As I wrote in The WineSlinger Chronicles, “Paul V. Bonarrigo and wife Merrill started their Messina Hof Winery in the early seventies with little more than a single-wide house trailer on a bare plot of Brazos County land and experiences with Italian winemaking passed down from one generation of Bonarrigos to the next. With that and a whole lot of personal energy, they’ve created one of the top selling Texas wine brands. Paul’s role in all this was first and foremost to figure out how to make good wine in Texas.”
Year-by-year since, their wines improved while they identified starring roles for their wines and, now days, they are challenging the best in the industry… not just in Texas but from around the world. Recently, Messina Hof Winery became a multigenerational family winery with son Paul Mitchell and his wife Karen taking up the reins of the winery. As I wondered what targets were left for Paul Mitchell and Karen to explore, then came Bonarrigo Family Wines – a new concept leveraged on their family’s seven generation Italian winemaking legacy.
“With this new label, we are embracing our family heritage and honoring our passion for home, the kitchen and the art of winemaking,” says Owner and Winemaker Paul Mitchell Bonarrigo. “It is our hope that these prestigious old-world style wine will lead family and friends together to experience food, wine and fellowship.” This concept even if borrowed has been proven successful, in fact creating a full career and prosperous lifetime for California’s Robert Mondavi and his wines.
The first two releases for Bonarrigo Family Wines takes the time-proven, old-world art of producing blended wines, where ‘one plus one equals three, four or five’ making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
• The refreshing dry-styled Bonarrigo Family Wines ‘Heritage Select’ brings together Texas-grown Pinot Grigio and Trebbiano that combines crisp citrus flavors, sprite acidity with a palate pleasing medium-light body.
• The Bonarrigo Family Wines ‘Heritage Reserve’ is a masterful blend of three Italian classic grapes – Sagrantino, Primitivo and Sangiovese that leans heavily in the nuances of dried green herbs, baking spices to complement deep dark fruit notes and a pleasing tannic structure.
These fine Texas appellation wines are available by the bottle (and for tasting where and when possible) at each of Messina Hof’s three winery locations in Bryan, Fredericksburg and Grapevine, Texas, or they can be purchased online through Messina Hof’s website at: www.messinahof.com. Also, look for more information on these new wines and on the status of Messina Hof’s opening of its fourth winery location – Messina Hof Harvest Green Winery and Kitchen on the western outskirts of Houston.