Horn Winery and Tasting Room Visit
Since I was in the Austin area for some time, I made it a point to visit my former fraternity brother, Brandon Bownds – who has a love for making all sorts of alcohol, even when I lived with him in college – at the winery he now manages, Horn Winery and Tasting Room in Hye, Texas!
While I was aware central Texas is a big producer of wine and craft beer, it was really the drive over to Horn Winery that put this vast volume into context as I drove past dozens of wineries!
I pulled up to the main winery warehouse, where the brand spirits are processed and bottled for shipping, along with the main tasting room and employee offices. The second warehouse on-site houses the second business stream of selling equipment like fermentation tanks, bottle processors and all other necessary supplies for running a successful winery.
I entered the building into the main Horn Winery tasting room, with a view into the fermentation tanks and processing warehouse. Initially, I didn’t realize “horn” brand stood for the brass musical instrument until I walked in and saw musical motifs and various repurposed instruments, like the central chandelier.
Here are some pictures of the wine rack, along with Horn Winery swag, like hats, bottle openers, winter jackets, and glassware! They also have hand-made cornhole game boards for patrons when the weather is nice, and there’s a couple of disc golf holes in the back field!
On the other side of the building is Azeo Distillery, the other spirits business within the building brought from California by the winery founders.
- “These are the spirits that we were told will be available:
- Vodka from apples
- Vodka from grapes
- Barrel aged rum
- Brandy from apples
- Black label brandy from grapes
— Texas Wine Lover Webpage
Here’s a sneak peak inside the warehouse of the shiny, fermentation tanks!
This is the bottle processing line, were bottles are corked, sealed and labeled in this conveyor belt-like processing line machine!
These are just a handful of the barrels the wine is aged in before filled into the bottles for processing. The far wall of the warehouse is lined with several more rows of barrels about this deep!
I knew I was going to enjoy my experience and learn a thing or two, because Brandon is a veteran pro in this field – I was just hoping after the third or fourth tasting glass that I could distinguish the other types of wine. Nope, they just blended together on my amateur pallet.
This was also my first time getting a tour of the processing side of a winery, which Brandon went into great detail behind the science and systems in place that produce the average bottle of wine.
If I need advice on wine, wineries in the area, or alcohol in general, Brandon Bownds is my go-to guy! I wish him, and the whole Horn Winery team I met that day, the best of luck as they continue to establish themselves in the area!
- Horn Winery Webpage
- Horn Winery Facebook
- Azeo Distillery Webpage
- Azeo Distillery Facebook
- Texas Hill Country Wineries
- Texas Wine Lover – Central Texas Wineries
- Austin Relocation Guide – Austin & Central Texas Wineries
- Eater Austin – Wineries Guide