A recent trip on a hot day through San Marcos saw us taking a detour to a small winery that overlooks the San Marcos River – Three Dudes Winery. Opened in 2005, the three dudes (Terry Alford, Jeff Felderhoff, and Ron Pontiff), produce 100% Texas wines with grapes from the Texas High Plains – though the Black Spanish grapes that they use in their Texas Black Gold port-style wine are sourced from Vanderpool. The three dudes say they have a “non-traditional” approach, producing wine that even beer lovers can appreciate.
The very helpful wine steward walked us through a tasting of their current menu. You can schedule a private group tasting with your own personal wine host, but otherwise, reservations are not required in the tasting room. They offer a tasting of four out of the six wines they currently offer. Frozen Slushies are also available, made with a pre-made mix and their wines, and can be included in the tasting. For a dollar more, you can add a wine or two to your tasting lineup. A slightly higher wine tasting fee allows you to keep the glass. All wines are aged in stainless steel and are bottled on premises.
Currently on the tasting menu:
- Chenin Blanc (honeysuckle, dried apricot notes) – nicely crisp
- Texas White (Meyer lemon and flowers) – sweet
- Texas Red blend of Merlot and Zinfandel (semi sweet with a smoky finish)
- Merlot (dark red with cranberries and white pepper notes)
- Cabernet Sauvignon (with mulberry and cedar notes)
- Texas Black Gold (a port-style with notes of dried fig and crème brûlée)
All wines we tasted were fantastic, but we settled on the Cab and a short walk down a shady limestone path to a multi-level covered deck overlooking the San Marcos River to enjoy watching folks tubing the river and the pleasant breezes.
We were told that the Three Dude’s winery dog, featured with paw prints on some of the newer wine labels, passed away last week. The winery is very dog-friendly with several in attendance that day. Picnics are welcomed and encouraged as there are many tables and chairs on the decks making for a great place to sit and enjoy lunch with your wine. If you arrive empty handed though, a cheese plate is offered that includes crackers, sliced cheeses, olives, and sliced pepperoni.
A wine club is available that includes quarterly pick-up parties or you can have your wines shipped to you. Wine package options include Whites, Reds, Sweet, Dry, Texas Red only, or Dude’s Choice – pretty much something for everyone. A free wine glass and tee shirt is included, discounts on your wine club allocations, discounts on purchases in the tasting room, a glass of wine on your birthday, and special pricing on venues space rental. A reception hall with a stage and a bridal suite make for a convenient event venue for weddings or other special occasions. A limestone pergola and expansive parking area on the shady three acres ensures plenty of outdoor space. A small gift area in the tasting room has tee shirts, hats, and wine cork creations.
The very friendly and laid-back vibe, along with delicious Texas wine, will see us returning again very soon!