John Rivenburgh has been an influencer in Texas wine for years starting with Bending Branch Winery and his own wine label Rivenburgh Wine, while at the same time consulting with other wineries. The consulting included all aspects of wine production from vineyard management to production and marketing.
John purchased Kerrville Hills Winery in 2019 and created a wine incubator. The incubator would allow him to help those who wanted to start a winery. Some clients have already opened their wineries, and more are in the plans of doing so.
The latest venture for John Rivenburgh was to open a second tasting room for Kerrville Hills Winery in Hye on US 290 called The Hill at Hye. The location is where Hye Rum was located before they relocated to Dripping Springs to a larger facility.
Since tastings at The Hill at Hye are by reservation only, we reserved a winemaker’s tasting that would have John Rivenburgh leading the tasting. Donna Rene Johnston from Kerrville Hills contacted me earlier in the day to confirm our appointment time. Since we arrived early at The Hill at Hye, she brought us a special tasting of the 2020 Sunkissed which we all enjoyed.
At the time of our appointment, John greeted our group and we sat at the table in the small house. He first questioned us to guess the grape variety used in the Sunkissed wine. We took some guesses, but all were wrong. It is made from Orange Muscat and is completely dry. I have had others like that style, but this was the best I have had.
John began by explaining the reason for The Hill at Hye location was to create a wine experience like tasting in our homes. We all think he succeeded in that goal.
These were the wines we tasted during the winemaker’s tasting:
- 2019 Semillon – Rustic Spur Vineyard
- 2016 Picpoul Blanc – Timmons Vineyard
- 2019 Petite Sirah – Newsom Vineyard
- 2019 Tannat – Rustic Spur Vineyard
- 2017 Rivenyates – Texas High Plains
There are two types of tastings available at The Hill at Hye, an associate and a winemaker’s tasting. We can definitely recommend reserving one of those tastings at your earlier convenience.