Apr 152015


The Wine Society of Texas Announces 2015 Scholarship Grant Program

Copy of WST Grant Application: NR-WST-Scholar-Announ-04082015

The Wine Society of Texas will provide up to $7,000 in assistance for the wine education, internship or field study, and appreciation of wine through education.

On Tuesday April 14, 2015, The Wine Society of Texas (WST), a 501c3 non-profit educational organization announced that it is accepting applications for its annual Scholarship Grant Program. In order to apply for the grant, individuals must be: (a) attending institutions in the State of Texas studying viticulture and oenology, or (b) pursuing winery internships in Texas, or (c) involved with Texas winemaking or field studies / wine education, or (d) involved in promoting the education of grape growing and wine making in the State of Texas. Grants may be given depending on the quality of requests in the amount totaling up to $7,000 by the WST. The scholarship program is consistent with the founding idea of WST and its continuing mission to promote Texas winemakers and grape growers, enhance the appreciation of wines, foster the knowledge of oenology and viticulture, and support charitable activities.

According to Ms. Shirley Choate, WST President, “The WST Scholarship program offers financial assistance for tuition, books, or for related travel expenses for individuals registered or in a program of study with a Texas university or college offering accredited courses in viticulture or oenology. Financial assistance can also be provided for winery internships in Texas or for Texas winemaker studies. The funding for the WST Scholarship program is provided from charitable donations, local WST Chapter fund raising events, and various WST statewide wine events such as the wine education seminars. Our scholarship supports local Texas wine talent, which will be the future of the Texas wine and hospitality industry.”

WST has awarded over $37,000 in grants over the past 10 years. The awards have been used for a variety of purposes – research for the Texas wine industry including Pierce’s disease, Wine Symposium and Conferences, financial assistance for students attending Viticulture or Hotel Management programs, wine sommelier studies, and authors on the Texas Wine Industry.

The WST will be accepting applications up to 15, June, 2015.  All applications must be returned by this date, fully completed and with all necessary documents, to The Wine Society of Texas. Applicants are required to fill out the WST Scholarship Application, which will be reviewed by the WST Scholarship Committee.  The committee may recommend single or multiple awards depending on the quality of applications received. All decisions will be final and applying does not guarantee receiving a grant.  The WST scholarship award(s) will be announced in the summer of 2015.

For more information about the scholarship program or the WST please visit our website at www.winesocietyoftexas.org.


The Wine Society of Texas (www.winesocietyoftexas.org), headquartered in Midland, Texas, was started in 1996 and received its 501(c) 3 non-profit status in 1999. It has about 200 members around the State of Texas. The WST mission is: to enhance the appreciation of wine, especially Texas wines; educate the experienced as well as the beginning wine taster; promote the wine makers, and grape growers; foster the knowledge of oenology and viticulture; help in charitable activities throughout the state of Texas; and promote the responsible consumption of wine. It organizes events that promote appreciation of wine through education in a comfortable social setting.  The WST offers annual grants from its Scholarship Fund to assist in wine education, internships and field training.

 Posted by at 10:26 am
Sep 202013


Texas Tech University Plant and Soil Science Department Adds Maureen Qualia as Enology Instructor

The Texas wine industry welcomes one of it’s own back to Texas in a vital role!

An experienced winemaker and production manager, who will specialize in enology, has been named an instructor in Texas Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science, according to officials within the University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Maureen Qualia officially stepped into her new post on September 1 of this year.

Based at Texas Tech’s Fredericksburg campus in the Texas Hill Country, Qualia will develop and teach the university’s new winemaking certificate program. She will also teach undergraduate enology classes in Lubbock via distance education, and offer technical workshops for local Hill Country wineries.

“Maureen grew up in the Texas wine industry working in the family business, Val Verde Winery in Del Rio,” said Ed Hellman, a professor of viticulture with Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science. “She spent summers helping with harvest and most holidays working in the tasting room.”

Following a year abroad in northern Italy, Qualia began undergraduate studies at the University of Texas-Austin and received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition in 2001. She spent several years working for a government non-profit agency in Austin teaching bi-lingual nutrition classes and broadened her international experience by traveling extensively through Central and South America.

In 2005, Qualia’s winemaking interests reawakened. She moved to California to pursue a master’s degree in enology at California State University-Fresno, which she received in 2008. In addition to enology coursework, her graduate experiences included teaching wine analysis, research in phenolic chemistry and sensory evaluation.

While still in California, Qualia worked in the California wine industry, holding positions in lab management, winemaking and wine production management. She worked at Napa Valley’s Silver Oak Cellars, Owl Ridge Wine Services in Sebastopol, Trione Vineyards and Winery in the Alexander Valley, and most recently serving as the head winemaker and production manager at J&J Cellars in Paso Robles.

“Many of her wines from J&J Cellars earned accolades and awards in both national and international wine competitions,” Hellman said.

— — — — —

VintageTexas:  I know that you will join me in welcoming Maureen Qualia back to Texas!

 Posted by at 2:39 pm
Mar 102012

Want to Know Everything about Viognier from Virginia, Texas, California and France?

Viognier Symposium
March 19, 2012
Brennan Vineyards Comanche TX

Speakers include:
— James Tidwell, Master Sommelier (Four Seasons Las Colinas)
— John Delmare, Owner/Winmaker, Rappahannoch Cellars, Huntly, Virginia
— Jim Evans, Winemaker, Lone Oak Winery, Burleson, Texas
— Dr. Justin Scheiner, Grayson County College, Denison, Texas
— Jennifer Soni, Owner/Winemaker, Lions Peak Winery, Solvang, California

We will examine award winning Viognier from the grape to the glass, produced in Virginia, Texas, and California, as well as tracing its origins back to France. This Symposium will include presentations, sensory evaluations, and panel discussions.

Register TODAY at: Click: http://www.adultedreg.com/cwlgcc/
Select: Sign In (sign in or create a new account if never registered online)
Select: Viticulture and Enology
Select: Viticulture & Enology Outreach Session – “The specific seminar you are interested in”
Choose the Class: Viticulture & Enology Outreach Session – “The specific seminar you are interested in” click… Add To Cart
Select: Register for the Courses
Proceed to check out

Cost: $100

Best Western Inn Comanche: http://book.bestwestern.com/bestwestern/US/TX/Comanche-hotels/BEST-WESTERN-Comanche-Inn/Hotel-Overview.do?propertyCode=44626 . Mention event at Brennan Vineyard… rate $72.99, plus tax or $82.48.

A note from our host Pat Brennan regarding dinner Sunday evening… “Please join us for a Dutch dinner at Starbeau’s Restaurant in Comanche at 7:00 PM Sunday night, March 18, 2012. You are welcome to bring wine.” RSVP to:

Pat Brennan Vineyards

 Posted by at 8:55 am
Dec 272011

The Wine Society of Texas Reaches $30,000 Mark in Texas Wine Scholarships

The Wine Society of Texas (WST), a 501c3 non-profit educational organization, announced that this year it is awarding grants totaling $5,000 in support of ten individuals from around the State.

This is the tenth consecutive year that the WST has provided grant assistance through the Scholarship Grant Program providing over $30,000 in total.This scholarship assistance program is consistent with the founding ideas of WST and its continued mission to enhance the appreciation of wines, foster the knowledge of enology and viticulture, support charitable activities, and educate wine consumers throughout the State of Texas.

The funding for the WST Scholarship program is provided from charitable donations, local WST Chapter fund raising events, and annual statewide wine events/competitions.

The following are this year’s award recipients:

$750 awarded to Todd Webster. Todd is currently the winemaker at Brennan Vineyards and plans to use the funds for education programs at Washington State University.

$750 awarded to Rich Gold. Rich will be enrolling in the Certificate Program in Viticulture at Texas Tech University and the Texas Agrilife Extension Service of Texas A&M University.

$750 awarded to Chris Berger. Chris is currently enrolled in the Texas Tech Viticulture/Oenology program and works at CapRock Winery.

$750 awarded to Anjalika Avants. Angie attends the Conrad N. Hilton College for Hotel & Restaurant Management and hopes to focus on the wine industry after graduation.

$500 awarded to Cassandra Plank. Cassandra is currently enrolled in the Texas Tech University Viticulture/Enology program as a PhD candidate.

$500 awarded to Joshua Fritsche. Joshua plans to enroll in the Texas Tech University Viticulture Certificate program.

$250 awarded to Channing Fawcett. Channing is enrolled at the Conrad N. Hilton College for Hotel & Restaurant Management Master’s program.

$250 awarded to Cameron Barber. Cameron is enrolled at Texas Tech University and will use the financial assistance to pay for Viticulture and Wine Production classes.

$250 awarded to Spenser Igo. Spenser is enrolled in the Viticulture/Enology program at Texas Tech University and is interning at McPherson Cellars.

$250 awarded to Shi Wang. Shi is in the Masters Program at Texas Tech University in Plant & Soil Sciences and wants to study more about grape growing.

“The Wine Society of Texas is pleased to continue its long tradition of providing meaningful scholarships to worthy individuals. This is our way of going local to support Texas talent and invest in the future of the Texas wine industry”, said Ms. Elizabeth Lutton, State President of the WST.

For more information about the scholarship program or the WST please visit www.winesocietyoftexas.org  or contact WST by phone (210-863-3684).

— — — — —

See The Wine Society of Texas, Houston Chapter Q4 2011 Newsletter for more news, events and articles on Texas wine: WST-GHNewsletter4Q11A .

 Posted by at 10:57 am
Apr 052011

Black Spanish Symposium - The first of it's kind in Texas

The First Texas Black Spanish (Lenoir) Symposium: How to Grow, Make Wine, Improve Quality of This Texas Grape

The Austin County Grape Growers and Texas AgriLife Extension are proud to announce the first Texas Black Spanish Symposium.  The Symposium will be held on May 6th, 2011 at the Cat Spring Agricultural Society Hall in Cat Spring, Texas.  The symposium agenda is packed with a diverse range of topics on grape growing and winemaking with Black Spanish (a.k.a. Lenoir).  One of the highlights of our meeting will be our guest speaker Richard Kasmier, better known as  “Kaz” of Kaz Winery in Sonoma County.  Kaz will be speaking at length about his Black Spanish vineyard and wine production in Sonoma, California and will be pouring his wines among a diverse array of Texas Black Spanish.  Both dry and dessert style winemaking will be discussed.

Please see the Black Spanish Symposium Circular 2011 for a full list of topics and speakers and registration information.  Registration is $50, which includes lunch, refreshments, the wine tasting and wine social.  All registration will be at the door, please RSVP via email to: fawestover@ag.tamu.edu.

This is a great opportunity to improve your understanding of the viticulture and enology of the Black Spanish grape and to taste a range of wines made from this grape.

For more on Black Spanish grapes and wine in Texas, see: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=852

 Posted by at 10:33 am
Sep 082010

Grayson College Outreach Seminar Profiles Series Starts for Fall 2010 with Winemaking of Argentina

The first seminar in the Grayson College Enology Outreach Seminar Profiles Series for the fall will be Monday, September 20, 2010 at the Grapevine Convention Center and will focus on the winemaking of Argentina. It will look at how a winery that had been historically short of native grapes strategically positions itself for the future and as a result makes wine the year around in two hemispheres.

About the seminar speaker: Mark Johnson, Winemaker Chateau Chantal

After obtaining an engineering degree in Enology and Viticulture from the University at Geisenheim, Mark moved to the Old Mission Peninsula in Michigan’s NW corner and became a vineyard manager. Mark joined Chateau Grand Traverse in 1983, serving as Winemaker there for the next ten years. He was a co-founder of Chateau Chantal, joining the winery in 1993 and has served as vineyard manager and currently as Winemaker/VP. Following the Mendoza Argentina vineyard acquisition in 2004, Mark gained responsibility for operations in Michigan and Argentina. Continue reading »

May 062010

Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – May 6, 2010

Texas Wine Grape Network: Proceedings of the 2009 Texas Viticulture & Enology Research Symposium Available Online

Texas viticulture and enological specialists are learning how to grow better types of grapes and enhance the quality of wines made from Texas grapes. They are also learning about Texas wine consumers, who they are and what they like and making all this information available online. Some of the topics from this year’s symposium include:

Physiology of Field-Grown Cool, Warm, and Hot-Climate Grape Varieties in West Texas. Dr. Thayne Montague, Texas Tech University and Texas AgriLife Research
Using Rootstocks to Enhance Grape and Wine Quality and Vineyard Sustainable Practices. Dr. Peter Cousins, grape rootstock breeder and geneticist, USDA-ARS
Chemical Properties and Anti-Cancer Effects of Texas Wines. Dr. Susanne Talcott, Texas A&M University
Sensory Evaluation of the 2007 Texas A&M Commercial Wine Chemistry Trials. Mike Sipowicz, Texas AgriLife Extension
Characterizing the Winegrowing Regions of Texas: An Application of GIS Technology. Elvis Takow, Texas AgriLife Research
Today’s Choices: U.S. Wine Consumption Trends. Dr. Natalia Kolyesnikova, Texas Tech University
Market Segmentation Analysis to Target Texas Wine Consumers. Dr. Natalia Kolyesnikova, Texas Tech University

For online access to these presentations and others, go to: http://winegrapes.tamu.edu/research/2009symposium.html

Messina Hof Winery Class Covers Oak Aging

Messina Hof Winery & Resort will host a wine appreciation class focused on the effects of oak aging on wine at 3 p.m. May 30. The event at 3 p.m. at 4545 Old Reliance Road in Bryan is $19.95 per person, which does not include tax and gratuity.

Guests will have the opportunity to learn about how different types of oak can change the flavor of a particular wine. Aging wine in oak barrels can affect the distinctiveness and complexity of the wine. Each guest will try several wines and identify the different flavors the oak can produce.

Messina Hof’s monthly classes are taught to allow everyone from beginner to connoisseur to follow along. Classes last 90 minutes and include light cheeses and wine. For reservations call 778-9463 ext. 234.

A Taste of Texas, Twitter-Style

On Thursday, May 13th at 7:00 pm Central Time, Ben Simon at Vinotology (http://www.vinotology.com) will be hosting an event on Twitter with Mandola Estate Winery (http://mandolaestatewinery.com).  He will be tasting four different Mandola wines, and tweeting up a storm about Texas wine, and especially about Mandola wines. This will be a great opportunity for you to taste some great Texas wine, and to learn more about one of the many great wineries located in the Hill Country of Texas. All you have to do is buy some, or all, of the four wines that we will be tasting, drink up, and tweet about your experience using the #tastetexas hashtag.

For details on the event, and to register to participate, visit the Taste Texas Eventbrite site at: http://tastetexas.eventbrite.com.  There will be some upcoming announcements for the event, including some guest bloggers, and details for my West Texas readers about a tweetup for the event that I will be hosting.

More details at: http://www.vinotology.com.

New Hill Country Wine & Music Festival Kicks-Off in Fredericksburg, Texas

Experience the rich, aromatic flavors of Texas while enjoying live music during the first annual Hill Country Wine & Music (HCWM) Festival from 10 am until 6:30 pm, Saturday, May 15, at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg.

Tickets are $25 when purchased in advance at www.hillcountrywineandmusic.com and $30 at the gate on the day of the festival. Admission for active military is $20. A portion of the money raised at this event will assist in establishing the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts in Fredericksburg.

Admission includes a souvenir wine glass, three tickets to wine tastings, access to cooking demonstrations, live music throughout the day and a chance to win several great Hill Country prizes such as getaways and wine tastings and tours of area wineries.

Samples of some of the best vintages from Texas wineries will be featured at the HCWM Festival. Hill Country area restaurants, including Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant, August E’s and Rose Hill Manor, will conduct cooking demonstrations utilizing some foods provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program.

More details at: http://www.bccourier.com/Archives/Community_detail.php?recordID=100506C8

Texas Winery Leads the World in ‘Green’ Innovations

By Ron Saikowski – Houston Wine Walk

Although Texas has a reputation of being the energy capital of the USA, when it comes to oil, natural gas and petrochemicals, few people know that Texas is leading the world in innovative solutions to energy usage in wineries.

Architect Gary McKibben started Red Caboose Winery in October 2005 in Bosque County, south of Fort Worth. In less than five years, this Architect-turned-winemaker has taken his winery operations to the pinnacle of being GREEN with energy-saving innovations never seen such before as geothermal refrigeration systems along with sub-terrain wine aging facilities.

In addition, Red Caboose Winery harvests rainfall off its winery roofs for irrigation of its 16 acres of vineyards. Gary McKibben is a humble man, never bragging about his great accomplishments, but showing the way for other wineries to go green.

More at: Houston Wine Walk

Photos of Texas Wineries, Bluebonnets and Landscapes

See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oxherder/with/4584296560/

See: Vinography

May 052010

Video: Welcome to Texas Wine Country: The Texas Hill Country Wine Trail Awaits You

This week’s video episode features Katy Jane Bothum from Hill Country Wineries as she talks about the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail in the heart of Central Texas. The group of 24 wineries stretches from Lampasas to New Braunfels, creating the second most popular wine destination in the country, second only to Napa/Sonoma. It is a short drive from both Austin and San Antonio.

You can also follow my multi-day tour on the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail through my blog posts and links given below:

Texas Hill Country Wine Trail – Day 1 [The Time Machine]

I left Houston this morning to tour the Texas Hill Country Holiday Wine Trail (http://www.texaswinetrail.com) .  The tour requires a two and a half hour drive due west of Houston on I-10. But it is worth it as this region is likely the most picturesque parcel of Texas land I know.

While driving, I got to thinking…..Going west on I-10 out of Houston is like having my own time machine. As I drive towards San Antonio I am actually going back in time. Really! I just did it. Starting in Houston and by the time you are around San Antonio you are surrounded by limestone outcroppings that date to the Cretaceous Period some 60 to 140 million years ago. They were once sea bottom deposits that were thrust upward about 10 million years ago. The scenic, eroded edges of this high central Texas plateau are what we know as the Texas Hill Country. This attraction to limestone also helps to explain some of the attributes of this region that result in premium wines and why we are starting to refer to this region by a new name – The Texas Wine Country. More at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=283

Day 2 – On the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail: Back in the Saddle Again

The air was cool, but the morning sun was warm on my face. I saddled up my farm truck to leave Fredericksburg and head up to Lampasas at the very top of the Texas Hill Country. Like yesterday, it was time to turn on the time machine again going to and from Lampasas. Yesterday’s travels from Houston brought me to the uplifted Cretaceous Hill Country limestone and backward in time about 60 to 100 million years. Today I crossed river cuts in this formation by the Pedernales and Colorado Rivers that expose rocks that are 400 to 500 million years old or older. This geological action all makes for a complex mix of soils that helps to support grape growing in this area. We have a range of terroir possible here depending where the grapes are grown and we are going step-by-step learning what this all means for Texas wines. Someday….won’t it be glorious to have sorted it all out.

Texas Legato Winery – I started my tastings at the two Bledsoe family wineries – Texas Legato and Pillar Bluff, just outside Lampasas. These wineries are owned by two brothers (Gill and Bill) that are just around the corner from one another. More at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=291

Day 3 On the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail: New Faces; Old Friends

The last day of the wine trail did not start until noon. This gave me an opportunity to post my article from the Day2 trail “ride” that stretched from Lampasas round the back side of Lake Buchanan and on to Spicewood. Once this was complete this morning, I had time to fill the deer feeder at our cottage and close it up until next week when we return. Then, I packed the car and Paco (our Hahn’s Macaw) and I hit the trail. We saved the southern Hill Country path for this last leg of the trail that started with the wineries west and in downtown Fredericksburg. We then traveled then down to Comfort then east to New Braunfels and then back to Houston in the evening.

I started the day driving west out of Fredericksburg on Rt. 290 and saw outcroppings of the Glen Rose and Edwards limestone formations that rise from the older, weathered Hensell sandstone. Also part of the landscape are the quaint, old stone houses and fences handbuilt with stones cleared from the fields over 150 years ago by the German settlers in this region (See Honenberger Homestead above).

Chisholm Trail Winery – My first stop today was at Chisholm Trail Winery (Named for the famous Texas cattle drive trail) just about 10 miles west of Fredericksburg.  I was the first to arrive at their western, ranch-style tasting room. I almost wanted to hitch up my trusty steed with the “BMW” brand. More at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=298

Mar 172010

The Wine Society of Texas Announces 2010 Scholarship Grant Program

Download the WST Newsletter at: Wine Society of Texas News Letter Q1-2010

The WST will provide up to $4,500 in assistance for the education, internship or field study, and appreciation of wine

The Wine Society of Texas (WST), a 501c3 non-profit educational organization announced that it is accepting applications for its annual Scholarship Grant Program.  In order to apply for the grant, individuals must be:

  • Attending institutions around the State of Texas studying viticulture and oenology, or
  • Pursuing winery internships in Texas, or
  • Involved with Texas winemaking or field studies. 

Grants may be given depending on the quality of requests in the amount totaling up to $4,500 by the WST to promote the wine education focusing on improving grape growing and wine making in the State of Texas. 

The scholarship program is consistent with the founding idea of WST and its continuing mission:

“To enhance the appreciation of wines, foster the knowledge of oenology and viticulture, support charitable activities, promote winemaking, and to educate wine tasters throughout the State of Texas.”



Feb 172010

In Texas, Agriculture (and Viticulture) is Your Culture

Yesterday, the newly appointed Texas Wine Industry Development and Marketing Advisory Committee met in Austin. This is the single committee designed by a recent Texas law change that is charged to help Commissioner Todd Staples and his staff  at the Texas Department of Agriculture by reviewing the scope and funding for research and marketing activities for the wine and grape growing industry in Texas. This fact may have pasted you by, but Texas is now America’s fifth largest wine producer (behind California, New York, Washington and Oregon).

Much of the charge for the committee  has been set by feedback received from the Texas grape growers and wine makers from around the state. From the industry people that I have talk to in my travels, they are looking for support from TDA for the following:

1. Getting more acreage of wine grapes planted (varieties that will do well here in the Texas sun).
2. Methods to mitigate the late spring freezes that have frequently nipped the buds right off the vines, thus limiting grape production –  needs help from varietal selection, root stock, vineyard operations, etc.
3. Ways to mitigate Pierce’s Disease, Cotton Root Rot and other diseases.
4. College education, field training and extension support in viticulture and enology to increase the skill level of the grape growers and winemakers in Texas. This education needs to be based on lessons learned right here, as Texas just ain’t California.

Grape growing is one of the hottest items in Texas agricuture right now. So, let’s get behind it. In the words of Ag Commissioner Todd Staples, “In Texas, Agriculture is Your Culture!” and I just want to add….This includes viticulture!

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