I will be drinking our new release 2018 Tannat, Tallent Vineyards for our Christmas Day dinner. We will be having a standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding. It's a family tradition.
My family tradition is chili (with beans). My whole life we have had chili on Christmas Eve. Growing up this was always a tradition that we celebrated by gathering at my Grandma Margaret's. Although she is no longer with us and our family is in different parts of the country, we still prepare chili on Christmas Eve in our respective homes. My pairings would be Bending Branch 2018 Tempranillo and/or 2018 Ursa Zinfandel.
My thoughts for dinner are to make individual Beef Wellington’s paired with Tallent Tannat, a Tannat red wine mushroom sauce and cheesy potatoes gratin. As an appetizer a baked brie with raspberry chipotle puff pastry served with the bubbly Brut! And, I might add, playing Charlie Brown Christmas music by Vince Guaraldi.
Our holiday meals must include a beef rib roast. The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Newsom Vineyards tastes like a great pairing for our favorite recipe for coffee and pepper rubbed rib roast (along with some Dijon mustard and crushed garlic). The 2018 is a bit lighter and more complex than most young Cabs, allowing it stand in well for Cabs with a little more age and finesse. The 2019 Napa Cab would be a great alternate, but with the limited supply I doubt it will still be available for the holidays…plus I think we just need to celebrate the holidays in true Texas style. After all, Santa may be watching.
My go-to is Texas Tannat as a standalone or pair it with shrimp creole.
It's no surprise that the wine we'll be pouring is the D’Elissagaray Basque Blend. It takes me back to Amatchi's (grandmother in Basque) and her long family table (24 of us without guests!) and the smell of lamb and garlic potatoes and drinking wine out of any vessel, goblets to jelly jars.
I act the same way at home as I do in the office, I snack all day! This year I will be snacking on my Mimi’s cranberry pecan jalapeno chutney on top of cream cheese with a glass of Desert Willow Mourvèdre to the point I almost ruin my dinner. After Christmas, I will read my new book from Santa with Double Barrel Tannat and ALL of the leftover fudge in the house.
I’m looking forward to opening some bottles I’ve been holding on to for special occasions, like the 2017 Celebration Cuvée and also Chloe Cuvée. And bubbles, of course! I have a couple of bottles of Tannat Frizzante left and Bending Branch Brut is a no-brainer for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
I am enjoying the 2018 Tempranillo, Newsom Vineyards which features nice berry fruit and integrated tannins making it a versatile food wine. I have paired it with smoked chicken and grilled cedar planked salmon with great results and plan on drinking it with filet mignon on Christmas Day.
I’m definitely a Bending Branch Brut girl. As I get out of bed on Christmas, I look forward to the smell of banana nut stuffed French toast being warmed in the oven as I make my mimosa! This year we will have tamales on the menu, and I’m going to pair them with the 2018 Mourvèdre. I love this wine, and it really brings out the flavor in my tamales.
The 2018 Double Barrel Tannat is by far the best we’ve ever had! We will pair it with prime rib for Christmas dinner.
The Bubbles Trio that we are offering is a must-have, especially at $80 per package. Three bottles of Bending Branch Brut hits some of the major traditions for my family. Tradition 1: Each year, when decorating our Christmas tree, my husband Brandon and I always pop a bottle of bubbles to celebrate. Tradition 2: Perhaps a new tradition, my cousin Christy and I hosted Thanksgiving together for the first time. For everyone prepping food at her house that day, we started with a pour then toast of Bending Branch Brut. And while I could come up with a dozen other reasons to open celebratory bubbles between Christmas tree decorating (which is before Thanksgiving at my home) and New Year’s Day, celebrating with Bending Branch Brut is a staple to any New Year party (Tradition 3).
My other holiday pick is 2018 Petit Verdot, Newsom Vineyards. I could not be more excited about this wine, and it is the first vintage of single-variety Petit Verdot produced by Bending Branch Winery. This grape was harvested with the intention of using it for blending, but when tasting it from the barrel, it was so good that the winemaking team chose to bottle it on its own. With less than 40 cases available to sell, it was first offered to 1840 members as an add-on to their December release. Very little of it remains. Not only is it incredibly good, but it is a conversation piece. Bringing a very rare wine to a holiday gathering is a thoughtful and special touch. It’s bold and will pair well with charcuterie, appetizers or the main course. So how to you get it? It’s not online, but you can call the tasting room at 830-995-2948 to purchase or stop in and buy a bottle. While supplies last, of course.
We will enjoy 2018 Petit Verdot with dill mushroom soup with farmhouse sourdough bread.
I will be enjoying the bubbly Brut with divinely decorated Christmas cookies!
We will have a bottle of 2020 Tannat Rose, Tallent Vineyards served with roasted turkey and all the fixings. And of course, a bottle of bubbly Brut to bring in 2022!
I am decorating my glass with 2018 Tannat, Tallent Vineyards. I was fortunate enough to get a preview when we bottled this over the summer, and now I plan to enjoy it with baked ham glazed in chipotle and apple butter, and a sharp cheddar potato galette.
On very special occasions, I like to grill a large Texas Tomahawk Ribeye. I marinate the ribeye overnight with a coconut garlic amino sauce, Rudy’s rub, Himalayan salt and crushed black pepper. I like to grill it old school style on an open fire pit with charcoal and mesquite wood. When the coals are ready, I sear the steak on all sides and then move the steak away from the high heat and take my time to slow cook it. Lots of patience and a glass of a good Kentucky bourbon is required. When the steak is ready, I top it with slabs of butter and let the steak rest several minutes. Now, it’s ready to eat and nothing goes better with it than a Double Barrel Tannat. I have currently have three bottles in my wine chiller – one 2017 and two of the 2018 vintages.
We are thrilled to hold our first-ever Ursa Winemaker Dinner on November 19th at The Ingenhuett on High. Originally scheduled for November of 2020, the pandemic forced us to postpone this Ursa Gold Rush Club-exclusive event. Ursa Winemakers Greg Stokes and Deborah Elissagaray will be traveling from Placerville, California, to be a part of this special evening along with the Ursa at Branch on High team.
Tickets are on sale now for this Basque-inspired wine dinner prepared by Tina and Lucas Kent of The Bread Box. The event will feature wine and food pairing stations so guests can move around the space throughout the evening. The Ingenhuett on High has both indoor and outdoor areas for guests to mix and mingle.
6:30 p.m. Welcome wine | 7 p.m. Dinner
Individual cups filled with Jamón, Manchego cheese, quince paste, olives, dried apricots, and pecans
Cold smoked asparagus, mushrooms, squash, and tomatoes marinated in fresh Spanish oregano and extra virgin olive oil
Seared lamb marinated in fresh yogurt and herbs
Seared beef tenderloin marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh parsley
$50 per member. Limit 2 tickets per membership. This event is 21+ only.
**URSA GOLD RUSH MEMBERS – CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR THE EVENTBRITE TICKET LINK.**
Pictured: Deborah Elissagaray and Greg Stokes, along with Vespa and Coco, at Ursa Vineyards in Placerville.
Just in time for Texas Wine Month, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Uncork Texas Wine program teamed up with Texas Monthly to create the inaugural Texas Vintners Cup 2021 competition to select 12 wines that represent the best in Texas.
The Bending Branch 2017 Tannat, Newsom Vineyards made the list! This wine was produced using a combination of cryo-maceration and flash détente technology, two techniques used to extract more color, flavor and tannins from grapes to make bold, but balanced red wines.
Rounding out the top 12 were Honorable Mention wines that included another Bending Branch Tannat – the 2017 Tannat CM, Tallent Vineyards.
Bending Branch – considered the Tannat House of Texas – planted its first Tannat in 2009 on its estate property and was among the first wineries to release a Tannat in Texas, a 2008 Tannat released in 2010. This year, Bending Branch had more than a dozen Tannat wines in its portfolio.
Here’s what the judges had to say about the 2017 Tannat, Newsom Vineyards:
“It’s amazing to see how well Tannat is doing in Texas. This wine is big and robust with dark red fruit, blackberry and dewberry, baking chocolate, spice. It’s full bodied, with dense, well-integrated tannin,” said Master Sommelier Jack Mason, who oversees Texas’ portfolio at RNDC Distributing.
“Chewy, leathery, and ripe tannins exemplifying the best of the Tannat grape variety. Note how the baking chocolate from oak complements the blueberry and blackberry liqueur notes. It’s big, but long and fine; a well-made Tannat that shows what the variety can do,” said Master Sommelier James Tidwell, co-founder of TEXSOM.
Mason and Tidwell joined Texas Monthly wine and food writer Jessica Dupuy, certified sommelier and author of The Wines of Southwest USA, as judges who evaluated 260 wines from 67 wineries.
Bending Branch Winery is teaming up with Love Not Lost for an October 14th virtual fundraising event. Love Not Lost is on a mission to revolutionize the way we heal in grief. They do this through their photography program, community support program, and corporate care program.
Their photography program was inspired by Founder and Executive Director Ashley Jones’s personal experience. Ashley’s daughter Skylar faced a terminal illness and died at 21 months of age. The photographs that Ashley has from two professional sessions with her daughter continue to offer tangible comfort. Ashley has donated photography sessions for people facing terminal diagnoses since her experience. She says, “Not only do I hope to pay it forward, but I hope to change the way we look at grief and suffering so that we can love people better and bring healing through loss.”
CLICK HERE to read about Ashley’s story in greater detail. Photo of Skylar by Tessa Marie Photography for The Jones Family.
Ashley was introduced to Bending Branch Winery when she met Bending Branch’s General Manager, Jennifer McInnis Fadel. Jennifer was touched by Ashley and Love Not Lost because of her own grief journey, and she also knew there would be synergy between Love Not Lost and Bending Branch.
Bending Branch Winery Co-owners and Founders Dr. Robert W. and Brenda Young face their own grief from the loss of a child. Their son Phillip died in a car accident at the age of 18. It’s not something that they talk about often, but they continually do good deeds in their son’s memory through a trust in his honor.
Ashley and the Young Family share a connection to Atlanta. Love Not Lost is based in Atlanta, and Dr. Bob spent 16 years in Atlanta managing Meridian Medical Group practice. Also, along with a few other physicians in the United States, he developed a new specialty in inpatient medicine called Hospitalist at Eagle Hospital Physicians.
Like many nonprofit organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability to fundraise, so virtually bringing together two inspiring business founders – Dr. Bob of Bending Branch and Ashley of Love Not Lost – seemed like a winning combination to impact good.
Participants of the virtual tasting will be guided through tasting three Bending Branch wines while hearing engaging conversations and stories. Participants will also receive a charcuterie package.
I’m very moved by the Love Not Lost mission and look forward to October 14.
We grieve deeply because we love deeply, and that love is never lost. – Ashley Jones, Love Not Lost Founder
We wanted to share a quick update on the Crimson Cabernet vines planted on the Estate near our Wine Club Lounge. After careful research to find a variety best suited for our site, we selected Crimson Cabernet – a genetic cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton – because of its resistance to disease and cold hardiness. The vines proved themselves by thriving after February's Snowpocalypse!
The 2021 vintage marks the vines’ third year in the ground. A vineyard becomes established and produces its first crop after being planted for three growing seasons or its “third leaf.” The grapes recently went through veraison, which means the berries have turned from green to a deep purple color. It is also around the time of veraison that we have to put up bird netting to protect the fruit. And as always, the Bending Branch chickens have been doing their job helping us with pest management.
Typically, when a grape goes through veraison it is about 6 weeks away from ripeness and ready for harvest. While the vines are healthy and beautiful, there are only a small amount of grapes this year from our 1-acre vineyard.
If you are visiting the Wine Club Lounge, make sure to take a walk through the vineyard to visit the vines. We would also like to thank the members who adopted a vine or an entire row of vines. You can see the names of our row-adopters on name plates at the end of each row. Next year, we look forward to inviting vine adopters to participate in harvesting the Crimson Cabernet to make our first wine from these vines.
Images by Dayna DeHoyos/Stella Haus Films
June is all about celebrating Rosé with National Rosé Day on June 12th and then International Rosé Day on June 25th. You can drink pink this summer with an optional 6-bottle club release of three different Tannat Rosé wines from Bending Branch Winery and Ursa Vineyards. A $142 retail value – plus $15 summer shipping.
Log in to your wine club account by July 3rd to opt in, and you will receive a pair of Rosé All Day ventilated wine toppers – perfect for enjoying wine outdoors this summer!
Members who opt in will also receive two tickets to attend our Tannat Rosé Club Release Party on Saturday, July 17th.
This sparkling Texas Tannat is fruity, fanciful and fun with notes of strawberry, peach and watermelon. Chill well, pop the top, and enjoy the bubbles!
A pastel coral hue with fruity aromas, the 2020 Tannat Rosé delivers refreshing lemon-lime flavors with a delicate raspberry kick in this Texas Hill Country wine.
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.
Ursa Summer Whites (4 bottles): 2 Chardonnay, 2 Viognier
Bending Branch Summer Reds (3 bottles): Mourvédre, Petite Sirah, Texas Tannat
Ursa Summer Reds (4 bottles): Barbera, Major Red, Mencía, Zinfandel
Please verify your shipping or pickup preference. Here’s how:
Log In to your wine club account HERE.
July 3 Opt in to receive optional release
July 6 Credit cards will be processed
July 10 Pickup begins at Bending Branch or Ursa at Branch on High
July 13 Releases will ship from our fulfillment center
July 17 Tannat Rosé Club Release Party 1-4 p.m.
Contact us at email@example.com or call the tasting room at 830-995-2948.
We are excited to partner with Camp Lucy to offer our first-ever Wine Retreat at their beautiful property in on Thursday, June 24th. Join the Bending Branch team for a private wine reception, dinner in the vineyard, and an overnight stay.
Nestled on an idyllic ranch in Dripping Springs, Camp Lucy has become the ultimate Hill Country getaway with luxury accommodations, world-class services, and gorgeous venues only minutes from Austin.
Camp Lucy is also home to a vineyard. We are proud to work with owners Kim and Whit Hanks, and the exceptional Camp Lucy team, to produce a single-variety Malbec and a three-variety red wine blend. Camp Lucy’s commitment to excellence mirrors the Bending Branch philosophy, generating an impressive synergy.
Join the Bending Branch team for a private reception, dinner in the vineyard, and an overnight stay on June 24th. Come experience the sophisticated style and warm hospitality Camp Lucy has to offer.
The $155 per-person ticket includes:
*The cost of the guest room is not included with this ticket. You will book your room through Camp Lucy online with group code 16357 or call 512-894-4400 to make your reservation. A limited number of luxury suites and cottages are also available at a higher rate.
Each attendee needs their own ticket for the retreat. Ticket sales have ended.
We are happy to report that the Bending Branch team is almost 100% vaccinated. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the safety of our customers and staff has been our top priority. It is important that all guests read and understand the following measures we are taking to offer the safest experience possible. We will continue to be open seven days a week and offer call-ahead curbside service.
The following applies to all visits:
Sanitation protocols: In addition to cleaning all surfaces between groups, we’ve implemented the use of UVC and ozone equipment to neutralize viruses and bacteria in restrooms and tasting rooms.
Children: Children are welcome at the Estate Tasting Room, and they count toward your group size. The Wine Club Lounge is 21+ ONLY.
Pets: Well-behaved pets on a leash with up-to-date vaccinations are welcome at the Estate Tasting Room. Pets are NOT currently allowed at the Wine Club Lounge. See our full pet policy here. (link to Visit Estate page)
Inclement weather policy: If you have a reservation, Bending Branch may be forced to cancel it due to inclement weather. We will reschedule your appointment or refund any fees paid.
Liability release: Guests acknowledge the risk of exposure to COVID-19 inherent in patronizing any hospitality venue, and release Bending Branch Winery from all liability.
If you’ve had contact over the past 14 days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please postpone your visit at least 14 days from the time of contact.
Treat the special lady in your life to a wine package from Bending Branch Winery or Ursa Vineyards.
Mom will love this 3-bottle package of essential spring wines. She can enjoy a bit of brut for brunch, a glass of pink bubbles in the afternoon, and some refreshing new Mourvèdre with dinner.
$88 ― Bending Branch Club discounts apply. PURCHASE PACKAGE
Available at Bending Branch Winery and Ursa at Branch on High, or take advantage of $10 promotional shipping to 30+ states.
Mom will be thrilled with this 4-bottle collection that showcases Ursa's broad range and classic style:
$102 ― Ursa Gold Rush Club discounts apply. PURCHASE PACKAGE
Available at Ursa at Branch on High, or take advantage of $10 promotional shipping to 30+ states.
Treat Mom to a special LIVE tasting that pairs wines from the four wineries of Texas Fine Wine with four Texas cheeses selected by Antonelli's Cheese.
Wines from Bending Branch Winery, Duchman Family Winery, Pedernales Cellars and Spicewood Vineyards will be paired with cheeses from Pure Luck Farm & Dairy, River Whey Creamery, Eagle Mountain Farmhouse and Veldhuizen Cheese Shop.
The event will be held outdoors and physically distanced at the Wine Club Lounge. Each guest will receive a souvenir wine glass, an individual box with the four cheeses, meat, fruit and crackers from Antonelli's Cheese, and a 2-ounce pour of each featured wine.
$40 per person via Eventbrite. Seating is limited. PURCHASE TICKETS
Perfect for warmer weather, gift Mom with an insulated stainless steel Swig wine tumbler or water bottle. We also have coffee cups, journals, cooler bags, T-shirts and more. Available at the Bending Branch tasting room.
Enjoy a self-guided, outdoor tasting of four wines. Souvenir wine glass included with paid tasting. Open for tastings seven days a week from noon to 6 p.m. Click HERE to make a reservation on Tock.
It's here! The first release of Estate Tannat from Lost Pirogue Vineyard has arrived. Owners Bruce and Jana Colgate impeccably farm a 3-acre vineyard in Center Point that includes an acre dedicated to Tannat. The other two varieties planted, Picpoul Blanc and Souzão, have already seen their first wine releases with Bending Branch.
Tannat is Bending Branch Winery's signature red grape variety, and we've been highly anticipating the release of this special estate wine that was crafted from Lost Pirogue Vineyard's hand-harvested grapes.
The 2018 Estate Tannat is an elegant expression of skillful grape growing and artful winemaking. With notes of smoky dark berries, cinnamon, and clove, this wine will pair beautifully with your favorite cut of steak.
Also available starting today is the new release 2020 Estate Picpoul Blanc, the third vintage of elegant Picpoul Blanc from Lost Pirogue. The 2020 Estate Picpoul was fermented and aged in barrel, broadening the palate and adding complexity. Floral aromas mingle with pear, grapefruit, and creamy apricot in this spring sipper.
If dining with friends, either of these wines are sure to spark conversations about excellent Texas wine. Cheers to you, and bravo to the Colgates and the Bending Branch winemaking team!
Beautiful Tannat clusters from Lost Pirogue Vineyard