Bennett and Eugenia moved to Texas and soon started looking for the perfect place to set up their winery. The Hill Country bears a striking resemblance to the parts of Mendoza where their wines are made. They knew they had to find a place that complimented their wines and their love of Argentina. They scouted the current location on Kathy Lane in Spicewood, a beautiful property with high and low elevations and an arid landscape, with brush lands much like those they lived among in Mendoza.
The winery is perched atop a hill on Kathy Lane. To reach it from Austin take Highway 71 for a 40 mile scenic drive through the beautiful green roads of Spicewood. A stone fence and iron gate with our signature welcomes you to follow the winding dirt road all the way up to the winery’s main house upon a perch, close to the sky. You can park in either the upper terrace or the lower terrace. The upper terrace is accessible by following the road to the left of the main house and is closest to the entrance.
Once inside you will notice the decor imported from Argentina. Cowhide chairs, stained wood and hand woven rugs create a warm feel. At the tasting bar is Bennett and his wife, Eugenia, ready to pour you a glass. You can choose a wine tasting flight, of which there are three, and some authentic Argentine eats to pair with your wine. Or you can take a glass or a whole bottle to the patio to relax and take in the scenery.
El Gaucho Winery is first, a gathering place. The relaxed atmosphere, seen in its location, decor and owners, is meant to create an intimate and cozy getaway. This off the beaten path find is just what many Austinites have been looking for. A place to enjoy wine and relax without the long drive to Fredericksburg.
The Vineyards | Finca Austin & Finca La Passion
It’s interesting to compare the tastes of the different locations and how even the slight differences in each affects the characteristics of the wine. Both of our vineyards have different soil elevations. This creates a great variety of opportunities and ability to create unique wines. We bottle our wines in Mendoza and have them shipped to the winery. Each bottle is a trip to the Uco Valley, a mental transport to the vineyards.
The Mendoza wine country has three characteristics perfect for cultivating high quality grapes. The semi-desert climate has large temperature differentials, hot days and cool nights, dry air and over 340 days of sunshine. There is an abundant presence of fresh, clean water taken from the snow melt of the Andes and from artesian wells. And lastly, the alluvial soils have an excellent high mineral, low organic content.
Our two vineyards are located 55 miles apart in two distinct zones. The first vineyard, named Finca Austin, in Luyan de Cuyo is approximately 2,600 feet msl and is located next to a dry river bed and is 60 or so miles east of the Andes Mountains. The soils are mostly clay. The lower elevation causes the temperatures to be slightly warmer during the day and evening.
Finca La Passion is our second vineyard and is located in Uco Valley 75 miles due south of Mendoza and much closer to the Andes Mountains. The soils are sandy. The elevation is higher at 3,500 feet msl and, therefore, the temperatures during the day and evening are cooler as compared to our first vineyard. Additionally, higher elevations also mean more intense sunlight.
These different terroirs create individual characteristics that can be experienced in the color, aromas, and taste. Come to our winery and compare the wines from these two vineyards for yourself.