Visiting wineries is the epitome of elegance. It’s easy to conjure fairy tale images of royalty while enveloped in the romance of walking rows of fragrant grapevines as you approach the palatial château to the tasting room. But a soon-to-open urban winery, The Infinite Monkey Theorem, throws that stereotype out the window. It’s fun. It’s spirited. It’s more likely to catch a show at The Mohawk than at The Long Center.
You won’t find any vines or pretense at the new Austin winery. It’s taking over a former auto repair shop just off of South Congress Avenue (121 Pickle Rd.), and the owners are busily sweeping out rusty car parts to make room for wine tanks and tagging the walls with graffiti. The funky winery will have private tastings in August and aims to officially open in late September with a kick-ass party complete with tours, drink specials, art features and live music.
Urban wineries aren’t a new thing. This isn’t even the first urban winery in Austin (that distinction goes to The Austin Winery). In fact, it’s not even the first Infinite Monkey Theorem urban winery. Nope. This is the second location for the Denver-based winery, which opened in 2008. They cleverly are bringing wine production closer to where wine drinkers live and work in the wine-loving state of Texas.
Husband and wife team Aaron and Meredith Berman moved from Denver to open the new Austin location and serve as the chief financial officer and la grande dame of wine operations, respectively. The intrepid couple followed a lust for adventure and passion for wine to settle into new digs with their two dogs and kids (the goat kind of kids), in a “tiny house” in the same neighborhood as The Infinite Monkey Theorem winery.
The Bermans are fitting right into the Austin scene and Austinites are welcoming them with open arms. They are both quick with a smile, easygoing as a pair of flip-flops and as gracious as hosts could possibly be.
The Austin incarnation of The Infinite Monkey Theorem will make wine the same way as the original Denver winery. It will ship in grapes from various vineyards in the Texas High Plains to the facility in Austin where owner and winemaker, Ben Parsons, will make the preliminary batches of wine. The Bermans will be his trusty assistants and continue the longer processes throughout the year. They anticipate cranking out 2,500 cases of wine this year for the first harvest.
Visitors to the Infinite Monkey Theorem tasting room can sample and buy well-known wine varieties like Cabernet, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec and even Rosé made with Texas-grown grapes. I’m a big fan of the Petite Sirah, which sells for $35 a bottle. Initially, the Texas Rosé will be the only locally-made wine, with the rest of the wine coming from Denver. The winery will give birth to Texas white wines about six to eight months after this year’s harvest.
The winery tasting room will have six wines on tap, four bottled wines, and five types of wine in cans, including canned pear cider. Wine in cans? Hell yeah! Take it to the lake, the pool, the skate park or anywhere glass isn’t welcome. You can even shotgun these 8 ounce bad boys (What Are You Drinking doesn’t condone chugging a third of a bottle of wine, but what you do on your own time is your business).
How to shotgun wine like a Texan
And shotgunning is definitely a fun way to enjoy this wine. When What Are You Drinking proposed shotgunning Infinite Chimp wine from the can, Meredith was all over it. She eagerly hosted Cris Mueller, writer for Austin Food Magazine, Courtney Pierce, photographer and videographer for Courtpie Photography and me to shotgun a few cans of wine in the winery while it’s under construction. She even joined right in. Check her out in this video.
I mentioned that the Bermans are starting to fit right in to Texas. Well, Meredith got all cowgirl on me after shotgunning wine together. It turns out she has a competitive streak as wide as the Red River. She took to Instagram to challenge me to a second shotgun dual wearing full cowgirl regalia.
Check out what happens in this video.
It has been a blast getting to know the Bermans and getting to try several of the Infinite Monkey Theorem wines. I’m looking forward to the opening of the winery and know it will be barrels of fun to visit. Who knows, maybe the Bermans will even invite me back to shotgun with them again.
Infinite Monkey Theorem wine is available in local stores and on tap at various restaurants and bars around Austin. A complete list of places to find the wine, dates for special events and its grand opening party are available on the winery’s website and Facebook page.
A huge thank you goes to Courtney Pierce of Courtpie Photography for shooting the videos.
A version of this story was originally published on CultureMap.
Disclosure 1. No animals or people were injured in the making of these videos (other than Meredith’s ego).
Disclosure 2. Infinite Monkey Theorem provide wines to sample and to shotgun at no charge.