"Great wines come from those that have mastered the skill of patience." 

- Dan McLaughlin

Robert Clay Vineyards was originally planted in 1996 by Paul and Nancy Buist, named after their 2 sons, Robert and Clay.  In 2012 Dan and Jeanie McLaughlin sought out to realize Dan’s childhood dream of becoming a farmer, and creating a lasting legacy for their future generations.  Since taking over Robert Clay Vineyards, Dan’s passion and intuition has led them through an exciting road of learning and discovery that has already positioned Dan as a “True Texas Vigneron”.

Our winegrowing philosophy is quality driven.  We devote particular attention to detail, taking a methodical approach to vineyard management, minimal intervention winemaking, authenticity, and character for our wines.


Press coverage
"...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.”"
What the Heck is Natural Wine? - Three Texas winemakers are taking a “less is more” approach to creating unique wines
Texas Highways - September 24, 2020
"Dan McLaughlin, proprietor of Robert Clay Vineyards in Mason, is almost alone in trying to practice organic viticulture."
The Wine Industry Continues to Expand in Texas Hill Country
Advisor Wine Industry Network - July 14, 2020
"They strive to be pesticide-free, free of added sulfites, additive-free and use natural wild yeasts for fermentation."
Good-Natured Wines
edible Houston - June 08, 2020
"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 Texas, Winemakers Find Room to Roam
The New Your Times - May 16, 2019
"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."
You Should Consider Texas Wine For Your Fall And Holiday Celebrations
Forbes - October 30, 2019
"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."
Inside Wild World, The Great New Texas Natural Wine Festival
Sprudge - May 29, 2019
"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."
Rock & Vine - October 01, 2019
"The soil is some of the best in Texas for growing grapes."
Texas wine's well kept secret
Texas Lifestyle Magazine - April 01, 2016
"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."
Cultivating the Future Grape Growers of Texas
Texas Monthly - November 18, 2015
"It will be the biggest vintage in Texas history, no question"
Expect good year from Texas Wineries amid wet weather
Fort Worth Star Telegram - August 25, 2015
"...implementation of this innovative coursework is a big step in the direction of promoting agriculture and putting Texas grapes on the global wine map."
The first ever high school viticulture in Texas
Texas Hill Country - June 19, 2015
" “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"
My Cup O' Texas Chardonnay from Robert Clay Vineyards
Vintage Texas - The Wineslinger Chronicles - August 05, 2014
"the family struggles to keep up with the overwhelming task of retraining thee grapevines, which are gowning back at a quick clip."
Vineyard novices learn that when it rains it pours
San Antonio Express News - October 05, 2013
"...they have quickly learned that growing grapes in Texas presents plenty of challenges"
Lessons from the vine
San Antonio Express News - May 16, 2013
"I wish we could just give everything up and do that"
Family members uproot lives to tend a vineyard
San Antonio Express News - May 11, 2013
"For reasons that defy logic, Paul Buist planted Touriga in his Robert Clay Vineyard in rural Mason County some time ago."
Texas Touriga Port
Houston Press - March 02, 2010
"I'd prefer to let time and history be the judge of our wines." -Dan McLaughlin
Dan McLaughlin
Grape farmer at heart, winemaker by necessity.
dan@robertclayvineyards.com, 5126338086
Jeanie McLaughlin
There's no title that would do her justice! Let's just say Jeanie is our secret sauce, and we are so glad to have her!
Blake McLaughlin
Right Hand Man
A mentor that makes wine with our Ruby Cabernet
Located in Canyon Lake, Texas La Cruz de Comal produces only authentic Texas wines from Texas Hill Country grapes and offers true Texas Hill Country “terroir".
Purchases the majority of Merlot we sell
Located in Hye, Texas Bill and Chris are committed to a level of quality that represents the very best of Texas in each new vintage.
Makes wine with our fruit
Located in the Texas Davis Mountains AVA Alta Marfa planted 3 acres of vines in 2018, currently sourcing grapes from Robert Clay Vineyards
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.
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★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Damn it Dan, this wine is good!"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Holy Toledo this one is my favorite! The flavor profiles are nothing I’ve ever tasted! #lifer "
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"I. Am. In. LOVE. With Barbera. Holy cow girl, you guys make gooooood wine."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"This was amazing Jeanie!! Love the wines you craft!! "
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"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. "
Fritz Westover
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"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! "
Press Releases
February 13, 2022 -
For press inquiries, please contact:
Dan & Jeanie McLaughlin
(325) 261-0075
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