Prepare for a mind-blowing experience when you visit this new winery. The time has finally come for the great unveiling of the most impressive underground wine cellar in the state. That’s right, there is now an extensive underground wine cellar in the Texas Hill Country at the Slate Theory Winery. This property was the former home of Torre di Pietra, but this property has been completely revamped and the original tasting room is hardly discernable as it has been opened up and is now spacious and well lit.
Have you been driving by for the past few years curious what has been going on with the property? Well, it has taken three and a half years and over four million dollars to overhaul and redesign this venue, but I doubt you will be disappointed. Randy Jones and his family, the new owners, have been working on a great new space for you to try. Like me, I am sure you will be thankful that this long journey and wait is now over.
This is now quite literally one of the most impressive venues with a jaw-dropping expansive underground cellar housing barrel rooms and decadent reservable tasting rooms allowing for small, medium, and large parties that want a more intimate or private personal tasting experience. The spaces can seat 6, 8, 12 to 20, and the great hall can literally provide seating for up to 100 guests for special events or dinners.
Something equally unique to the design are the living walls that were created in two of the reservable tasting rooms that allow the plants to absorb some of the CO2 coming out of the barrels and likewise provide fresh oxygen into the space. This is not a dank and funky-smelling cellar. Likewise, guests will not only be impressed with the space and the reservable rooms, but the inspiration for the logo is a handcrafted skull adorned with a crown hand-made by the owner’s son that is featured prominently by one of the entrances.
As noted, the main tasting room is now very spacious and decorated with black walls and dark gray painted floors, allowing the swanky upscale modern velvet furniture in primary hues of grey, deep emerald, black, cream, and muted camel to pop. There is ample seating with spaces allowing smaller groups to enjoy their own indoor living room type seating with a table and comfy chairs or couches to relax and unwind as they sip and savor the experience. There is a wraparound tasting bar inside as one enters the front door and the eastern side of the room now has variable walls that are garage-style doors that open up onto the outdoor patio on lovely days that also allow delightful breezes to cool the tasting room. There is even seating outside in the front on a small patio leading into the tasting room for couples under the shade.
To the east and south of the tasting room are patios. The one immediately adjacent to the tasting room to the east is covered with an outdoor bar. The one to the south of the tasting room is also covered and offers ample outdoor seating for parties and live music. The lovely vineyard on the property sits behind the covered outdoor patio to the south of the winery and currently has new vines of Cabernet Sauvignon planted that may increase in the coming years as more vines are being planned for the 14-acre vineyard.
Guests can tour through the tasting room, the winery and barrel room, and the underground cellar. The cellar and winery are solely reserved for Slate Theory wines, as the owner also has Slate Mill Wine Collective just south of Fredericksburg that features various wines from different winemakers. This endeavor though is totally devoted to this single brand.
As one tours the spaces, you can see the thought that went into the design and details associated with this winery, and when you enter and see the impressive vats that line the walls that will be used to produce their wines, you can understand just how special this space is and can only imagine the depth of character they will produce someday in the coming vintages. Yet again, it really provides an instant impression of grandeur.
The winery has a number of Slate Theory wines on their tasting menu including whites, a rosé, and reds. The white wines include a 2020 Roussanne crafted from 100% Texas High Plains fruit with lovely honey, citrus, and toasted almond notes. The Psychiatrist is a white wine blend of Fiano, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Albariño, and Chardonnay. This wine features tropical notes of banana and key lime with a bit of butterscotch.
The 2020 Cinsault Rosé is the lone Rosé on the menu but features those lip-smacking notes of watermelon, strawberry, and candied apple that we have come to love in a lovely rose. A nice choice on a warm fall day.
The lineup of reds is impressive and includes the 2018 Paranoid which is a blend of Souzão and Aglianico that is rich dark fruit, cherry, and vanilla notes. The 2017 Narcoleptic is a GSM blend comprised of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Carignan. Imagine notes of smoked bacon, earthiness, baking spice, and cherry. The 2017 Schizophrenic is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot with notes of spice, raspberry, and a bit of green bell pepper and leather. Finally, the 2017 Malbec with big juicy blueberry and blackberry notes with a bit of vanilla and pepper does not disappoint.
Are you ready to visit yet? The team is excited to show you their new winery and answer any of your questions. Taste through the wines and enjoy the patio and the lovely fall weather as you sip and enjoy. Your mental health deserves the break and you deserve the opportunity to reset, relax, and enjoy.
mindy stenger says
You say it’s in the Texas Hill Country, but there is no specific address.
Jeff Cope says
Hi Mindy. If you click the link at the very top of the post that’s on Slate Theory Winery, it will bring you to the winery page that has that information plus a lot more. But you did remind me that I forgot to put the little map at the bottom of the post which I just did. Thanks and Cheers!
John Z says
It’s right next door to Heath Sparkling. Wonderful wines!
Jeff Cope says
Marilyn Neilson says
We visited on their 6th day they were open! All I can say is WOW! Beautiful place, great wine & friendly staff! Definitely going back – many times!
Jeff Cope says
I’m waiting for our first visit!
Sherri Kusak says
We had a group of 10 wine loving ladies on a girls weekend this past weekend, Jan. 21-23.
We were so excited for our first Cave experience in Fredericksburg. To say it was an Experience is an understatement. We have been to Napa. St Helena, and several in Sanoma County so we do know a nice experience when we have one. We have never been so DISAPPOINTED in a $50.00 experience. We have had many free tasting that were more informative and enjoyable than what we were given on Saturday at Slate Theory for $50.00 ! Sad thing about it, the wine is really good and 10 women would have purchased wine and or joined your wine club but we went on to great wineries down the road and joined where we were made to feel really special.
Good Luck, you need better employees. Your wine is not the problem, its good.
Jeff Cope says
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. They recently opened so I am sure it will be improved.
Julia Glenewinkel says
I also had a very disappointing experience. I would not use “they just opened” as the reason for a poor experience. They have been open for 9 weeks which is plenty of time to ensure your employees know how to create a great experience for your customers that will join your club, spread the word and return with others. This is simple marketing and basic customer service. I do hope they are successful but they have a long way to go, very long.
Jeff Cope says
I talked to the owner. They are dealing with an employee shortage right now due to COVID.
Bob Wood says
We have been to this winery twice, and brought friends along each time. What an AMAZING selection of wines!! The staff was awesome, well trained, and knowledgeable. Visiting the “cave” was an extra treat we had not counted on. Food choices improved on our second visit, so even that is on the upswing. Having been to dozens of wineries in California, Texas, and Europe, my wife and I have said many times Slate Theory is the only wine tasting we’ve ever had where we enjoyed every choice on the list. Well done, Slate Theory!! We can’t wait to come back soon.
Jeff Cope says
Excellent summary of a great winery!