Mayfield Ranch insider - Blog January 10, 2024

A Journey into California’s Wine World with Swallow Wines

A Journey into California’s Wine World with Swallow Wines

Diving into the vibrant world of wines, Swallow Wines stands as a testament to the passion and dedication of Matt and Gabe Ellis, co-owners, and CEOs of this charming winery. Nestled in Round Rock, Texas, this establishment isn’t just about sipping fine wines; it’s an immersive journey into California’s winemaking heart and the captivating stories behind each bottle. 

The Birth of Swallow Wines

Could you share the fascinating story behind the founding of Swallow Wines and your journey into the world of winemaking? Swallow Wines was born out of our shared love for wine. Over the past 15 years, we explored California’s renowned wineries, from the big names to the hidden gems. In 2022, we decided to embark on a new path, founding Swallow Wines LLC in January. The journey included various iterations, from a website to a tasting lounge, and finally settling on a winery tasting room model. We obtained our winery permit from TABC, allowing us to buy directly from small, passionate wine producers who lacked Texas distribution. 

From Concept to Reality

What inspired you to establish Swallow Wines? Swallow Wines is an extension of what we’ve been doing at home for years – hosting tastings and sharing unique wines with friends. The inspiration came from these intimate gatherings, and now we’re turning our passion into a business. We’re motivated by the stories of winemakers like GW, an army veteran turned head winemaker, or Chris, who created a wine label as a legacy for his children.

Our focus is on the stories – the winemakers, the vineyards, the climate, and the terroir. We serve as a satellite tasting room for these small producers, offering a unique space to showcase their artisanal wines. We’re not just about selling wine; we are about sharing the stories behind each bottle alongside each pour.

Our goal is to make wine tasting more meaningful by sharing these inspiring narratives with our community. 


The Swallow Wines Atmosphere

Describe the overall ambiance and atmosphere you aim to create at Swallow Wines. 

Visitors to Swallow Wines are welcomed into an atmosphere exuding approachable elegance. We want visitors to feel like they’re at a friend’s home, engaging in conversations about wine. Approachable elegance guides every decision. Our space is adorned with living room furniture and decorative chandeliers, striking a delicate balance between comfort and sophistication. “Every aspect, from the arrangement of furniture to the design of our black cement sinks, aims to encapsulate this approachable elegance,” Matt explained.

Setting Swallow Wines Apart

What sets Swallow Wines apart from other tasting rooms in the area? 

Firstly, we’re the first winery in Round Rock. Our winery permit allows us to work directly with small wine producers, offering a selection not available elsewhere. Unlike bars or restaurants limited by distributors, we feature the wines of these boutique producers at the forefront.

Our focus is on providing a unique experience – no rushing, personalized tastings, and an emphasis on storytelling. Personalized tasting, a focus on storytelling, and an ambiance encouraging unhurried exploration amplify the Swallow Wines experience. We want visitors to choose their own experience, whether it’s a detailed flight or simply enjoying a glass. 

California-Centric Experience

Are there particular regions or styles of wine that Swallow Wines specializes in? 

We’re strictly California-focused, drawing from our 15 years of exploring wines in the region. Our goal is to offer a comprehensive picture of California wine, showcasing the diversity in styles and grape varieties from different regions within the state. 

From the Sierra foothills to Santa Barbara, we aim to highlight the unique characteristics of California wines, including their ability to grow various grape varieties. 

Events and More!

Do you offer educational sessions or wine-related events for visitors? 

Absolutely! We plan to create educational classes covering various aspects of wine, from winemaking to glassware. We’re also organizing events with guest winemakers, providing our community with the opportunity to engage directly with the producers. Swallow Wines aims to present a comprehensive picture that celebrates the diversity in styles and grape varieties across different California locales.

We’ve already scheduled events with winemakers like the manager of Pine Mountain Vineyards, known for their exceptional Cabernets. Spotlight events, educational sessions – we want to make the wine experience at Swallow Wines dynamic and engaging. 

For wine enthusiasts seeking a deeper connection, Swallow Wines has curated a bespoke wine club membership in partnership with Corksy, offering exclusive access to limited shipments of curated selections, enhancing the aficionado’s experience. 

Our aim is to provide an exclusive experience for those who truly appreciate the world of wine. 

Swallow Wines’ Vision!

What is your vision for the future of Swallow Wines? 

We want Swallow Wines to be the go-to destination for Round Rock residents and North Austin visitors seeking an authentic wine-tasting experience. We aspire to set ourselves apart, becoming synonymous with a unique and enjoyable wine journey. 

While the initial location is California-focused, we see a future of expansion and experimentation. Swallow Wines has the potential to evolve rapidly and explore different possibilities, setting new standards in the world of wine.

Advice for Wine Enthusiasts

Finally, what advice would you give to someone new to wine tasting or wanting to explore the world of wine? 

Don’t be afraid to try different things. “Wine is about enjoyment,” Matt and Gabe stress. Our space at Swallow Wines is a comfortable and safe environment. We encourage everyone to explore and experiment with new varieties, trusting their own preferences rather than feeling intimidated by tasting notes. 

At Swallow Wines, the journey isn’t merely about tasting wines; it’s an immersive experience, is about enjoyment, and an odyssey through the captivating narratives that define each bottle. Whether you’re a seasoned taster or a newcomer, focus on what you like and what brings you pleasure. Swallow Wines is here to make your wine journey not just enjoyable but truly memorable. 

“Swallows are social birds that tend to gather and nest together. Wine tasting is a social experience, best shared with friends.​”

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Swallow Wines

407 Round Rock Ave. Round Rock, TX 78664

512-630-2103   |

by Omar Ortega