Texas wine leader and founder of Fall Creek Vineyards, Ed Auler, died on Saturday, October 14 at the age of 78. A public memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24 at Austin Ridge Bible Church at 9300 Bee Caves Road.
Auler was born in Austin in 1945. He attended the University of Texas at Austin for his undergraduate degree and law school, and married his wife Susan, whom he met at UT, in 1969.
The Aulers took a trip to France in 1973, in search of cattle for their ranch in Tow, Texas. Instead, they discovered a love of wine and pairing the beverage with food, and sought to bring that back to Texas. They planted their first vines in 1975, and Auler gave up his law practice in 1980 to focus on the vineyard full-time. The couple purchased 400 acres near Lake Buchanan which became Fall Creek Vineyards, and in 2014 opened a second location in Driftwood.
Auler was instrumental in establishing the Texas wine scene, starting the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival in 1986, which transitioned into the Austin Food & Wine Festival in 2012. Auler also worked to get the Texas Hill Country established as an official wine region, a designation it received in 1991.
Auler is survived by his wife Susan, his sister Mary Ann Meyers, his children Chad and Mark and their spouses, and five grandchildren.