Water 2 Wine – Round Rock Review
Address: 2000 S. I-H 35 Suite H1-2 Round Rock,Texas 78681.
Phone Number: 512-310-9463
Reviewer: Becky Parr
Review Date: 2/25/2014
Reviewer: Becky Parr
I went to Austin to see friends in town from Britain (hes from Texas, shes Scottish, they live in the English countryside) and they enthusiastically orchestrated an afternoon of wine tasting. The transplanted Texans parents live in Round Rock, and Mom suggested Water2Wine. I wasnt terribly enthusiastic at first, having rather limited experience with franchise wineries; most of my destinations are self-contained wineries often adjacent to their own vineyard. I was skeptical of a place that produces 90 to 100 different wines from imported juice.
After this visit no more skepticism for me! Id have to go back about 10 times before I got through all the wines, but based on what I tasted, it might be worth 10 more trips to find even more gems.
The Place:  Its easy to find, and its cute inside, but Water2Wine is located in a strip shopping center not far from the freeway, so dont expect any scenic vistas. Inside, theres a lot to look at in terms of wine-themed gift items, including a great many things advertising enthusiasm for Texas colleges. The gift shop doesnt really have its own designated area, but is kind of scattered throughout the store, with some cleverly designed and placed merchandising displays.
The People:  I was remiss in not asking our servers their names. We had two during the course of our visit; in terms of customers, we had the place to ourselves, at least initially, but we arrived at the staffs lunch hour, so two different staff members served us. Both were quite pleasant and offered a great deal of knowledge about the extensive wine list. In the brochure they give to customers, they refer to their team as wine enthusiasts rather than wine snobs, and Id say that was the case. Our first server let us know about the extensive wine list and the fact that Water2Wine uses significantly less sulfites than commercial wines.
The Wines:  So many wines, so little capacity to drink! Kurt was driving (bless him), so he just sipped occasionally, and Nicola and I had fun tasting a bunch of wines. Her taste is similar to mine while also being different, mostly in terms of the white wines; she leans toward the Sauvignon Blancs and I lean toward the Chardonnays, but somehow I found myself also talked into a Gewurztraminer while she tried a dry Rosé. I didnt taste anything I didnt enjoy. The Australian Chardonnay was buttery, the Mosel Gewurztraminer was slightly sweet but not overbearing in its sweetness and would be a good summer drinking wine. Nicola found the French Rosé dry, with a fruity finish and also enjoyed the Marlborough New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
It seems odd to be talking about Australian Chardonnays and New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs in a Texas winery review! All wines are made on-site, just from juice that comes from different regions of the country and the world.
Then we went on to the reds, which I think is what we wanted to get to in the first place. Nicola had an Italian Montepulciano that she called easy to drink. She also had a taste of the Italian Barbera (another lighter red) and a glass of the Italian Rosso Fortissimo, in the Super Tuscan style. I had tastes of the Lodi Old Vines Red Zinfandel, which was pretty big and bold, and a Venetian Red blend that was lighter. My favorite was the Italian Amarone off the Private Reserve list, which is what I chose for my glass-full; it was super-smooth with a great finish. Two weeks later, I am still kicking myself for not buying a bottle.
The Experience:  Im so glad we went to Water2Wine! If I lived in the Austin area, I think it would be a place Id frequent. Besides having all those wines available for tasting all the time, theres a wine club, numerous classes and events, and the opportunity to make your own batch of wine (not your unique wine, but a batch of one of the 90-100 or so wines they offer), with custom labels, for a discount below retail. How fun is that? You get to participate in mixing the wine, and in bottling, corking, and labeling, and then you have 28 to 30 bottles (full batch) with your own label. The pricing ranges from $280 to $540 for that amount of wine, but it means you save between $80 and $275 as opposed to retail. Plus, you get a fun experience.
This is a great stop on a Saturday afternoon, for large or small groups.