DRY COMAL CREEK VINEYARDS
Franklin and Bonnie Houser purchased 103 acres of land just outside of New Braunfels in the 1970’s as a get-away home for their upping family. The Dry Comal Creek Vineyards was full of wild mustang grapes and dewberries.
In 1992, the first vines were planted as a ‘retirement project’ for the retired attorney, Franklin. The following year, after a successful inaugural growing season, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards planted 4,000 vines of Vitus Vinifera. The first grapes were harvested in 1995 with the first wine produced and tasting room opening in 1998.
Unfortunately, two catastrophic floods occurred in 1998 and 2002 washing out the vineyards and winery, forcing a major set-back for the newly established business. Mother Nature still wasn’t done with Dry Comal Creek. In 2000, testing confirmed that the vineyard was infested with Pierce’s Disease, a gulf coast bacterial pathogen that kills vines resulting in an entire crop of diseased plants having to be removed.
Instead of folding up shop, the owners developed a series of core wines that no other Texas winery was making, Black Spanish, also know as Lenoir because of the grapes resistance to Pierces Disease. The Black Spanish grape is what grows on the vines and with such great success, Dry Comal Creek became know as the ‘pioneer’ in Texas for Black Spanish wine, a consistent award winner and best seller.
In 2009 Joe Donnow joined the DCCV team as the winemaker. With almost two decades of experience, Joe was determined the exact time to harvest through testing of the sugar content level, brix. With all our wines produced in house, Joe has the creative ability to make to develop core wines that no other Texas winery is making.
After almost two decades of making wine, Franklin decided to sell Dry Comal Creek Vineyards to a family he specifically choose, The Romero family, from Fort Worth, Texas. The Romeros feel incredibly blessed and excited to purchase a company with years of history and one of the original vineyards in Texas. They are confident that our commitment to excellence in producing amazing wine will help us carry on the legacy that Dry Comal Creek Vineyards has established over the years. Dry Comal Creek Vineyards will continue to be a family owned and operated business while focusing on producing top quality wines as they embrace the New Braunfels community.
Much of the company’s success is with longtime winemaker, Joe Donnow, who will continue to focus on making memorable and great wines that our customers enjoy. The winery promises exciting new changes; however, we will be expanding our product offering to meet the progression of the wine industry, with a greater focus on bringing Texas grown grapes and wines into our community.
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is a small boutique wine producer. We make small lots of wine and produce the best from those wines that they are capable of attaining. We do not make a French-style wine. We do not make a California-style wine. This does not mean our wines are not good, it means that they are different. Climate and soil primarily dictate what can be accomplished. Our wines are different and we emphasize our good points and not apologize by making comparisons to any other wines in the market. We utilize grapes, juice, and wine from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. We seek to obtain the best product to make our own wine regardless of where they originate. What makes the best wine is our primary goal. Our style of wine can be defined as ‘Texas Style’
What is “Texas Style ”?
1. Emphasize fruit forward with low acid and soft tannins
2. “Flower’ where applicable
3. Mouth feel
4. Smoothness – we particularly emphasize smoothness from beginning to end, but particularly on the ‘finish’.
In 1992, the first vines were planted as a ‘retirement project’ for the retired attorney, Franklin Houser. The following year, after a successful inaugural growing season, Dry Comal Creek Vineyards planted 4,000 vines of Vitus vinifera. The first grapes were harvested in 1995, the first wine produced in 1998 and the Tasting Room opened the same year.
Two catastrophic floods in 1998 and 2002, washed out the vineyards and the winery, forcing a major set-back for the business, but Mother Nature hadn’t finished playing games, of course. In 2000, testing confirmed that the vineyard was infested with Pierce’s disease, a gulf-coast bacterial pathogen that kills vines. On two occasions, an entire crop of diseased plants were ripped out. Essentially no grapes – no wine!
Instead of folding up shop, the owners got creative and developed a series of core wines that no other Texas or California winery, for that matter, was making. And, since there is no known cure for Pierce’s disease, Houser researched and found a resistant grape named Black Spanish (or Lenoir). Oh yes, they still have vineyards, but they are only Black Spanish and doing so with such great success that they have become known as the ‘pioneers’ in Texas of Black Spanish wine.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS & PRESS:
"Dry Comal Creek will win you over with their delicious, creative wines and their knowledgeable and engaging staff." — Jenny Webster Jurica (texashillcountry.com)
"We attended the Mother's Day event yesterday. This was our first time back to DCC since the change in ownership. We were happy that they had our same favorite wines and frozen sangria. The faces were new but definitely attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable. We loved having the live music, cheese & meat tray option, kids treats, and activities. The overall vibe was WONDERFUL!!! All of the extras for us moms were so very sweet and very much appreciated. I hope to see the food options, music, and family-friendly activities continue!" — Lindsey Bulsterbaum (Customer)
"Our group had an excellent time at the winery, the wine tasting was great! The sangria was really good and refreshing for a hot day. Our favorite wine was the Black White Spanish! The staff was really welcoming and attentive, we will definitely be back soon." — Marcy Silva (Customer)
1741 Herbelin Rd
New Braunfels, TX 78132