Hahne Estates Winery is located in Johnson City and is owned by Gary Hahne and the Hahne family. Gary used to own White House Winery near Navasota but had to close. When White House Winery opened in 2011, Gloria and I helped Gary bottle his Riesling and now looking back, I can’t believe that was four years ago. We have seen Gary over the years as he worked as a tasting guide in another tasting room.
Now that Gary has opened Hahne Estates Winery, we had to visit the new winery and see Gary again. The winery is easy to find in the Johnson City town square. Walking into the winery, the right wall is covered with photos. When you visit, you will soon learn why.
Gary was happy to see us again and got us started on a tasting while we stood at the tasting bar. Tastings right now are complimentary and you’ll get to currently taste five wines. A sixth wine will be coming out soon. The tastings are poured from the uncorked bottles.
The winery uses about 80% Texas grapes and the rest comes from New Mexico. These are the wines we were able to taste:
- Blanco (Viognier and Riesling)
- Opa (Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, and Spätburgunder)
- Texanti (Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir). This is Hahne Estates version of a Chianti Classico.
- Texas Tapestry (Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola)
- Armadillo WH (sweet red which is reminiscent of a Sangria Wine)
The wines were very good and the conversation with Gary Hahne was enlightening and entertaining. Gary Hahne’s family had a rich history with President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) in Stonewall where President Johnson had his LBJ Ranch. Gary’s Opa (grandfather in German) helped during the redesign and reconstruction of the ranch house during the 1950’s. The wall of photos in the winery are just a small sampling of the many photos and documents that Gary has from his time growing up in Stonewall and the relationship with LBJ.
Gary proudly told of his Opa and parents with many stories of how they would hold parties at LBJ Ranch for the President including barbecues for 850 people and five Presidents. As a child he even stirred the peach ice cream for a week to prepare for one party. Gary will show you photos of his parents boarding Air Force One with President Johnson for a trip to the White House in Washington, D.C. and letters from the First Lady, “Lady Bird” Johnson, sent to the Hahne family. It is definitely an incredible collection that Gary has collected and you could spend a long time just listening to the stories.
Back to the wine, Gary explained how his Opa taught him at five years old how to make wine including some tips that he still uses today in the Hahne Estates wine. The logo for the winery is a rooster because the last name of Hahne (pronounced Hah-knee) means rooster in German.
There is a wine club at the winery you can join, and canvas photos featured in the winery and wine glasses can be purchased. If you are looking for a new winery to love and are even the slightest bit interested in history, you will want to visit Hahne Estates Winery and enjoy the wine and stories.