Lost Draw Cellars
In 2013, a Texas High Plains grape farmer, a retired oil and gas distributer, and a young civil engineer developed a partnership with a mission to open up a winery in the city limits of Fredericksburg. And this spring I had the great pleasure of partnering alongside them for their photography as they launched their company Lost Draw Cellars. Their vision was to make Lost Draw Cellars a place where locals, tourist, wine enthusiasts, and wine connoisseurs could come together to enjoy good company, an inviting atmosphere, and most importantly, a quality Texas wine. Though the backgrounds and history of each family vary in many different ways, the trio has very unique ties that brought them together to pursue a shared passion for the Texas wine industry.
Here’s there story …
Andy Timmons is revered across the state for his grape growing abilities and is considered one of the pioneers for the exponential growth of vineyards in Texas over the past decade. Andy is a multi-generation farmer from West Texas. Prior to planting grapes, his primary focus was cotton and peanuts. Like many farmers before him, Andy was constantly trying to find ways to grow new crops for the ever-evolving consumer market. Vineyards in the High Plains of Texas weren’t uncommon in the 90’s and early 2000’s. However, many economic and weather related issues inhibited the growth of the wine grape industry in our state. During this time, the common theme amongst High Plains farmers was that the risk of growing grapes outweighed the gains. Knowing all of the risks and despite many fellow farmer’s warnings, Andy decided to research the possibilities and potential upside of adding a third cash crop to his fields.
Around this time, Andrew Sides was a second year engineering student at Texas Tech University. Being Andy’s nephew, Andrew had worked at the family farm throughout high school and in to college. Growing up in a tight knit family, the two had a very special bond. Andrew is always looking for a new opportunity and Andy’s enthusiasm in exploring a new farming venture certainly sparked his interest. In 2006, Andrew helped Andy plant the first five acres of grapes on a piece of family property that is now known as Lost Draw Vineyards. Each year, Andy continued to plant different varieties and started to connect with Texas wineries across the state. Through innovative growing techniques, and learning from experienced grape growers in regions of California and Washington, Andy quickly became a household name in the Texas wine community.
In 2010, Andrew married his college sweetheart, Callie. Her father, Troy Ottmers, is a well-known staple in the Fredericksburg community. Troy is a 6th generation Fredericksburg native whose ancestors were among the settlers who founded the city in 1846. The Ottmers name is mostly known around the Hill Country because of Ottmers Oil, a family company that Troy’s grandfather purchased in 1936. Troy retired from the oil and gas business in 2009, but kept the property for its family history and the dedicated coffee group who have met in the office every morning for more than a decade. Being retired was never easy for Troy and after only a few years of being out of the working world, he was ready for a new venture. Knowing his father-in-law’s growing ambition to go back into business, Andrew offered the perfect opportunity. Troy was already a board member of the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts and had interest in the growth of the Hill Country wine industry. One meeting between Andrew, Andy and Troy and the Lost Draw Cellars brand was born.
Andy’s willingness to break the mold in vineyard development across the High Plains led to him becoming the largest grape farmer in Texas. In the spring of 2014, Lost Draw Vineyards expanded and made Texas history. Andy now owns and manages 500 acres, producing over 30 varieties. In the summer, construction began on the Lost Draw Cellars tasting room in Fredericksburg, TX. Opening this week, the tasting room resides in the heart of Fredericksburg where the Ottmers family business was originally established.
The entire Lost Draw team looks forward to welcoming you this Friday, November 21st when they open their tasting room. And they will continue to strive to produce the highest quality wine that Texas has to offer in the months and years to come. Be sure to stop by and meet Troy, Andrew, Andy and their entire team! Their tasting room is conveniently located a few blocks off of Main Street and they offer wine tastings and wine by the glass or bottle. Plus, join them for Happy Hour Wed-Fri from 3-6pm and enjoy featured wines for $5 a glass!
Plus, if you like their website, branding and design, be sure to take a look at Jenn Sprinkle Design for more!