There has certainly been a buzz and more than one rumor about the opening of Lost Draw on Highway 290 near Johnson City. You may have heard their downtown location is closing. Or that the historic spot on East Park Street will become a collaboration with wines from all of the labels now owned by William Chris Wine Company. Or the property won’t have tastings at all but instead will become a bistro. Don’t worry – none of these rumors are true. At least for now.
Lost Draw Cellars was founded by a partnership between the well-respected grape grower Andy Timmons, his nephew Andrew Sides, and Andrew’s father-in-law, Troy Ottmers. Troy had a historic property in downtown Fredericksburg while Andy and Andrew had grapes and a plan to make wines. Lost Draw Cellars produced the first vintage in 2012, and the downtown tasting room opened its doors two years later.
I am fascinated by the way life weaves a web between people. Last year, when William Chris Wine Company purchased an interest in Lost Draw Cellars, plans started to evolve for this location on 290. Back in 2012, my husband and I bought this 22-acre parcel from the original family who owned the original ranch. We had aspirations to plant a vineyard and plan our retirement in the Hill Country. Don’t laugh; we now know that having a vineyard in retirement is an oxymoron as it’s far too much work! By 2015, destiny changed our vision of the future, and we sold the property to Bill Blackmon, co-founder of William Chris Wine Company. The infrastructure was installed, and by 2019, the first vines were planted. There are seven acres planted now, and it is likely they will determine which of the grapes grows best on this particular property and then plant more.
On this property that first held my dreams for a future in wine, you can schedule a private tasting of Lost Draw wines. Tastings are held by appointment, and they will accommodate walk-ins when it is possible. In 2023, construction will begin for a 9,260-square-foot production facility and tasting room. Brad Buckelew still holds the reins as winemaker, and Jordan Osborne works as his assistant winemaker, where he will focus on the rosé wine production for the label. This new property offers the space for a production facility that the downtown location cannot contain. And there is the opportunity for estate grapes as well. While it has not yet been decided what this property will be named, I like Lost Draw Estate. Or maybe it should be ”Hopes and Dreams Vineyard” because my vision for the property is coming alive through Lost Draw Cellars and William Chris Wine Company.
As for the original Lost Draw Cellars location, it will continue to be open just as it has been. Once the new building is complete on 290, there may be a little shift of hours so that the highway location closes early, around 6:00 p.m., but the downtown location could stay open later. That’s the only discussion so far regarding any changes at the Park Street tasting room.
Tastings on 290 include five wines, including a barrel tasting of the 2022 Petit Verdot, the first wine made from this estate. For an additional fee, a cheese plate with four selections from Antonelli can be added.
When we arrived, we were greeted with a glass of the Lost Draw 2021 Picpoul Blanc before we even reached the front door. I was impressed with this gesture to make each guest feel welcome. This Picpoul is an excellent example of the obscure grape, and I enjoyed sipping it while we were seated outside to enjoy the oak grove and spanning view. We were served by both Roxie, the Wine Club Manager, and Amy, the new tasting room manager for this Lost Draw location. Both of these ladies have great stories of what has brought them to the wine industry in Texas, so be sure to ask. I see their involvement in this new property as a continuation of the story of the dreams that lead us each into the wine world.
At the moment, the other wines in the tasting are:
- Lost Draw 2020 GSM, Texas High Plains $44
- Lost Draw 2020 Sangiovese – Alta Loma Vineyard, Texas High Plains $52
- Lost Draw 2020 Tempranillo – Lost Draw Vineyard, Texas High Plains $50
- Lost Draw 2022 Petit Verdot – to be released in February after six months in barrel being sold as futures in 3-packs for $156
We were treated to a small extra pour of the Noel red blend which is a fantastic wine for gift-giving as it has a festive red label, and the wine is quite pleasing for many palates. It is a limited production, but there’s no harm in asking for a taste when you visit.
It was so fun to enjoy the view of the Hill Country and taste the first wine made from the property. The Petit Verdot is a young grape made in the French Beaujolais Nouveau style so that it will be ready soon, as early as February or March, and will be a light-bodied, easy-drinking red wine. When you visit, I hope you’ll raise a glass and toast all the dreamers in the Texas wine industry!