Austin Custom Winery is located obviously in Austin and is owned by Mary Charron who is also the winemaker. Her husband Steve also helps out at the winery. The winery first opened in November 17, 2007 and recently moved in September, 2013 to a new location.
I found Austin Custom Winery in a shopping center which is a great location for traffic with plenty of parking. Mary Charron met me at the door and when she saw my camera and iPad, her inquisitive nature arose and asked what was happening. After explaining why I was there to visit her winery, she happily suggested photos and we had an enjoyable conversation during my stay.
Before I started tasting some wines, Mary showed me around the winery and the production area. About 80% of the juice used comes from Chile and Italy while most of the remaining is from Germany. She works with the actual wineries in those locations to buy the juice they have available. Since she makes wines in small batches, most of the wines are made in carboys but there are tanks used for larger batches.
You can do a tasting while seated at the tasting bar or a table. The tastings are complimentary because Mary believes people won’t buy a bottle unless they can taste it. The tasting menu has an extensive list of wines available so it is nice that Mary offers the opportunity. The tastings are poured directly from the uncorked bottles.
There are wine crackers and chocolate available to be used during the tastings. Nuts are on the tasting bar, but I was told not to touch them because they are for post-drinking since Mary feels some people may be hungry at that time.
After scanning through the wine menu, I decided to try some wines which I have not had the chance to try before. The ones I tried were a German Liebfraumilch, Italian Soave, and Italian Verdicchio. As mentioned before, there is an extensive list of wines with two pages of red wines from Beaujolais to Grenache Shiraz, another page of white wines ranging from Piersporter to Trebbiano, and a final page has fruit and dessert wines ending with Ice Wines from Canada.
Austin Custom Winery can help customers make their own wine using Mary’s guidance. After the wine is made, you can create unique labels for your bottles to give as gifts, party favors, business promotions, or just for your own use. The gift shop has items for sale such as wine accessories and the winery even sells wine making equipment. Another popular item sold are gift baskets made up by the winery.
The tasting room can be rented out for corporate, holiday, and private parties. There is a wine club available. The winery will have live music on weekends, different groups coming in, and a Christmas bazaar. They are always trying to think of events people might be interested in. One event which will be continually held sounds interesting and that is culinary nights. For example, the winery’s chef in one class will show how to use all those knives you have sitting in your knife block on your kitchen counter.
There are a lot of wine apps for smartphones available now and the Austin Custom Winery even has their own iPhone app.
If you are in Austin and need a place to try various wines and enjoy different events, visit the Austin Custom Winery.