Robert Clay Vineyards - Media Kit
Robert Clay Vineyards is a family-owned Estate Winery that began its journey in 1996 when Paul and Nancy Buist planted the first vines. The vineyard's name honors their two sons, Robert and Clay. In 2012, Dan and Jeanie McLaughlin took over the reins of the vineyard with a desire to fulfill Dan's childhood dream of becoming a farmer and leaving a lasting legacy for their future generations.
TEXAS WINERIES PETITION FOR HICKORY SANDS AVA DESIGNATION DEEMED "PERFECTED" BY TTB
TEXAS WINERIES PETITION FOR HICKORY SANDS AVA DESIGNATION DEEMED "PERFECTED" BY TTB March 02, 2023, 11:00 GMT [Hickory Sands AVA Logo] TTB...
Hickory Sands Chardonnays from Robert Clay Vineyards Win Big at 2023 SFC Wine Competition in Highest Price Category
Hickory Sands Chardonnays from Robert Clay Vineyards Win Big at 2023 SFC Wine Competition in Highest Price Category February 09, 2023, 13:04...
Drew Tallent, owner of Tallent Vineyards, along with Dan McLaughlin of Robert Clay Vineyards and Tesha Parr Solomon of Parr Vineyards, are collectively the driving force behind the application for the Hickory Sands AVA. Also pending final approval, it’s located in the northwest corner of the Llano Uplift.
Dan McLaughlin wants to make age-worthy wines and there is some wine still in the barrels after three years, so he is not rushing to release wine.
Dan’s oldest wines are from 2015 and that includes Merlot, Sangiovese, and MTR (Merlot, Touriga Nacional, Ruby Cabernet). These wines are what he calls Grand Reserve meaning aged five years with a minimum of two years in barrel.
I am SO glad that I bought a bottle to bring home. I opened that tonight and it poured with a very cherry-vanilla pipe tobacco nose.
Dan devotes patient attention to his vineyard management aiming to be an organic farmer if and when the conditions are right. This combined with his gentle, minimal-intervention winemaking has created special wines with an authenticity that offers a sensual expression given by his Mason County terroir.
For me, these wines brought a quick remembrance of two previous Texas Chardonnays of notoriety.
Dan McLaughlin ignored conventional wisdom, and eventually won respect.
"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life." --William Faulkner
...the uniqueness of natural wines is what makes them so special. “Natural wines express a sense of place, of time, the conditions of the year. They’re not made to be reproducible, year after year after year,” A&M’s Botezatu says. “They’re an expression of the moment.”
Dan McLaughlin, proprietor of Robert Clay Vineyards in Mason, is almost alone in trying to practice organic viticulture.
They strive to be pesticide-free, free of added sulfites, additive-free and use natural wild yeasts for fermentation.
Mr. McLaughlin is one of very few Texas growers trying to farm organically. On grassy, sandstone fields amid chickens and geese, he tends grenache, barbera, chardonnay, mourvèdre and viognier, along with other varieties.
In the Hill Country, you see some great things happening with Tallant Vineyards and Robert Clay Vineyards in Mason County, and Salt Lick Vineyards and Klein Vineyards in Hays County. The collaborative effort is inspiring, and Texas wineries now have a lot of great relationships to foster.
If there was any winemaker to encapsulate natural wine in Texas right now, it’s Dan McLaughlin at Robert Clay Vineyards. The Mason Country producer made the switch to organic farming and unsulfited winemaking in 2016 at the suggestion of tablemate Krista Scruggs.
I felt like I needed to see the difference -- the impact in the wine and on the palate compared to conventionally made wine, so I started experimenting.
The soil is some of the best in Texas for growing grapes.
The grape growing industry has really taken shape in Texas and the only way it’s going to proliferate is if students are exposed to what it’s all about at a young age.
It will be the biggest vintage in Texas history, no question
...implementation of this innovative coursework is a big step in the direction of promoting agriculture and putting Texas grapes on the global wine map.
“Damn it Dan, this wine is good!” It was in a medium bodied style and had a moderate dose of oak. The Wine Industry Continues to Expand in Texas Hill Country
the family struggles to keep up with the overwhelming task of retraining thee grapevines, which are gowning back at a quick clip.
...they have quickly learned that growing grapes in Texas presents plenty of challenges
I wish we could just give everything up and do that
Damn it Dan, this wine is good!
Holy Toledo this one is my favorite! The flavor profiles are nothing I’ve ever tasted! #lifer
I. Am. In. LOVE. With Barbera. Holy cow girl, you guys make gooooood wine.
This was amazing Jeanie!! Love the wines you craft!!
Robert Clay captures the essence of the vineyard in a glass. The 2015 Merlot expresses ripe red fruit, but is not overly fruit forward. The fresh acidity, fleshy fruit notes and integrated oak pay homage to both new and old world wine styles. A walk through the vineyard will reveal a great attention to vine balance.
I have searched for RCV Merlot since last fall when I first tasted it @ the Habitat for Humanity fund raiser. Tonight, finally, I tasted it again....and...it was everything I remembered!
Right Hand Man
Dan & Jeanie McLaughlin
Southold Farm + Cellar
Moral support and buyer of 90% of the fruit we sell.
Southold Farm + Cellar is a winery and vineyard that started on the North Fork of Long Island by Regan and Carey Meador, sold, moved and that now exists in Gillespie County, Texas. We are and always will be a winery whose sole mission is to make wines that speak of place and time, that thrill and delight our friends, family and ourselves. In order to do so, our winemaking decisions are dictated by what has happened during that season, not stylistic emulation of other regions or forced consistency.