just that!

 

Ed and Susan Auler took a trip to France in 1973 to look at some of the French breed of cattle for potentially crossing with their Angus herd in the Hill Country. This trip dramatically changed their lives. Ed was practicing law and had taken over the operation of his family’s Hill Country ranch, and he wanted to consider ways to upgrade his ranching operation to enhance its profitability. 

Susan was interested in seeing the major wine regions in France, as they had developed an interest in wines. They did visit a French cattle operation, but the bottom line was that they spent 19 days of that trip enjoying the French wine country from Reims to Burgundy to Rhone across the south of France to Bordeaux and Loire and only 2 days looking at cattle! They both rapidly gained an education and appreciation of French wines, foods and culture. 

Within 2 years of that trip in 1975, the Aulers had put in a test plot on a corner of their Fall Creek Ranch to experiment with wine growing at the encouragement of Texas A & M and Texas Tech Universities. That test plot grew from ¼ acre to 7 ½ acres in 1979, and Ed decided to give up his law practice, formally establishing the winery facilities in 1980. The Aulers began purchasing 400 acres along the west side of Lake Buchanan which would become the home of Fall Creek Vineyards. So, a chance trip to France changed Ed’s professional focus from law and ranching to wine growing.

In the mid-1980s the Aulers looked to Napa and Sonoma for wine expertise by consulting with U.C. Davis professors, California and French winemakers, and Andre Tchelistcheff as their initial wine consultant to Fall Creek Vineyards. Susan and Ed founded the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival in 1986 to publicize the Texas Hill Country as a known wine region, and Ed’s application to the U.S. government for the Texas Hill Country appellation was granted in 1990. This identified the Texas Hill Country region as a recognized and respected viticultural region, already a natural tourist attraction with beautiful hills and lakes, acclaimed chefs, and now world-class wines.

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Vineyards

We proudly source our Texas grown grapes from a handful of local vineyards. Each vineyard site has a distinct terroir and story which translates into our thoughtfully crafted wines. We cherish the relationships we have developed with our neighboring farmers and are excited about future projects and plantings. 

 

Fall Creek Vineyards – Fall Creek Vineyards is an historic plot on which some of the first Vitis Vinifera vines were planted in Texas. Ed and Susan Auler planted this sixth generation ranch land in 1975 after an inspiring trip the prestigious vineyards of France. The rolling hills and pink granite outcrops of this Hill Country vineyard site are located at the northwest corner of Lake Buchanan. The alluvial soils are the result of centuries of deposits from the Colorado River. The namesake for our winery is a set of twin waterfalls at the north end of the ranch which flow from underground springs and cascade into Lake Buchanan. 





 

Oxbow Vineyard – Our newly planted Oxbow Vineyard lines the entrance to our winery located in Driftwood Texas. Two-plus acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan vines are planted in a limestone and boulder studded clay loam soil in the former oxbow of Onion Creek. The micro-climate of this site is unusual in that it is often shrouded in early morning fog and can be several degrees cooler than sites outside the valley. This land was once owned by William B. Travis and is littered with relics of Texas history. We are eager to see the fruits of this labor when the Cabernet Sauvignon vines are ready for vinification in a few vintages.





 

Salt Lick Vineyard – Perhaps the only vineyard in the world that can claim BBQ pit ash and smoke as part of its terroir, Salt Lick Vineyards is the source of our Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo and Sangiovese grapes. The vineyard has been planted since 2008 with over 50 acres under vine and 20 more being planted with white Mediterranean varieties in Spring 2017. Scott Roberts and his family have owned the land for several generations, crafting several pieces of the Texas Hill Country culture…world-class BBQ, award-winning wine grapes and community-building experiences. A stone’s throw from our winery in Driftwood, we can watch the grapes ripen across the farm road.




 

Certenberg Vineyard - In the northwestern-most corner of Texas Hill Country lies Certenberg Vineyard, the source of our award-winning Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. This section of Texas Hill Country is distinct in its geological features, pre-Cambrian granite and iron oxide that were exposed through plate tectonic activity over a billion years ago. The granite and iron oxide have decomposed into coarse sand that is rusty pink in nature, giving the vineyard a distinct rosy hue and allowing for high drainage and deep root growth. Alfonse Dotson purchased this site after a lengthy career in professional football and devoted 25 acres to conscientious vineyard development. 




 

Escondido Valley vineyards - One doesn’t often associate vineyards with rattlesnakes, plateaus and deserts, but the cool desert nights, increased altitude, high-draining soil, and vibrant sun create ideal conditions for juicy and expressive grapes that are particularly noted for their intoxicating aromatics. Some of the oldest vines in Texas are planted in the Escondido Valley AVA located in west Texas, north of Big Bend. We source our Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Muscat grapes from these sun-kissed vineyards. Calcium-rich, limestone-based, sandy soils create a well-drained environment that encourages complexity in the over 30 year old vines.

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Highlights

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