The Man, The Myth, The Legend
A sixth generation German Texan, Tom Luck’s history with wine somewhat parallels the history of wine consumption for the past forty years in the United States. A legal 18 year old drinker in 1973, Tom enjoyed Lancer’s, Mateus, German Liebfraumilch, and Gallo Hearty Burgundy. But by the time he was in his 30’s his palate had evolved and he visited his first wineries, which happened to be in Napa, near his sister’s home in Sausalito, California. By this time he was living in New England where he lived for 20 years. His palate continued to evolve and he began to enjoy the differences between varieties of reds and whites, having fun trying to get just the right wine with the right food. In 2004 he moved to the Finger Lakes Region of New York where he explored the surprising varieties of wines in that region, and where he enjoyed touring some of the oldest wineries in the United States.
In 2014 he retired and moved back home to Texas where he eventually became reacquainted with and married a friend from college who lives in Fredericksburg, in order to be near her daughter and son-in-law who own a winery, William Chris Vineyards.
Tom came to know Clint Thomas, owner of Cellar Rat Wine Tours, through this family connection and started leading tours in 2016. His interest in wine eventually led to his working full-time again at Hilmy Cellars, first as a Tasting Room Associate, and then as manager of the wine club. But the lure of the Social Security piggy bank led Tom to retire, again. This has once again freed Tom to pursue his dual passions of introducing people to the Texas Hill Country generally, and Texas wine in particular by leading tours with Cellar Rat Wine Tours. He also works two Saturdays a month in the tasting room at Lewis Wines.
A retired Episcopal priest who still leads services on Sundays and Wednesdays, Tom has a BA in Philosophy and British Studies, including a semester of study in London, from Austin College; a Master of Divinity degree from Nashotah House, an Episcopal seminary in Wisconsin; and a Master of Liberal Arts degree in religious studies from Harvard. Needless to say, Tom thinks great wine and church are entirely compatible, and takes joy in knowing that the first wine in Texas was produced about 400 years ago so Spanish missionaries could have wine for Holy Communion.
When not leading wine tours or church services, Tom enjoys time with family, running, cycling, swimming, golfing, making music, and enjoying the great food and drink of the Texas Hill Country. He also volunteers at the Fredericksburg Food Pantry, Haven for Hope in San Antonio (the largest homeless center in the United States), and as a Marshal on the 18th hole of the Valero Texas Open, the single largest fundraiser on the PGA Tour.