Franklin and Bonnie Houser purchased 103 acres of land just outside of New Braunfels, Texas in the 1970’s as a get-away home for their young family. The Dry Comal Creek Vineyards was full of wild mustang grapes and dewberries.
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Our Special Events
We offer a variety of winery events throughout the year. Guest chefs cook up magnificent tasty treats to go along with our award-winning wines. Put your name on a bottle of wine at our always-sold-out Grape Stomp. Don’t miss all the opportunities to enjoy our wines!
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.
Wine Make Philosophy
Dry Comal Creek Vineyards is a small boutique wine producer. We make small lots of wine and try to 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, and
4. Smoothness – we particularly emphasize smoothness from beginning to end, but particularly on the ‘finish’.
- First root stock planted in 1992 with Vitis Vinifera grapes. 1.5 acres
- First grapes harvested in 1995
- First wine produced in 1998
- First wine sold in 1999
- Tasting Room opened in 2000
- Vitis Vinifera grapes dying. Diagnosed with Pierce’s Disease in 2000
- First Black Spanish grapes planted in 2000
- Additional 4 acres planted in 2002
- By 2005 all acreage planted with Black Spanish grapes
- Current Wine production stands at approximately 10,500 cases per year