Texas Wineries Exposed: What Makes Westcave Cellars Stand Out?

Discover the authentic taste of Texas Wine at Westcave Cellars. Join us on a journey through their rich history, diverse wine selection, and unique approach to winemaking in the heart of Texas Hill Country.
  • Winery Ambiance
  • Wine Selection (Red)
  • Wine Selection (White)
  • Wine Price / Value
  • Wine Club
3.8/5Overall Score

Table of Contents

  • Introduction and Overview
  • Winery History and Facility
  • Wine Highlights
  • Other Wines
  • Beers
  • Wine Clubs
  • Conclusion
  • FAQ
  • About the Author


As someone who appreciates the evolving landscape of Texas wines, I recently visited Westcave Cellars, nestled in the heart of Texas Hill Country. This winery, which began as a labor of love by a couple passionate about viticulture, offers a range of wines that capture the unique terroir of Texas. Their philosophy combines hard work and French winemaking traditions to produce 100% Texas wines. While the setting is picturesque and the wines show potential, there are aspects of the experience and the wine quality that leave room for improvement, particularly for connoisseurs familiar with more established wine regions.

What makes Westcave Cellars Different?

Their B&B behind the tasting room looks really quaint.

History and Facility

The story of Westcave Cellars is rooted in a personal journey that began with a shared love for gardening and evolved into a vineyard dream. Founded by a couple who initially supplied grapes to local winemakers, the winery opened its doors in 2011 near the scenic Westcave and Hamilton Pool Preserves. In 2020, they relocated to a modern facility in Johnson City, where they continue to produce wine and beer. The new site integrates a state-of-the-art winery, brewery, and a tasting room, promising an immersive experience in Texas winemaking​​.

As far as the tasting room and other public locations go, the tasting room is on the small side, with a handful of indoor tables and an L-shaped bar where you can sit. There is also seating outdoors that matches the indoor size.

Additionally, Westcave Cellars has bed and breakfast accommodations behind the tasting room.

Wine Highlights

The wine flights are arranged with a white / rose’ option and a red option. I was able to try some wines from both flights. I will note that Westcave Cellars will not let you share tastings. This was truly an unexpected and undesirable scenario for me, as I look to my partner for opinions on the wines as well, and we share a tasting. We might do many tastings in one day making full tasting at each venue not feasible. Here are the ones I tasted with my notes.

Sauvignon Blanc – 2021: This white wine is a recent addition to Westcave Cellars’ portfolio. It is characterized by a mild acidity and unfolds with aromas of grapefruit and vanilla, leading to flavors of white peach and lemongrass. Its crispness makes it a suitable pairing with goat cheese.

Blanc Du Franc – 2019: This dry rosé is crafted in the traditional French style, with limited skin contact during pressing. It offers a bouquet of strawberry, and dried roses, and the palate presents strawberries, melon, and citrus. As everyone reading my reviews knows I am not a big rose’ fan, so take my review of this wine with a grain of salt!

Allamar – 2018: A Bordeaux blend comprising Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cab Franc, the Allamar is a red wine with complex aromatics of blackberry and cherry liqueur, coupled with sweet tobacco. The palate is rich with layers of cassis, currants, and a pleasant mineral finish. I preferred this one over the Estate Cabernet as I liked the longer finish.

Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (2018): This vintage is a quintessential representation of Texas Cabernet Sauvignon, offering aromas of red cherries, cinnamon, tobacco, and cedar. The palate is rich with red cherries, blackberries, and a hint of vanilla. This is not a real dry cabernet, but a bit lighter in the finish.

High Cross Viognier (2019): This viognier leans to the very floral and citrus side of the equation. I did prefer it over the Sauvignon Blanc on the white wine side, but I would still place it in the category of “middle of the road” for Texas whites.

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Other Wines

Westcave Cellars produces several other wines I didn’t get to try. The list of available wines essentially encircles the diversity we find in Texas. However, I was surprised to not see a Mourvedre’ or a GSM on the list as most wineries in the Hill Country produce at least one of the two.

  • Blanc Du Franc (2019): A traditional French-style dry rosé with fruity and floral notes.
  • Sangio Rose’ (2017): A subtly sweet rosé with notes of strawberries, honeydew melon, and pomegranate.
  • High Plains Malbec (2017): Known for its cedar, black currant, and ripe cherry flavors.
  • Merlot (2018): Featuring dark plums, tart cherries, and anise aromas with a rich tannin structure.
  • Sangiovese (2018): A classic Texas Sangiovese with hints of red cherries and baking spices.


An interesting addition to Westcave Cellars is its small-batch craft-brewed beers, introduced by brewmaster Patrick Vanderwilt. The beers, such as Freethinker Blonde Ale and Penetaka Honey Amber, are good enough for the beer connoisseur. My favorite of the ones I tasted was the Indianola IPA. I like the hoppier and bitter beers and this one satisfied my palate.

Wine Clubs

The Westcave Cellars Wine Club (the “Cellar Dwellers”) is very consistent with other wine clubs where you can sign up for different levels and receive wine every quarter. Members can choose from 4-bottle, 6-bottle, and 12-bottle options with an additional option of choosing red-only or a variety of wines. Wine members get a 20% discount on bottle purchases.


Westcave Cellars presents a mixed experience for wine enthusiasts. The commitment to Texas terroir and French winemaking techniques is commendable, yet the wines, while promising, may not consistently meet the expectations of seasoned wine aficionados when compared to many of the other wineries in the region. The picturesque setting and the story behind the winery add charm, but the overall experience and wine quality suggest that there is still room for growth and refinement in their winemaking journey.

I also believe they need to drop the “no sharing” policy on the tastings. With so many wineries in the area, patrons probably are not only tasting at one winery. I’d be ok with them adding $5 to the tasting for sharing as that is still reasonable and promotes responsible drinking.


Can you do tours of the winery? They offer a behind-the-scenes tour for $40 per person. The experience lasts approximately 90 minutes and includes a wine tasting from the menu.

Do I need a reservation to visit the tasting room? Reservations are not required, and wine tasting consists of 5 wines. You can reserve if you wish, but reservations are recommended. They now use the TOCK app for advance reservations.

What is the cost of a wine tasting? The cost of a wine tasting varies depending on the type of wines you taste. A tasting of five white wines costs $20 per person while a tasting of five red wines is $25.

Do they also have a brewery at Westcave Cellars? Yes, Westcave Cellars produces their own beer which you can taste or purchase to go.

About the Author

A native of Texas, Ken “Texan” Pierce is a renowned alcohol aficionado with over 15 years of experience in the Texas wine, whiskey, and beer industry. With a vast number of alcohol production resources right in his back yard in the Texas Hill Country, Ken has made it his mission to promote and advance the Texas winemaking, distilling, and brewing industry across the country.  His uncanny ability to identify tasting notes and pairings makes him a respected authority within alcohol enthusiast circles. When he’s not reviewing the latest craft spirits, you can find Ken playing his guitar, trying to sing, and sipping on a Texas libation.

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