The Rest of the CapRock Winery / Texas Custom Wine Works Story

Cap*Rock Winery 2011 Toscano Bianco

The Rest of the CapRock Winery / Texas Custom Wine Works Story

No sooner did I confirm the sale of the Cap*Rock Winery equipment and push go to post my previous blog on the matter last Friday (click here), but Michael Sipowicz, President of Texas Custom Wine Works in Brownfield tried to contact me to discuss details of the matter. We finally linked up yesterday evening. So, in typical Paul Harvey fashion: Page Two for the Rest of the Story…

After we exchanged greetings, Michael said, “You know, I did my first internship at Cap*Rock Winery. It is a special place to me because it cemented the thought in my mind that I wanted to be part of Texas wine industry. I got to work there when Kim McPherson was there too. We mucked out tanks together and I learned a lot from him. Michael Vorauer who helped open the winery and later made wine there is a friend of mine. That winery is part who I am today.”

Michael Sipowicz on right with TCWW partners (from

As Michael talked, I thought to myself….This doesn’t exactly sound like someone that wants to participate in bringing an end to the Cap*Rock Winery brand.

Then, Michael confirmed that his Texas Custom Wine Works (TCWW) did purchase winemaking equipment from Cap*Rock’s owners, but…  (VT – and here is the rest of the story) not all of it. What TCWW acquired were the really big tanks used to finish and store wine. What was left intact at Cap*Rock Winery was the front-end equipment used to crush and press grapes and handle things in the early stages of the winemaking process.

Michael said, rather than put an end to the Cap*Rock brand, we see this as a partnership between TCWW and Cap*Rock’s owners and a new investor in the winery. It’s a partnership that we intend to use to stop the roller coaster ride at Cap*Rock that has been so disruptive to its brand in the past. Russ, you actually chronicled that pretty well in your blog (click here VT – Truthfully, Michael didn’t actually link to my website address while talking to me). But, what you didn’t know at the time was the nature of the business relationship and the goals our partnership has going forward.

According to Michael, “The take home message here is that by bringing this equipment to TCWW, we expect the partnership with Cap*Rock to reduce the number and better organize the labels they offer. This will lead to more stable and quality production. We will also use our consulting services on the matters of effective distribution of Cap*Rock wines in the marketplace, too.”

So, the sum total to me is that it sounds like a WIN-WIN-WIN proposition:

  • First Win: It will improve the situation for Cap*Rock and its investors helping it to stay in the marketplace (and maybe even more effectively source Texas grapes – VT – this is my guess).
  • Second Win: This is a major deal for the “new” but very capable “kids on the block” at TCWW. They provide services that are very badly needed in this fledgling Texas wine industry that both small and big wineries need to utilize.
  • Third Win: As consumers go, it keeps a longstanding and recognized brand in the Texas marketplace. Personally, I liked Cap*Rock’s Roussanne and Tempranillo wines and red and white blends that came into play in the 2010 and 2012 time frame. They generally had good quality at a very reasonable price point. In fact, I think that I’ll toast this deal with a bottle Cap*Rock 2012 Toscano Rosso with my Mediterranean ground lamb and eggs tonight.

— — — — —

In addition to working effectively, the only thing (as a wine writer and blogger) that I request from Michael and his friends at the new, new, new, new, new Cap*Rock Winery is to finally stop with the “*”, alright! It will save me and all other wine writers and bloggers the extra key strokes and we will be thankful for that.

CapRock Winery = Cap*Rock Winery and it’s easier to type!

P.S. VT – Michael Sipowicz just texted me and said that the “*” has already been dropped. However, it still appears on their existing website:

OK , while I’m on a roll here. What was that imaged that Cap*Rock Winery used on their 2010 Roussanne, anyway? (see below):

TCWW…Boys, please suggest that Cap*Rock use different label art!
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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.


  1. And now THE REST OF THE STORY is a nice Chapter. The winery facilities are beautiful and should be used for lots of weddings, corporate affairs, etc. I am hoping that Mike and Company will exceed expectations!

  2. while they are at it, lose any reference n the name to Tuscany – please, we are in Texas, not Italy, and I’m sure now that Toscana is an official appellation (in Italy) it is a little like using the name Chablis or Burgundy on the label…

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