Monthly Archives: September 2015

Grapefest, Harvest 2015, and What’s New with Us

You may have noticed that this site has been down for a while. Dave had previously been the main writer and we used this site to promote the Texas wine industry. We decided to shift our focus away from blogging a couple of years ago as we began to envision how to achieve our own dream of establishing a vineyard and venturing into the industry in new ways. Now that our journey has begun, we are also going to re-envision how to use this site to inform, entertain, and promote the Texas wine industry as well.  So with that, from now on Kelli will be the main writer here and the focus will be informing readers about the life and times of being a part of things from our perspective. Here’s where we are right now in our new adventures…

Rather than blogging, Dave is now working as the vineyard manager and assistant wine maker at Crump Valley Vineyards in Sulphur Springs, Texas. This is a part time/weekend venture for him to gain the knowledge and skills he needs in order for us to establish our own vineyard and possibly open our own winery someday. This work means many weekends with little family time for us but its a worthy sacrifice. Later, when we get closer, I’ll also go into a viticulture program to gain the formal learning for our family. But for now, I’ll be sharing stories about what its like to be the wife of a busy UPS driver by weekday and winemaker/grower by weekend.

This growing season certainly brought an interesting twist. All the early spring rains, in abundance, created a unique growing situation. The Crump Valley vineyard is a 3/4 acre site growing Blanc du Bois, a hybrid grape created to be resistant to the dreaded  Pierce’s Disease and it grows particularly well in the soils east of I-35 in Texas. The relentless rain meant strategic spraying in the vineyard to prevent mildew and other problems with the grapes. In east Texas this was pretty much impossible and resulted in a loss of the grapes. But the good news is that their young vineyard is growing and will be even better next year and crops in other parts of the state were much greater in terms of yield and quality than in the previous years. We have been able with this fortunate turn of events to secure new fruit opportunities. This year brought Dave a chance to use Merlot from Rising Star Vineyard as his first commercial winemaking project. And the benefits continued with a ton of Viognier grapes from Bingham Family Vineyards and a ton of Roussanne from Oswald Vineyards, both in the high plains. I know Dave and Travis are both excited about getting new Texas offerings into the winery and about making some new wines.

And that brings us up to Grapefest. Crump Valley Vineyards submitted wines for tasting at the People’s Choice wine tasting event. If you have never been, the People’s Choice tent is certainly an experience to have. Basically you buy a ticket for entry into the tasting tent which gets you access to tastings of about 4 wines for all those who are pouring. I don’t know exactly but I’ll bet there were 40-50 wineries present. Participants are asked to vote on their favorite wines in each category as they taste around the tent for an hour and a half. I don’t know about you, but 90 minutes of wine tasting is A LOT of wine. Dave and I attended this event a fews ago and it was just so overwhelming to be there with 800 other people trying to taste as much wine as you can and also intelligently compare them so you can vote. I do think I enjoy pouring more than tasting in this environment. So this year we took turns pouring and helping out. Its comical to watch everyone and I am always amazed that some folks can walk themselves out at the end. I did get the pleasure of pouring on Sunday which was a little lighter day than Saturday when Dave worked, and also the end of the festival. Since I got to hang around to the very end, I was able to attend the awards ceremony to see all the wines that take places at this event, and enjoy (aka taste) remaining wine from the pourings that day. Now that was much more fun!

So here we are…I’ll post from time to time to keep you in the loop of happenings in our Texas wine area, along with how things are progressing on our journey to become winemakers and growers too. In the meantime, visit a local winery, taste something new, and just enjoy the fruits of our Texas soils.


Kelli (and Dave) Potter

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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Our Journey into the Texas Wine Industry


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