Yates Family Buys Spicewood Vineyards

Manigolds Set to live the good life

Spicewood Vineyards has long been one of our favorite Texas wineries, producing a Sauvignon Blanc that is consistently one of the best in the U.S. Beginning with a dream in 1987, owners Ed and Madeleine Manigold mortgaged their future to create Spicewood Vineyards. It's been a nonstop, eight-day-a-week pursuit for 20 years. Last year they woke up to the realization that they no longer owned a winery; the winery owned them. They wanted some of their freedom back, so they made the bittersweet decision to sell.

Enter the Yates family of Marble Falls and Horseshoe Bay. They have deep roots in the Texas Hill Country, with three generations of ranchers and farmers. Ron Yates will be the manager of Spicewood Vineyards. He's a graduate of Marble Falls High, UT, and St. Mary's University School of Law. Lately he's been a partner at High Wire Music, a label known locally for having Daniel Johnston on its roster.

But the family loves wine, and Ron yearned for a life out from behind a desk. "Ed Auler [owner of Fall Creek Vineyards] is my dad's first cousin, and I grew up going to Fall Creek," Ron says. "I originally thought about using the family land to grow grapes and sell them to the Aulers, but when I found out about Spicewood being for sale, it made so much sense. I could hit the ground running instead of trying to create something from the ground up."

Ron is excited about keeping things status quo for the short term. The future will include a few new grape varieties, but Ron won't be rushing to make any changes.

Madeleine's take is very positive. "We feel wonderful. The Yates are a wonderful family who will be good stewards of the land," she says. "Plus, they are passionate about the wines, and I'm just so excited about this. It's really a perfect fit."

The main benefit is the Manigolds will now have time to do a little traveling. They're currently planning a trip to Italy, where they can sit on a porch, sip some wine, and watch someone else work a vineyard.

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