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Bending Branch Winery


Jennifer Cernosek
September 1, 2020 | Jennifer Cernosek

Celebrate California Wine Month with Ursa Vineyards

Winemakers Deborah Elissagaray and Greg Stokes

September is California Wine Month! It's a busy time for California wine producers and growers with harvest in full swing on the West Coast. 

Ursa Vineyards is situated in the beautiful foothills of Northern California, and was founded in 2001 by husband and wife team, Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray. 

Dr. Bob Young and Greg Stokes

Bending Branch Owner Dr. Bob Young hired Greg Stokes 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. Bob and Brenda Young purchased Ursa Vineyards in 2014, making Greg and Deborah a permanent part of the team. In July 2019, Branch on High in Comfort, Texas, began focusing its tasting room on Ursa Vineyards to showcase its wines. It has never been so easy to savor California wines in the comfort of Texas!

This month, to celebrate Ursa Vineyards, we've curated a 4-pack of wines featuring varieties that thrive in California.

California Wine Month 4-Pack

California Wine Month 4-Pack
Each of these wines from Ursa Vineyards speaks to its unique winegrowing region.

2019 Chardonnay, Wilson Vineyards, Clarksburg AVA
2017 Mencía, Silvaspoons Vineyard, Alta Mesa AVA
2015 Barbera, Lone Meadow Vineyard, Sierra Foothills AVA
2016 Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills AVA

Ursa Vineyards was the first winery in the United States to produce a varietal Mencía. To spotlight this unique wine, join members of the Ursa at Branch on High team for a virtual tasting on Zoom focused on the 2017 Mencía at 2 p.m. CDT on Saturday, September 12. Winemakers Greg and Deb will participate in as much of the call as possible, depending on harvest needs that day. Click here to read more about this special harvest in this story from Wine Business Monthly.

Check out our Events page for the Zoom link and more information about the California Wine Month: Mencía Virtual Tasting.


Time Posted: Sep 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Jennifer Cernosek
August 21, 2020 | Jennifer Cernosek

Very exclusive Malbec for Case Club members

We are excited to release the first vintage of a very special, small production wine – 2017 Malbec Reserve, Cherokee Rose Vineyard, Texas Hill Country. This wine is available exclusively to Case Club members.  

Farmed by the Durden family, Cherokee Rose Vineyard is a small, single-variety vineyard in Comfort, Texas. Grower and Kendall County Commissioner Don Durden and Bending Branch Winemaker Dr. Bob Young have been longtime friends and served together as board members on the Comfort Area Foundation.

Several years ago, Dr. Young approached Commissioner Durden about growing Tannat for Bending Branch. Durden agreed and purchased Tannat vines, but was later notified from the nursery that there weren't any Tannat vines to send. So after more deliberation, Commissioner Durden planted Malbec. 

If Dr. Young's first love is Tannat, his second may be Malbec. The first productive harvest of Cherokee Rose Vineyard was in 2017 – the best harvest year on record in Texas. All of the Malbec went into two barrels, one neutral and one new American.

During tasting trials, the Bending Branch team was very pleased with this Malbec. The Malbec in the new American oak barrel from the A.P. John Copperage was superior, though, and deserved it's own stage. From that moment, the team began working on a new label and planning its future as a Reserve wine. With only 23 cases produced, 5 cases would be preserved in the library, and the remaining cases would be allocated for the 1840 Custom Case Club.

So what happened to the other barrel? After the wine was bottled, it sold out in one transaction. Commissioner Durden secured it all.

The 2017 Malbec Reserve from Cherokee Rose Vineyard is laced with scents of cigar box and mint. There are concentrated flavors of pie cherries, red plum, and dark chocolate. It was recently described as having a taste of mushroom umami. The new American oak lends complex spice and vanilla.

Want to try it? Join the 1840 Custom Case Club and include it in your September release order.

I tasted it during the trial that led to its reserve label and again a couple of weeks ago. All I can say is that I've already included it my 1840 Custom Case Club order. 

Time Posted: Aug 21, 2020 at 12:00 PM
Sara Potter
August 12, 2020 | Sara Potter

Upcoming Virtual Happy Hour Schedule

Join the Bending Branch team on Zoom from 4 to 5 p.m. CDT every Friday for Virtual Happy Hour. We are featuring wines from our Weekly Wine Pack for the next few weeks.

August 14th – Texas Hill Country Tannat

This week we are drinking our 2016 Tannat CM harvested from Tallent Vineyards.

Drew Tallent farms 65 acres of grapes near Mason, and this rich, fruity Tannat made with Cryo-Maceration expresses its distinctive terroir. This wine was awarded Double Gold/Class Champion/Texas Class Champion at the 2020 Houston Rodeo Uncorked! wine competition.

August 21st – Old Vine Petite Sirah

This week we are drinking our 2016 Old Vine Petite Sirah.

A Bending Branch fan favorite, Old Vine Petite Sirah is one of the few wines we’ve made in every vintage since 2008. The grapes are harvested from vines planted in 1972 at Shell Creek Vineyards near Paso Robles, California. Shell Creek is a family operation renowned in the wine world for its Petite Sirah. The 2016 vintage was awarded a Gold medal and 90 Points at the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition. 

August 28th – Spotlight on Newsom Vineyards

This week we are drinking wines harvested from Newsom Vineyards in the Texas High Plains.

The Newsom family has been dedicated to growing high quality wine grapes for more than 30 years. Several Bending Branch favorites are made from their exceptional High Plains fruit, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, and Tannat. 

2017 Tempranillo is included in the Weekly Wine Pack promotion.

If you don’t have the wines we’re featuring each week, just open whatever you have. So, get your glasses ready, and we’ll see you on Zoom at 4 p.m. every Friday. We look forward to seeing your faces!

How to join us on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85094045954

Follow our Events page for all upcoming virtual tasting events.


Time Posted: Aug 12, 2020 at 9:12 AM
Jennifer McInnis Fadel
August 4, 2020 | Jennifer McInnis Fadel

Harvest 2020 Update

Harvest update from Jennifer McInnis Fadel, Bending Branch Winery General Manager:

We are getting more fruit this year than in the past from the Texas Hill Country, with harvest getting underway July 27th with Tannat from our estate vineyard, Lost Pirogue Vineyard. All of our Picpoul Blanc this year will come from the estate vineyard.

We also had a great Malbec harvest from Cherokee Rose Vineyard in Comfort at the end of July. We are about to release the first Malbec Reserve from that vineyard.

I am very excited about the quality of our fruit this year – its intensity and concentration is really exceptional. We will get some fruit from the Texas High Plains; overall, the fruit will come from smaller lots from multiple vineyards.

Given harvest will be made up of smaller lots, we will not use the flash détente technology as much this year, and instead will focus on small-batch, whole-berry fermentation and Cryo-maceration. We will use this opportunity to make more reserve and special selection wines.

Regarding COVID-19, we will maintain our health and safety protocols as we shift more of our activities to the winery. We will continue practicing social distancing, mandating face coverings, and using UV-C wands on surfaces and UV-C lamps in the restrooms. Additionally, the ozone machine is run weekly in the production facility, and we have installed smaller units in the tasting rooms.

Tannat harvest at Lost Pirogue Vineyard, 7/27/20. Thank you to Stella Haus Films for the beautiful images!

Time Posted: Aug 4, 2020 at 1:15 PM
Sara Potter
July 21, 2020 | Sara Potter

Upcoming Virtual Happy Hour Schedule

Join the Bending Branch team on Zoom from 4 to 5 p.m. CDT every Friday for Virtual Happy Hour. We are featuring wines from our Texas Grilling 6-Pack for the next few weeks.


July 24th – Texas Hill Country Tannat Rosé

This week we are drinking our 2019 Tannat Rosé harvested from Tallent Vineyards near Mason. Aromas of dried rose petal and wet slate announce a mouthful of strawberry lemonade, green peach, and juicy gooseberry in this Texas Hill Country Tannat Rosé.


July 31st – Texas High Plains Malbec

This week we are drinking our 2016 Malbec grown at Newsom Vineyards near Plains, Texas. Subtle smoke, vanilla, and dried berries form the signature of this elegant wine.


August 7th – Texas Hill Country Picpoul Blanc

This week we are drinking our 2019 Estate Picpoul Blanc harvested from Lost Pirogue Vineyard in Center Point. Floral aromas mingle with green melon, minerals, pear, and delicate pineapple in this Texas Hill Country Picpoul.


If you don’t have the wines we’re featuring each week, just open whatever you have. So, get your glasses ready, and we’ll see you on Zoom at 4 p.m. every Friday. We look forward to seeing your faces!

How to join us on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85094045954

Check out our blog post on grilling and pairing ideas for these wines.

Follow our Events page for all upcoming virtual tasting events.

Time Posted: Jul 21, 2020 at 12:33 PM
Sara Potter
July 15, 2020 | Sara Potter

July is National Grilling Month.

July is all about backyard barbecues and time spent with family and friends enjoying good wines and delicious foods from the grill. For a limited time, try our Texas Grilling 6-Pack. This package of Texas wines will pair well with anything that comes off your grill this summer.

We are all cooking at home a lot more these days, so read on for some great grilling and pairing suggestions for each wine in the 6-Pack. Happy grilling!

2019 Estate Picpoul Blanc, Lost Pirogue Vineyard

“The 2019 Estate Picpoul Blanc is a compelling iteration of this spring-summer sipper with aromas of white flowers, pear, and honeydew melon. It’s polished and balanced. While the doctor (Bob Young) generally prescribes a rib eye with his Tannat, when summer heat calls for a Picpoul, he recommends a shrimp pairing.”

Check out the shrimp and oregano wrap recipe in The Vintner Project's Texas Wine & Grill Guide.

2019 Tannat Rosé, Tallent Vineyards

2019 Tannat Rosé harvested from Tallent Vineyards near Mason is a culinary chameleon, equally delicious with prosciutto, aged goat cheese, and butter-toasted walnuts or tarragon-grilled chicken with sour oranges.

2016 Petite Sirah, Newsom Vineyards

Rosemary-infused lamb chops over mesquite coals coax exotic fragrances of warm mint, pie cherries, and pipe tobacco from the 2016 Petite Sirah.

2016 Malbec, Newsom Vineyards

Our 2016 Malbec is a great choice for steaks and roasts, but its intense berry flavors, firm tannins and bright acidity give it valuable versatility. This elegant wine would be a fine complement to herb-roasted chicken, mesquite-grilled swordfish, or a richly-marbled pork chop.

2017 Tempranillo, Newsom Vineyards

“As the mercury heats up and summer grilling season gets underway, tacos of Mexican-marinated chicken thighs elevate the 2017 Tempranillo, Newsom Vineyards, to the next level.”

Read more about Tempranillo and grilling in this article from Forbes.

Our Tempranillo was also featured in "6 Texas wines to drink now" from the Houston Chronicle.

2017 Texas Tannat

“Bending Branch Winery in Comfort has been a pioneer in producing Tannat-based wines using sustainable practices and innovative fermentation techniques. Firm tannins, good acidity and rich dark fruit laced with cocoa and herbal notes make the 2017 Texas Tannat a good match for beef ribs and hickory-smoked brisket.”

Read more about Texas wines to drink with barbecue in this story from The Dallas Morning News.

#TXwine   #TexasFineWines   #UncorkTexasWines   #SipAndStaySafeTX   #NextWorldWines


Time Posted: Jul 15, 2020 at 11:10 AM
Sara Potter
June 25, 2020 | Sara Potter

Our New Experience Awaits You


Per Governor Abbott's Executive Order No. GA-28, our Wine Club Lounge is closed. Bending Branch Winery and Ursa at Branch on High tasting rooms remain open for curbside and delivery service. Establishments receiving 51% of sales from alcohol must close their doors but are permitted to remain open for take-out and delivery.

Dear Club Members,

Thank you for your membership and for your patience. The past few months have been challenging, and we are grateful for the incredible support from our members. We have enjoyed visiting with many of you on Zoom, but we have missed seeing you in person. We are excited to invite you to an all-new experience at our Wine Club Lounge.
We are now offering new outdoor experiences by appointment, Thursday through Sunday. Service will be hosted at the Wine Club Lounge and offers shaded seating on the patio, under new cabanas, or tables adjacent to the vineyard. Wine Club Members and guests who are 21+ will enjoy wine by the glass or bottle. Tastings are not available at this time. No pets, please.

Please note: We are taking extraordinary precautions to sanitize and maintain physical distance. If you have any questions about how we have adapted our experience to exceed CDC health regulations, please read the Bending Branch Winery COVID-19 Guest Advisory here.

Reservations are for 1 hour and 15 minutes. We're implementing hard-stops between reservations so we are able to implement rigorous sanitation protocols.


  1. Go to https://www.exploretock.com/signup.
  2. Create an account using the primary email address associated with your club membership.
  3. At the top of Tock, search for Bending Branch Winery.
  4. Select your desired experience. If reservations are full, you may join the waitlist.

We hope you will be able to join us and provide feedback after your visit. Your support means the world to us!


Dr. Bob Young and the Bending Branch Winery team

P.S. Not a wine club member? You can join here.


Time Posted: Jun 25, 2020 at 9:23 AM
Sara Potter
June 24, 2020 | Sara Potter

Attention Members: Celebrate Tannat Rosé All Day with an optional summer wine club release and free gift!

Summer is here! Celebrate Tannat Rosé All Day with an optional wine club release and free gift.

Drink pink and stay cool this summer with an optional 6-bottle club release of three different Tannat Rosé wines from Bending Branch Winery and Ursa Vineyards.

Log in to your wine club account by July 12th to opt in. The first 300 club members who opt in will receive a pair of Rosé All Day ventilated wine toppers – perfect for enjoying wine outdoors this summer!

A $142 retail value – plus half-price $15 summer shipping.*

1840 & Gold Rush Club pricing $113.60  |  Branch Club pricing $120.70

Thank you for your membership during these challenging times. Your support means the world to us!

*To protect the integrity of your wine during summer months, ship orders are packed in insulated packaging with frozen ice bricks.

Enjoy two bottles each of these three unique Tannat Rosé wines.

Bending Branch Winery 2019 Branch Texas Frizzante Rosé, Texas Hill Country
This sparkling Texas Tannat is a fruity and fanciful crowd-pleaser with notes of strawberry and citrus zest. Chill well, pop the top, and enjoy the bubbles!

Bending Branch Winery 2019 Tannat Rosé, Tallent Vineyards
Aromas of dried rose petal and wet slate announce a mouthful of strawberry lemonade, green peach, and juicy gooseberry in this wine harvested from Tallent Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country.

Ursa Vineyards 2019 Tannat Rosé, Silvaspoons Vineyards
Delicate orange peel and rose petal on the nose, followed by apricot and dry minerality reminiscent of Provence in this wine sourced from Silvaspoons Vineyards in the Alta Mesa AVA.

Protect your wine while sipping outdoors!
The first 300 members who opt in will receive a pair of Rosé All Day ventilated wine toppers. ($16 value)

Opt in by July 12th to receive this club release.
Please verify your shipping or pickup preference. Here’s how:

  1. Log In to your wine club account here
  2. Click on Club List
  3. Click Edit Club
  4. Select the number of Rosé packages you would like
  5. Scroll down to verify your shipping or tasting room pickup preference for Bending Branch Winery or Ursa at Branch on High (Pearl Farmers Market is not a pickup option at this time)
  6. Verify all info and click Submit


July 12 Opt in to receive optional Rosé club release
July 17 Credit cards will be processed
July 18 Pickup begins at Bending Branch or Ursa at Branch on High
July 20 Releases will ship from our fulfillment center this week

Questions? Contact us at club@bendingbranchwinery.com.

Thank you for being a member!

Time Posted: Jun 24, 2020 at 7:35 AM
Sara Potter
June 4, 2020 | Sara Potter

June Virtual Happy Hour Schedule

Join the Bending Branch team on Zoom from 4 to 5 p.m. CDT every Friday for Virtual Happy Hour. Here’s our schedule for June.

June 5th – Bubbles!

This week we’re featuring the perfect wine to toast your June celebrations: Bending Branch Brut

June 12th – Tannat Rosé All Day

June 13th is National Rosé Day! We will feature three very different Tannat Rosé wines: Branch Texas Frizzante Rosé, and new releases Bending Branch 2019 Tannat Rosé, and 2019 Ursa Tannat Rosé

Special guests: Ursa Winemakers Deborah Elissagaray and Greg Stokes will join us from California and tell us all about the new release 2019 Ursa Tannat Rosé. Ursa wines are available at Ursa at Branch on High in Downtown Comfort.

June 19th – Cheers to Dad!

Father's Day is June 21st, so we're featuring the wines from our Father's Day Premium Red Package: Double Barrel Tannat, Tannat RF|EM, and Old Vine Petite Sirah

June 26th – Poolside Favorites

What is your favorite poolside wine? You can't go wrong with any of the wines from our Summer Surprise Six-Pack!

If you don’t have the wines we’re featuring each week, just open whatever you have. So, get your glasses ready, and we’ll see you on Zoom at 4 p.m. every Friday.

How to join us on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85094045954

We look forward to seeing your faces!

Time Posted: Jun 4, 2020 at 1:01 PM
Sara Potter
June 2, 2020 | Sara Potter

Pearl Farmers Market Resumes on Saturdays in June

We are excited to be back at the Pearl Farmers Market starting this Saturday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For the month of June, Pearl will have the Market on Saturdays only and transition to opening Saturdays and Sundays in July.

The Pearl is moving the location of the Market for the month of June to ensure that there is space for physical distancing, and to create a safe environment for vendors and customers. The new location will be in the parking lot behind Green Vegetarian at the intersection of Emma Koehler and Karnes. Bending Branch Winery will be in the breezeway near the parking lot.

At this time, we are not able to sell beverages for immediate consumption. That means no tastings or glasses for sale, but you can pick up a bottle or two of your favorite Texas wine to take home and enjoy. Please note we will only be accepting credit cards for payment at the Market (no cash at this time).

On our bottle menu for June is:

We will have a limited number of grab-and-go packages available as well. For at least the next two weekends, we will feature a trio package of 2016 vintage wines from Newsom Vineyards: Tempranillo, Malbec, and Petite Sirah.

In addition, you can now place an order through our website and choose Pearl as a pick-up location. Orders must be placed by noon on the Friday before the Market.

Please see the Pearl’s COVID-19 response and Farmers Market Pledge below. We look forward to seeing you there!


Pearl supports all its partners and the decisions they make on when and how to reopen their businesses. To ensure that our community remains as safe as possible, we’ve asked all business partners to commit to operating in accordance with city and state mandates. For more information visit: atpearl.com/covid19.



  • Vendors will wear masks
  • Make hand sanitizer/hand washing stations available to employees and guests
  • Vendors will handle all products; guests are asked to point to product and avoid touching
  • Post the Pearl Pledge in high traffic areas to remind everyone of best hygiene practices


  • Please approach Farmers Market like you would a grocery store:
  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain at least six feet distance from individuals not in your household
  • While shopping, refrain from consuming food and drink
  • Wash or sanitize hands upon entering the market area and between vendor interactions
  • For the time being, leave furry friend(s) at home




Time Posted: Jun 2, 2020 at 1:21 PM