What do a Texas wine family, a Canadian, a golf teacher, a photographer, and a prince from Sri Lanka have in common?  They make great wine together!  It’s true that wine brings friends and family together from all over the world.  Wine bridges cultures and weaves people’s lives into a shared story.  Our team at Eden Hill came together to make premium wine from Texas vineyards (and share a few glasses along the way, too).  We look forward to sharing a bottle with you!

Clark and Linda Hornbaker+

Clark and Linda Hornbaker, Owners

Chris Hornbaker+

Chris Hornbaker, Winemaker, Owner

Shari Richter+

Shari Richter, Sales and Wine Club

Michael Steckley+

Michael Steckley, Vineyard and Cellar Manager

Wendy and Chanaka Dooldeniya+

Wendy and Chanaka Dooldeniya, Owners

Clark and Linda Hornbaker

Clark and Linda Hornbaker, Owners

Clark grew up on a Kansas wheat and dairy farm, while Linda grew up in San Jose gardening with her parents. So both their roots run deep in agriculture.  They would meet and marry while in college together at Abilene Christian University.  Clark had a career practicing as a public accountant and serving in public and private companies, while Linda got more into gardening and becoming recognized as a Collin County Master Gardener.

Their return to their roots began by getting stuck in the rain on the farm that is now our Eden Hill Estate Winery in Celina.  Linda felt certain this was a sign they should purchase the farm, and that this would be where they plant their Garden of Eden.  This led to Linda naming the winery “Eden Hill”.

Sharing their passion for the land with their son, Chris, the family decided to go on the wine journey together and create Eden Hill Vineyard and Winery. Chris studied oenology and Clark and Linda studied viticulture. The first grapevines were planted in the spring of 2008 with their first Tempranillo harvest in 2010.  So began their passion of growing quality grapes and joining with their son, Chris, in producing boutique quality wines.

Now almost twenty years later, Clark and Linda are living their dream of a family owned vineyard and winery producing internationally award winning wines.  Eden Hill winery is thriving and the family enjoys the labors together.

Clark and Linda Hornbaker can be contacted at clark@edenhill.com.

 

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Chris Hornbaker

Chris Hornbaker, Winemaker, Owner

With a love of wine and a passion for growing grapes, Chris started Eden Hill Winery with his parents, Clark and Linda, his sister, Wendy, and his brother-in law, Chanaka, in 2010. He started his journey in the craft by making wine at home for his friends and family. The joy of winemaking convinced Chris to turn his passion into a lifelong endeavor, and he returned to college, getting his professional training in Oenology and Viticulture (Greek for winemaking and grape growing) at Grayson College in Denison, Texas, just north of Dallas.

More than 10 years later, Chris has many “bottles”, or vintages, as the French would say, under his belt. Focusing on Italian, Spanish and warm-climate French grapes, Chris has followed his dream to make wines only from grapes grown in Texas vineyards. He believes that wines should speak of the “terroir” or region where they are grown, and to this day, Chris has never wavered in his belief that Texas can make wines that can rival the best of any wine region in the world. Many outstanding honors at international winemaking contests in San Francisco and Houston have given Chris the encouragement that he made the right choice to make 100% Texas wine from 100% Texas grapes.

Chris would be honored for you to taste the award winning wines of Eden Hill, and experience what the Texas terroir can deliver.

Chris Hornbaker can be contacted at chris@edenhill.com.

 

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Shari Richter

Shari Richter, Sales and Wine Club

Shari’s passion for wine began in her families home town, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario Canada. This beautiful escarpment is wrapped in vineyards and home to many wineries and tasting rooms. This is where Shari discovered her love for wine and its history.

Many years ago, Shari, her husband Darcy and children, Dustin & Maddison moved to Texas. Shari may have moved from her hometown, however her passion for wine grew stronger. Discovering Texas grapes and wine has led her on a journey, working and developing relationships with many Texas Wineries. On a journey looking for a vineyard to celebrate their wedding anniversary, Darcy and Shari pulled into Eden Hill’s estate farm. Driving by a beautiful vineyard of Tempranillo, they entered the quaint tasting room.
There she met Clark, Linda and Chris, owners of the winery. Together they tasted wine, learning about new varietals. European grapes grown in Texas! What a fantastic find.

Today, Shari shares continues her education, shares her journey and love for wine with customers alike at Eden Hill Vineyard & Winery. Shari also takes pride in the staff. It has been mentioned “they make you feel like your being welcomed into their home with smiles, professionalism and knowledge.”
Come out to the vineyard to enjoy an Eden Hill tasting experience. Our Internationally award-winning wines are made with 100% Texas grown grapes.

Shari Richter can be contacted at shari@edenhill.com.

 

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Michael Steckley

Michael Steckley, Vineyard and Cellar Manager

Michael’s journey with wine began by taking the long way home from a “day at the lake”.  On his way to another winery, he stumbled upon Eden Hill.  To say the least, he never made it to the other winery. He fell in love with the wines and began volunteering at the winery, helping Clark in the vineyard and making various trips around North Texas to obtain fruit for harvest. The hobby quickly became a passion and a career transition from 18 years as a golf professional into Vineyard Manager/Cellar Master at Eden Hill. He attended Grayson College in Denison, Texas, to study viticulture.  His joy is seeing the blank canvas of the beautiful vineyard and watching it transition from dormant vines into an abundant beautiful vineyard at harvest. Michael thrives on the continued study of grape-growing, sharing best-practices and teaching local interns about management of a vineyard and the hard work that goes into wine making.

Michael Steckley can be contacted at michael@edenhill.com.

 

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Wendy and Chanaka Dooldeniya

Wendy and Chanaka Dooldeniya, Owners

 

Wendy Dooldeniya, Photographer and Wine Lover

When she was a little girl in Michigan, Wendy loved riding on her dad’s shoulders and reaching out her hands to touch the fall leaves on the big trees overhead. Nature has always been her happy place – the wind on a ferry, the sunsets of the big Texas skies, the wildflower field on a mountainside, and now the rows of vines at Eden Hill. She loves to walk the rows and talk to the old vines and hunt for birds nests in the leaves.

As a photographer, Wendy loves to create images of the nature around her and is drawn to the warm light of the evening and the amazing sky paintings of Texas sunsets. You’ll see some of her images around the winery – some on the walls and some on the wine labels. Her favorite wine label is the one she collaborated on with her brother Chris, the winemaker, for Midnight. Wendy and Chris started collaborating on art in college and love to use their creative minds to bring a little extra something to the business designs like wine labels & presentations and even the bathroom signs!

Wendy is a high school photography teacher in Austin and proud mom of Araliya and Rowan. When the girls were young, they really helped us get our start. Araliya was a tasting room “hostess” during harvest days, wine label designer, and semi-pro golf cart driver and Rowan was a harvest day sorting table manager, barefoot grape stomper and labeling assistant to grandpa Clark.

Wendy would love for you to come to Eden Hill and walk the vines, enjoy a sunset and taste Chris’s newest vintage.

Chanaka Dooldeniya, Wine lover and Sri Lankan Prince 😉

Chanaka began his love of all things fermenting at an early age when he made coconut wine in his native Sri Lanka with his family. In college, he experimented with brewing beer and mead and when he proposed to Wendy he made honey mead for their wedding which was key to the revelry on their wedding night. He continues to experiment with his love of fermentation and has developed a sourdough starter from the Eden Hill terroir yeast and bacteria which he uses for making his famous bread & pizza.

In partnering with Chris, Wendy, Clark & Linda at Eden Hill, he continues to grow his passion of pairing great food with Eden Hill wines. He makes delicious barbecue and loves pairing Eden Hill Midnight, MC2 and Montepulciano with brisket and pulled pork.

Chanaka is passionate about bringing people together to share great food and wine and creating a beautiful life.

Wendy and Chanaka Dooldeniya can be contacted at wendy@edenhill.com.

 

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