Doug Lewis (photo courtesy Miguel Lecuona)
by Andrew Chalk
As I accelerate out of Johnson City, travelling west on 290, I am careful to watch for two propane tanks on the left hand side of the road as I have it on good authority that the entrance right after them is Lewis Wines. Two oak barrels mark the site of the future sign that will tell travellers to the 290 wine route (the stretch of U.S. 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg along which literally dozens of Texas wineries exist either in name or in fact) that this is an open winery with a tasting room and it welcomes visitors.
I follow the driveway around a house and up a rise where, near a bluff of Austin stone, sits the corrugated steel building that is the winery. Duncan McNabb, winemaker greets me with a warm smile that says “I can’t believe you found us”. His dedication to the four-year old startup that is Lewis Wines is obvious when, on hearing my out of state accent, he explains that he is from LA where he was a pre-med student who was initially contracted to do some chemical tests on wine for Doug Lewis, after whom the winery is named, McNabb gave up entrance into the highest paid major profession in the world, American medicine, to make wine at a startup winery an hour north of San Antonio. Continue reading