Another storied Texas Wine Country family, the Kuhlkens are among the first to plant a vineyard and open a winery in the Texas Hill Country. Some 30 years later, Pedernales Cellars is one of the top wineries in the state with a reputation for making exceptional, 100% Texas-grown Spanish and Rhone-style wines – with sustainability top of mind.

Parents Larry and Jeanine Kuhllken – former IBMers who met at NASA during the Apollo 11 mission – left their computer programming careers in the 1990s to plant a 14-acre vineyard that today features Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Graciano, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Teroldego and
Alicante Bouschet.

In 2005, their children David and Julie began plans for what would become Pedernales Cellars. Grown from the success of Kuhlken Vineyards, they decided to build a boutique winery focused on handcrafted, small-lot wines, working with varieties that thrive in the rugged Texas Hill Country terrain.

Pedernales Cellars’ winemaking facilities and underground cellar enjoy the natural insulation of limestone and the cooling soil. A geothermal cooling system and CFL and solar lighting reduces energy usage. A 55-gallon tank collects valuable rainwater that is used for landscaping. In the vineyard, Pedernales minimizes water use through ground cover management and promotes natural pest management through use of local species. Compost from the winery is also recycled into the vineyard. Continuing their good stewardship of the land, the family has removed cedar overgrowth and invasive plant species and reestablished seeps and springs, making a better habitat for native Hill Country wildlife.

Pedernales Cellars co-owner Julie Kuhlken is excited about these new releases for 2024:

2023 Kuhlken Vineyards Field Blend – The first release of a wine from Kuhlken Vineyards after three years of replanting, this young fresh field blend of Sangiovese, Grenache and Petite Sirah will be released spring 2024.

2020 Valhalla – Through it won’t be released until April, the 2020 Valhalla – a Montepulciano-based Italian blend – is already a big winner. It won Gold at both the San Francisco Wine Competition and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition, and Double Gold at the San Antonio Rodeo Wine Competition.

2020 Canted County Tempranillo Reserva – The last single vineyard Tempranillo from the fantastic Tempranillo harvest of 2020 is certainly not the least. It has a singularly well-balanced structure and complex fruit.

2022 Semillon Kyla – Our fun sparkler is back in 2024 with an edition based on Semillon. The floral notes typical of this white Bordeaux variety meld beautifully with the yeasty notes from aging on lees.

Plan to visit Pedernales Cellars soon to try these wines and to attend their terrific lineup of events, including live music on Saturdays. Of course, you don’t want to miss the Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, April 8 that will feature Dr. Shawn Brooks, an astrophysicist with NASA who will talk about the eclipse while you dine on sliders, enjoy music and of course, taste Seriously. Texas Wine.