Compass Rose

The compass rose always displays the cardinal directions, or winds: North, South, East, and West. The emblem of Compass Rose Cellars exhibits the cardinal winds, plus four major wind directions: Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest. The eight major winds on the Compass Rose Cellars emblem are intersected by eight half-winds at the median degree and minute.

When cartographers connected the wind directions with inner and outer circles, the compass resembled the petals of a blossoming rose. Cartographers chose to refer to this elegant combination of art and science as a compass rose.


Blending old world techniques, a little bit of love, and a pinch of perseverance produces our wines, which are a unique and elegant gastronomic accompaniment. By mixing modern science with time-honored methods, we attain quality and strive for new heights with each wine.

History of Compass Rose Cellars

Compass Rose Cellars started off as a dream during a trip to the Hill Country in the mid 90’s. That dream stayed dormant for many years until Mark Watson met Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett. Through this friendship that far-off dream started to take new life. Mark’s dream finally took root when he bought his first ton of fruit in 2011. The dream continued to grow into reality in 2012 as Mark continued to purchase fruit and hired on winemaker Robert Nida to run the winery. 2013 was an exciting year for Compass Rose with the completion of their winery and first in-house harvest. They also realized during this time that in order for their dream to truly come into reality that they would need a place they could call their own. This lead them to purchasing 35 acres in Hye, Texas. They quickly started making plans for the land and saw the completion of their tasting room in mid 2014.  The tasting room sits atop a prominent overlook, with a commanding view of the Pedernales river valley for miles, particularly beautiful at sunset.

Meet The Family

Mark Watson

Mark grew up in the West Texas town of Midland. The younger son of a land surveyor, he was educated in the art of surveying on the heels of his father and older brother. Mark realized from a young age that he had a passion for history and preserving the history of places he visited. Taking this passion, Mark followed in his father’s footsteps and worked in the oil fields of West Texas as a young man, beginning his career as a land surveyor. As Mark grew older, he married and was blessed with two children, Jordan and Remington. Life was good, but he still felt out of place. An area he visited in college had always called to him. He still remembers the sense of peace and belonging when he passed through the Texas Hill County. He passed through the Texas Hill Country on his numerous trips from Midland to San Marcos where he attended Southwest Texas State University. As fate would have it, Mark moved his family to Mason, Texas and established his own surveying business on a song and a prayer in the hills of Central Texas. He and his family were drawn to the beauty of Mason and quickly put down roots that dug deep within the community. With help from his friends and family, his surveying company soon grew to become a thriving business that stretched across two states. His family at Cross Texas Land Services, Inc. had grown beyond his belief. Suddenly, Mark realized he had surveyed in most of the counties in Texas, immortalized his footprints on the history of the land, and touched many lives on his journey as a surveyor. But something was still missing, an idea that had long percolated in the back of his mind and grown in his dreams… Years ago, during a wine tasting trip in Fredericksburg, a seed had been planted and began to take root. He could not remember having more fun, recalling the relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. He watched his friends having the time of their lives on this wine tour. His friends would go into the winery with a smile on their faces and leave with a bigger one. Mark wanted to see and feel this every day. He decided to turn his dream of making wine into a reality. In 2006, he went looking for a new building to house the growing survey business and make room for his dream to be realized. It took six years and many trials and tribulations. Then everything fell into place. On Friday, January 28, 2011, Mark Watson realized his dream of producing beautifully-crafted, elegant wines with the founding of Compass Rose Cellars.