Solaro Estate is located in Dripping Springs and is owned by Barbara Haderlein and business partner Robert Fritz who is also the winemaker. Robert Fritz’s family bought the property in 1909 where the winery stands today.
The first estate vineyards of 8 acres were planted in 2002 with Barbera. The vineyard size grows all the time and today there are 15 acres of vineyards on the 160-acre property and Montepulciano is also grown among the three vineyards present. The first wines were produced in 2009 and an Italian-style winery was built overlooking the vineyards.
We first visited Solaro Estate in the Fall of 2010 so it was time to make a return visit. When we returned, we remembered driving through the ranch where the racing thoroughbreds are boarded. We were told Robert Fritz continues to race the horses.
The large tasting room with winery in the rear sits next to the vineyards and it makes for a nice setting. The first time we visited Solaro Estate they only produced red wines. Now they have added white wines to their offerings and are already winning awards with them.
Tastings are done while standing at the tasting bar. There is a tasting fee for five wines which they select for you. The uncorked bottles are poured using a measured pourer for the tastings. Before each taste, your glass is rinsed but there was nothing like crackers to cleanse your palate. There are a lot of tables available where you can enjoy a glass of wine too.
Solaro Estate only uses 100% Texas grapes in their wines. If they are not using their estate grapes, they use grapes from the High Plains.
Vineyard and winery tours are usually available during your visit but make an appointment to ensure you will be able to take a tour. There is a Wine Collector Club available at Solaro Estate.
Live music is held at the winery. In September the Austin Music Series was held every Saturday at the winery. There will also be live music in October and on Sundays in October events will be held such as barrel tastings, winery and vineyard tours, and Texas food pairings. Other events are held at the winery such as weddings, business meetings, and corporate functions.
When asked how many cases of wine they produce a year which is often a tough question for smaller wineries, the answer came out to be 2,000 bottles per wine they produce, and right now they have eight wines available.
During the end of our tasting, we had the pleasure of meeting co-owner Barbara Haderlein. We had a nice conversation and received the excellent news that Solaro Estate will be opening a tasting room in Houston at TC Jester and Washington. They are just waiting for the paperwork to be done and expect to be opening in 2013. It will be nice to have another nice winery located near home.
Solaro Estate is on the Texas Hill Countries Wine Trail and the Dripping Wine Trail.