One of the new faces you want to get to know in the Texas Hill Country is Cindy Lawson of Covington Hill Country. She may have started her wine journey by opening a winery in Washington state, but she is a native Texan and is thrilled to be back in the Lone Star State to help grow the wine industry here. You may also see her name pop up as part of the new Texas Hill Country chapter of the national organization Women for WineSense (and don’t worry, it’s not just for women!). Covington Hill Country is located on Highway 290, just outside of Hye. The sleek and modern tasting room has a fantastic view, great wines, and good-hearted people!
- What did you do before owning a winery?
I still do it! I run a marine fueling business in Seattle. I supply Cruise Lines and Container Lines with fuel they burn for propulsion.
- What first attracted you to wine; was there a specific bottle or experience?
I was bitten by the wine bug at a very young age, and it wasn’t about drinking it. I was very curious about terroir, varietals, regions, etc.
- What is the toughest challenge in the wine industry in Texas?
Well, I’m just getting started growing grapes in Texas so ask me in 10 years! The estate vines were just planted in 2023.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
When I was taking cooking and wine and food pairing classes, we put a lot of things together, but I think the most dramatic pairing I’ve had (and still enjoy every winter) is a big buttery California Chardonnay with the French onion soup I learned to make in cooking school. I think for me, it goes so well together and it’s truly one of the only times I can enjoy a big buttery California Chardonnay! Happy to share the soup recipe! Just email me.
- What is the most common question you are asked as an owner?
“How did you get into this?”
- After a long day in the winery, what do you do?
If it’s a physical day on the hard concrete, I hit the hot tub for sure. If it’s just a day of mental work, gardening is my go-to. I used to say it was cheaper than therapy, but I’m not sure that’s true anymore.
- What’s your favorite part about being a winery owner?
I love the seasons. I love that each month brings something different to do. We blend in January, start bottling in February, spend the summers in the vineyards, and before you know it, it’s time to harvest again. I love the tempo of the business.
- What is your business philosophy?
People first. Our relationships with our farmers, supply partners, wine club members, guests, and team are the #1 priority. Always. Everything else is noise.
- What would you do if you didn’t own a winery?
I ask myself that a lot. And I don’t know. I guess I’d have fewer weeds in my garden!
- Do you have any advice for someone who wants to own a winery?
Lots. But the short answer is – make sure it’s your PASSION; if you don’t feel like you have to do it, you probably shouldn’t.