Here We Grow!
Our wineries and vineyards are in the midst of harvesting those precious grapes that they will crush and squeeze and make wine. Some wineries will travel to pick up grapes and bring them back to North Texas Wine Country. Some have their own vineyards.
Here's what's going on at our member wineries:
Cork House Winery www.corkhousewinery.com
Fitzel Winery www.fitzelwinery.com
TF Vineyard & Winery www.tfvineyard.com
Meet Tom Busch, Winemaker from Cooley Bay Winery in Van Alstyne:
Q: What inspired you to go into wine-making?
A: I CAME UP WITH A SPECIALTY DRINK IN MY KITCHEN, THE WINE COOLEY, AND DECIDED TO TRY TO GET IT ON THE MARKET. A WINE COOLEY IS A FRUIT WINE BASED WINE COOLER WITH NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS OR COLORS, SERVED COLD & CARBONATED. WE HAVE A CHERRY LIME & A MIXED BERRY COOLEY, PLUS NOW TWO FROZEN ICED COOLEYS AS WELL.
Q: Did you have a wine-making mentor, if so, would you tell us about him/her?
A: I TOOK CLASSES AT GRAYSON COLLEGE AND GOT MY ENOLOGY CERTIFICATE (WINEMAKING). WHILE I WAS THERE I MET A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO EITHER HAD WINERIES OR HAVE SINCE STARTED WINERIES, WHO HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFUL TO ME ..... PEOPLE LIKE GABE PARKER AT HOMESTEAD WINERY, JAMES HANGER AT OG CELLARS, WALT ROPER AT 4R RANCH VINEYARDS & WINERY, BRIAN SCALF AT THE WINERY AT WILLOW CREEK, AND BILL SKRAPITS AT CHRISTOVAL VINEYARDS. SO, I GUESS I COULD SAY THAT I'VE HAD A NUMBER OF MENTORS WHO HAVE HELPED ME ON MY WINEMAKING JOURNEY. ONE OF THE WONDERFUL SURPRISES FOR ME HAS BEEN DISCOVERING THAT IN THE TEXAS WINE INDUSTRY WE'RE NOT REALLY COMPETITORS; WE ALL WORK VERY WELL TOGETHER AND HELP EACH OTHER. IT'S A WONDERFUL GROUP OF PEOPLE.
Q: Have you had any “oops” moments during your early days of winemaking? Please, do tell!
A: WE'VE ONLY BEEN OPEN ABOUT 2 YEARS & HAVE BEEN PRETTY LUCKY SO FAR. WE HAD SOME PROBLEMS WITH A SECONDARY FERMENTATION OF A PEACH WINE THAT GAVE US SOME FITS. WE'VE ALSO HAD SOME CHALLENGES WITH BOTTLING & HAVING BOTTLES WITH CORK FLOATING AROUND IN THEM, BUT TO BE HONEST WE'VE REALLY BEEN VERY FORTUNATE SO FAR.
Q: What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as a winemaker?
A: THE SPECIALTY DRINK THAT I CREATED, THE WINE COOLEY, HAS CONTINUED TO BE A BIG HIT. WE NOW HAVE 4 WINE COOLEYS (CHERRY LIME, MIXED BERRY, PEACH ICED, & CHERRY ICED); THEY'RE SOME OF OUR BEST SELLERS AT THE WINERY AND ALWAYS BIG SELLERS AT FESTIVALS. IT'S VERY SATISFYING TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT YOU HAD AN IDEA ABOUT & CREATED IN YOUR KITCHEN TO FIND COMMERCIAL SUCCESS.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give a new winemaker?
A: LEARN ALL THAT YOU CAN, GET TO KNOW OTHERS IN THE TEXAS WINE INDUSTRY, AND DON'T BE DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP & ADVICE.
Visit our website for all of our member winery's information:
Stay tuned for new wineries being added!
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Watch for "Where am I?" to win prizes during the month of August.