Mary O'Connor sprouted from a huge family tree, one so big that the town of Port O'Connor, Texas was named after her family. She married into a clan of equal size, the Bramans, and looked after her children and grandchildren, cultivating their talents. She recognized in her grandson Joe a natural aptitude for the culinary arts, and she set him on his path to become a chef, sommelier, vintner, and person who eats sometimes.
Today, Joe owns and runs Braman Winery, honoring his grandmother with every ounce of wine he bottles. He creates complex flavor profiles in his wines, whether they're straight cabernet sauvignons, meritage blends that include sweet malbec grapes, or drier whites such as his pinot grigio. The winery also offers an assortment of meats, crackers, and cheese available for purchase along with unique items from the gift boutique.
In Focus: Duchman Family Winery
Backstory: doctors Lisa and Stan Duchman founded the winery in 2004 in a quest to bring world-class winemaking to Texas Hill Country
The team behind each pour: winemakers Dave Reilly and Mark Penna, and viticultural consultant Bobby Cox
Where most of their fruits come from: Texas High Plains
Highlights from their selection: Italian varietals such as Trebbiano, Vermentino, and Tempranillo
Where to sample their goods: the onsite tasting room
How to learn more about their winemaking process: take a tour of the winery
Notable accolade: listed by HGTV as one of the 20 most picturesque wineries in the country
Best way to take advantage of the winery’s scenery: get married in it; the winery has rentable indoor and outdoor spaces for weddings, corporate events, and more
Texas hills unfurl before Wimberley Valley Winery, gently guiding guests to the winery’s stock of wines. Since 1983, the winery’s resident winemaker has created a range of classic varietal wines in addition to offering wines from around the world. While the winemakers weave their magic in the cellar, the remainder of the winery’s staff entertains customers in the elegant tasting room. Here, an expansive stone fireplace steals the attention from sunny yellow walls, and granite counters hide bottle after bottle of wines waiting to be sampled. While tasters sink into cushy leather couches, the staff explains the flavor profiles of wine types and divulge tips for pairing wine with the right food or crazy straws.