Located at the eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country, this secluded wine sanctuary is tucked away along a quiet bend of the Blanco River. Carved into the rugged north face of a limestone hillside, the private cave is shielded by towering oak and elm trees.

Project Name: Hill Country Wine Cave
Studio Name: Clayton Korte
Structural Engineer: SSG Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Intelligent Engineering Services
Lighting Design: Studio Lumina
Mechanical Engineer: Positive Energy
Concrete subcontractor: Dash Concrete
Specialty steel fabrication: Fasone and Associates
Art metalwork: Cactus Max Fine Metal Artwork
Contractor: Monday Builders

Hill Country Wine Cave by Clayton Korte-Sheet2
©Clayton Korte

Its unassuming entrance courtyard offers a tantalizing hint of the hidden treasures within, camouflaged by native limestone boulders and lush foliage. The cave’s concrete portal entrance opens to the depths of the cave which consists of a tastefully appointed array of spaces—a tasting lounge, a bar, a wine cellar, and a powder room—all seamlessly integrated into its 18-foot-tall, 70-foot-deep expanse. The cave itself is molded to embrace the organic contours of the limestone.

Hill Country Wine Cave by Clayton Korte-Sheet5
©Clayton Korte


Once inside, a rich palette of materials greets the senses—white oak, both natural and stained, mingles with vertical grain Douglas fir, offering a warm counterpoint to the rugged concrete and stone. Custom-crafted windows of insulated steel and wood delineate the boundary between interior and exterior, separating the inviting lounge from the cool cellar.

Hill Country Wine Cave by Clayton Korte-Sheet6
©Clayton Korte
Hill Country Wine Cave by Clayton Korte-Sheet9
©Clayton Korte

Reclaimed cedar finds new life as live-edged countertops, gracing the tasting bar and restroom vanity with rustic elegance. Architect Brian Korte describes the space as akin to a ship in a bottle, carefully designed to remain adaptable while maintaining a respectful distance from the ancient cave walls.

Hill Country Wine Cave by Clayton Korte-Sheet10
©Clayton Korte

At the heart of the cave, beneath its soaring arches, lies the private cellar—a sanctuary for a growing collection of approximately 4,000 bottles. Shielded from the elements by the earth itself, this subterranean vault benefits from naturally cool temperatures, supplemented by careful cooling measures to preserve its treasures at an optimal 55-60 degrees.



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