Ursa Vineyards was founded in 2001 by husband-and-wife team, Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray. Greg and Deborah both started their winemaking careers in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and first met in 1992 while working at David Bruce Winery, where Greg headed up Grower Relations. Greg is a highly respected viticulturist and a consultant to numerous vineyards in California and other states. Deborah grew up spending her summers visiting family in the Pyrenees Mountain village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, where she gained an appreciation for her Basque heritage. The region inspired her work on the Basque Blend that bears her name and makes predominant use of the Tannat grape. The couple fell in love with Tannat, and they were the first to produce Tannat wines in California. They’ve been making Tannat from a variety of vineyard sources each year since establishing Ursa in the unique terroir of the Sierra Foothills in 2001.
A mutual interest in Tannat is also what brought together Ursa and Bending Branch Winery, when Bending Branch Owner Dr. Bob Young hired Greg as a consultant in 2007. Their professional relationship flourished and when Bending Branch was founded in 2009, its first wines were made by Bob and Greg at Ursa. Dr. Young purchased Ursa Vineyards in 2014, making Greg and Deborah a permanent part of the team.
Greg and Deborah were awarded Best Winemakers of El Dorado County in 2017. Their passion and dedication for producing limited quantities of the highest quality wines is unmatched. We are proud to showcase these beautiful wines at Branch on High in downtown Comfort, Texas. Ursa wines are also available in our online store.
Greg and Deborah will be in Texas for special events at Branch on High July 12-13, 2019. Meet the Winemakers at a free reception on Friday, July 12th from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A Guided Tasting with the Winemakers will be offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 13th. Tickets available here for $45 per person. Seating is limited.
When your travels take you to Northern California, visit Ursa Vineyards in Placerville. Tour and tastings are available by appointment by calling 530-644-3443.
We will officially release this wine on Saturday, June 22nd. Join us from 1 to 5 p.m. for a special release party at Bending Branch Winery. Meet and mingle with owner Dr. Bob Young and Hill Country grape grower Drew Tallent and hear a short presentation about the vineyard and the wine at 1:30 p.m. Come on out and taste this amazing Hill Country rosé! German Imbiss food truck will be onsite all day.
90 Point rating from C.S. Vin:
“Medium bodied at 13% alcohol, this rosé will satisfy even the bold tastes of a drinker who craves power but is willing to go a little lighter to sample Tannat’s more refined flavors, too. Bending Branch has added to its flagship grape a version all will love when heat demands refreshment, but a wine whose bold taste won’t give up its demands.”
Read the full review here from Experiencing Wine.
Join us as we celebrate the release of Bending Branch Winery 2018 Estate Picpoul Blanc grown at Lost Pirogue Vineyard. This exclusive event will be held at the vineyard in Center Point. Meet owners Bruce and Jana Colgate as they welcome you into their home on their beautiful estate. Bruce and Jana are not only growers; they are great friends of Bending Branch owners Robert and Brenda Young, and longtime members of the 1840 Founders Club.
Enjoy live music, hors d'oeuvres, and Picpoul Blanc while learning about the vineyard and growing grapes in the Texas Hill Country.
A limited number of one-of-a-kind letterpress posters by Erin Beckloff will be available for purchase to commemorate this special event. Prints will be signed and numbered. Learn more about letterpress and Beckloff, who is Jana’s daughter-in-law, in the trailer for the documentary, “Pressing On: The Letterpress Film.”
Tickets available at Eventbrite. $45 per person.
Lost Pirogue Vineyard in Center Point is awakening after last year’s very wet autumn, and a winter that was colder and drier than typical. Still, bud break this year was right on schedule, only a day later than in 2018. The Picpoul Blanc vines pictured here had just begun to bud out when the vineyard experienced an early March cold-snap. Some early buds may have been nipped, but many more are pushing out as the days get sunnier. Flowering is next, followed by green leaves in a couple of weeks – or sooner if the vineyard gets significant rain. Bring on harvest 2019!
Something special happens at Bending Branch Winery the first Saturday of every May. Join us as we celebrate Dr. Bob and Brenda Young’s Kentucky roots at the 9th Annual Derby Extravaganza on Saturday, May 4th. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at the beautiful Bending Branch Estate with live jazz, food, wine, hats, horses, and our famous Single Barrel Picpoul Blanc mint juleps. Tickets are on sale now! See full details at Eventbrite.
We are excited to announce that the 2011 Bending Branch Winery Estate Tannat will be auctioned for the second time to benefit youth scholarships.
In 2014, the 2011 Estate Tannat from Bending Branch Winery received the Top Texas Wine award at the Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition. The award was presented by the George H. W. Bush Library Foundation. A magnum bottle of that wine was auctioned at the Champion Wine Auction, for $100,000 – which, at that time was the second highest bid for a Texas wine.
The Youngs were honorary co-chairs at the 2014 Vintner Dinner and Wine Auction at the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. A few weeks later, they received a bottle of that wine signed by George H. W. and Barbara Bush. The Youngs have coveted and cellared that wine with care for five years. As a way to honor President Bush and his wife, Barbara, and their legacy of philanthropy, the Youngs have offered the autographed bottle to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction to raise money for scholarships. Part of the agreement is that 50 percent of the money raised will benefit local youths through scholarships administered by the Comfort Area Foundation. Comfort, Texas, is the home of the Youngs and Bending Branch Winery.
You can view this item via the auction link. The auction will be held on Sunday, February 24, in Houston.
Bending Branch Winery will celebrate Open That Bottle Day on Saturday, February 23, by uncorking the celebrated 2011 Estate Tannat in the Bending Branch Winery Estate tasting room and Wine Club Lounge. For a $5 donation, you can taste the wine, and those proceeds will benefit Comfort Area Foundation scholarships.
Our hearts are with the Bob, Brenda, and Alison Young, as they mourn the death of Owner Brenda Mobley Young's mother.
Wilma Blanche Mobley, 93, of Harrodsburg, Kentucky, passed away at 6 a.m., Tuesday, February 12, 2019, while staying at the Willows at Citation in Lexington, Kentucky.
She was born February 6, 1926 in Washington County to the late Worley Cassius Lay and Isa Mae (Adkinson) Lay and attended the Mackville School. Her marriage of 69 years was to Ernest Mobley on December 8, 1945; he preceded her in death on September 17, 2015.
After raising her four young children, Mrs. Mobley took a job at Cricketeer Clothing Manufacturers in Harrodsburg where she worked as a seamstress for over twenty-five years.
Mrs. Mobley was a long-time member of the Harrodsburg Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school classes for pre-school children for many years. She enjoyed spending time with her family and her gardening skills planting and nurturing a variety of flowers in her yard earned her recognition through a feature article in the Harrodsburg Herald newspaper.
Survivors are her sister, Virginia Isham of Lawrenceburg; a brother, Leo (Doris) Lay of Willisburg; children Brenda (Bob) Young of Comfort, TX, Judy (Bob) Boggs of Lexington, Danny (Cathy) Mobley of Harrodsburg, and David (Pam) Mobley of Danville; her grandchildren, Missy (Bobby) Walden of Harrodsburg, Matthew Riddell of Louisville, Michael Mobley of Frankfort, Amy (Aaron) Detjen of Lexington, and Alison Young of Comfort, TX; her great-grandchildren, Nick Walden, Lauren Riddell, Quentin Mobley, Ella Detjen, Liam Detjen, Jackson Rivenburgh, Ava Riddell, Norah Detjen, Libby Walden, Chloe Rivenburgh, Lia Riddell, and Charlie Myers.
Preceding her in death with her parents and husband are sisters, Isa Bell Coulter, Mary Lee Coker, Amie Ross, and Mayola Meadows; brothers, Frank Lay, Paul Lay, Hobert Lay, Dudley Lay, Alvie Lay, Hollis Lay, and an Infant; and a grandson, Phillip Young.
Friends may call 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. with funeral services to follow at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Ransdell Funeral Chapel, 345 E. Lexington Street, Harrodsburg, KY 40330, (859) 734-4317.