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Dec. 16, 2022

Creating a Destination in Texas w/ Eva Horton, Flat Creek Winery

Creating a Destination in Texas w/ Eva Horton, Flat Creek Winery

Eva Horton, the owner of Flat Creek Estate, shares how they are creating more than a Texas winery but a destination.


With a California-like atmosphere, Texas wine country enjoys a strong local following. Eva Horton, the owner of Flat Creek Estate, shares how they are creating more than a Texas winery but a destination. With multiple venues, including a full-service restaurant and a disc golf course, Flat Creek is getting visitors to come back and enjoy the estate and wines. 


Detailed Show Notes: 

The goal is to be a destination, a real estate development play, not just a Texas winery

Texas wine country - west of Austin

  • TX wine trail - 290 corridor, flatter, mostly European & Spanish varietals
  • Expanded to Hill Country, NW of Austin
  • 3 hrs from Dallas & Houston, 1 hr from San Antonio, 45 min from Austin
  • #3 state in US for # of wineries

Visitors to TX wine country

  • The majority from Texas come for a weekend
  • As Austin becomes more of a definition, it gets more visitors
  • Looks California like

Flat Creek overview

  • In Hill Country, elevated, grows mostly Italian varietals
  • 80 acres, ~26 planted, ~18 producing currently
  • Produced ~4,500-6,000 cases, capacity for ~10,000
  • Three venues on the property - tasting room, restaurant, pavilion
  • The consulting winemaker from CA - Jean Holfinger

Wine pricing - ~$30 whites, ~$40-50 reds, premium to other TX wineries

Estate destinations

  • Tasting room - outdoor areas, fire pits, barrel tastings
  • Ellera - full-service restaurant, only Flat Creek wines and alcohol
  • Pavilion - live music, different food
  • 18-hole disc golf course, PGA qualified
  • Walking trails - like a winery in a park

Average spend

  • $25 for a tasting of 5 wines
  • Can range from ~$50-60 to hundreds for higher-end dinners at Ellera

# of visitors - typical weekend - ~400-500/day, special events ~1,000

Sales channels

  • 95% sold on site
  • 5% online
  • Not in distribution yet, but a goal for 2023

Hospitality sales & wine clubs

  • ~75% of visitors buy wine
  • Loyalty club - get benefits when you buy 12 bottles each year
  • “Being part of a destination/club”
  • Developing unique members-only benefits to drive membership - e.g., food & wine pairings, creating a VIP room (like a cigar lounge) for higher tier members
  • ~40-50% of visitors join the loyalty club 

Capturing non-customer emails - using cards to capture emails, ~50% uptake

~20-30% of customers repeat purchases, using personalized communications to target customers


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