Interview with Chris Cobb, Co-Founder of Kuhlman Cellars
Welcome to Kuhlman Cellars, where friends and family “come out, slow down and savor the afternoon away.” Chris Cobb, Co-founder of Kuhlman Cellars, explained that the winery and estate vineyard provides outstanding wine, handcrafted food, and a connection through wine to extended family.
Chris and his wife Jennifer Cobb are a pair of atypical winery founders, both with prior careers outside the realm of agriculture, hospitality, and winemaking. However, the couple found themselves coming to their dinner table each night with wine as a centerpiece for their daily rituals. Eventually, since wine was always at the forefront of their table and minds, they decided to embark on a journey in 2012, to combine their entrepreneurial experience and their interests in wine, and founded Kuhlman Cellars.
“This wasn’t a hobby, and it wasn’t just a passion, it was an opportunity to take our entrepreneurial skills, and apply it to this emerging Texas wine market,” said Cobb.
It’s been a long journey since 2012, when the Cobbs started applying their entrepreneurial skills to the Texas wine market. Several months after welcoming esteemed French winemaker and Texas wine pioneer, Bénédicte Rhyne, they were ready to open Kuhlman Cellars’ doors to the public in October of 2014. Right on time for Texas Wine Month.
The Cobb family managed a small estate vineyard just north of the winery property in the Texas Hill Country AVA prior to the completion of the winery. The Kuhlman Cellars name was derived from the Kuhlman Creek which originates on their family farm and ultimately empties into the Pedernales River.
As the Cobbs established their vision for their estate and wine program, they asked themselves, “How do we bring together a team of amazing people, individuals, to grow and bring forth quality fruit, worthy of putting our estate name on it?”
Kuhlman Cellars strives to achieve nuanced wine, each bottle with its own story, and purpose for its prospective pairing. Their wine collection encompasses a diversity of offerings, including nine-year old full-bodied estate reds, proprietary blends catered to the dirt formation underneath the evolving soil, to a variety of crisp whites, there is a persistent dedication to create the best quality wine for your glass. Kuhlman Cellars estate wines strive to reflect a sense of place, truly reflecting a culmination of 15 acres of land, a team of amazing people, and quality Texas fruit. Wines are crafted utilizing Old World winemaking principles including blending high quality fruit to accent the strongest characteristics while maintaining a subtle hand in the manipulation of the natural juice. With these principles in mind, they strive to make wines of distinction, nuance and great complexity.
The efforts to bring you the best wine don’t stop there. Take the nine-year old aged red for example. They go one step further to extenuate the acidity of the wine with Spanish Marcona almonds roasted with smoked sea salt, and dusted with herbs de Provence imported from the south of France. This pairing is one of many artistically crafted experiences that allow you to slow down and truly make you think about what it is that makes your taste buds sing.
Cobb notes that a missing link of many tasting experiences is giving you a perfect pairing, one that leaves your belly satisfied, but your mind left wondering. That’s why the Kuhlman team takes the extra time to educate its guests on the why. Kuhlman Cellars offers many different experiences for guests, ranging from an elevated, interactive pairing led by a Sommelier, to an estate vineyard tour, or a self guided tasting with seasonal chef prepared fare from its onsite bistro.
Winemaker Bénédicte Rhyne has a decorated career and long list of awards, but some that best represented the Texas Hill Country appellation on the global stage globally include five medals at the renowned Concours de Lyon in 2020. Kuhlman Cellars’ 2018 Estate Kuhlmanation White and 2018 Texas High Plains Viognier both won gold medals and the 2016 Reserve Merlot, 2017 Marl, and 2017 Texas High Plains (Newsom Vineyards) Sangiovese won silver. The Concours de Lyon judges tasted over six thousand samples, awarding only nine medals to wineries from the United States. “This is very exciting for us,” said Chris Cobb in an interview published by Forbes. “Many of our grapes are French in origin. To win gold with Texas wines in the grapes’ ancestral homeland is an honor.”
While Kuhlman Cellars is proud of producing high quality wines, they also are proud to be a partner in the greater central Texas community, a place where families can gather and celebrate milestones.
“We have watched a first date become an engagement, a married couple, and a family. We watched some of our members grow and evolve. Now we are part of their story. It is so powerful to be a part of that and to watch our community grow. We have celebrated births, and we have celebrated marriages. Life always comes full circle.
There’s a unifying theme through all of this. And what we find is that when we start to shine a light on this, people’s eyes brighten up, and they’re able to gain so much more enjoyment. And we would like Kuhlman Cellars wine to be a part of that- to bring enjoyment for everybody.”
Whether you’re there to taste a perfect pairing, take a cellar tour, or propose to a loved one, you all have one thing in common. You come for timeless elegance. Kuhlman Cellars is here to bring you a consistent experience with a conversation to be had.
If there’s one ethos Kuhlman Cellars encompasses, Cobb describes it as “the little black dress. “It never goes out of style, it’s always meaningful, but it’s not flashy. It’s just something that endures.”
Kuhlman Cellars invites you to take a stop off the famous Highway 290 wine trail to wine and dine with them at their table.