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Bending Branch Winery


Jennifer Cernosek
November 2, 2020 | Jennifer Cernosek

Ursa Vineyards Releasing Angelica Wine Soon

Ursa Vineyards is set to release Angelica wine with the November 2020 Gold Rush Club release.

Angelica is a fortified dessert wine made from the Mission grape. The Mission grape was introduced to California in 1778 and was the primary wine grape for nearly a century. Angelica was originally made by Franciscan missionaries, and it was also a regular beverage of the gold miners during the Gold Rush.
Today, Angelica is known as one of California’s most historic wines. It is extremely rare with a very limited number of vintners producing it. The process of making the wine includes partially fermenting the grape juice before fortifying it with brandy. Angelica typically ages for at least five years in barrel before it is bottled. The long aging process is one of the keys to its rich taste.
The grapes from Ursa’s Angelica come from Rinaldi Vineyard, one of the oldest vineyards in the Sierra Foothills, and one of the few vineyards still growing Mission grapes. Original plantings in the vineyard date back to 1865. After crushing the grapes, the fermentation was barely started and then it was fortified with brandy. After aging in barrel for seven years, the 2013 Ursa Angelica was bottled.
With a taste as rich as its history, the 2013 Ursa Angelica is one to savor and share, especially during the holiday season. It can be enjoyed for up to a month after opening, if stored properly in the refrigerator. Ideal food pairings include toasted pecans or Italian cream cake. For a simple dessert, try drizzling Angelica on top of vanilla ice cream.

Purchase Angelica

Time Posted: Nov 2, 2020 at 7:00 AM Permalink to Ursa Vineyards Releasing Angelica Wine Soon Permalink
Sara Potter
October 22, 2020 | Sara Potter

We are now open for outdoor tastings by appointment!

The Bending Branch team is excited to welcome wine lovers back for tastings by appointment seven days a week on our shaded deck and patio starting this Saturday, October 24th. We will offer a self-guided tasting of four wines for $20. Paid tastings include a souvenir wine glass. 

All tasting experiences are seated and self-guided.
This casual, self-guided tasting is designed to minimize contact and encourage tasting wines at your own pace. You will pick up your wine tasting set from the tasting room, and take it back to the table you selected upon your arrival.
The four wines will be served in individual carafes for self-service with a single-use menu that will guide you through the wines. Guests are welcome to purchase additional glasses or bottles after their tasting. Maximum group size is six including children.

We are currently accepting reservations through Tock.
Reservations are for 1 hour and 15 minutes. We're implementing hard-stops between reservations to conduct sanitation protocols.

Safety is our top priority.
We are taking extraordinary precautions to sanitize and maintain physical distance. We have adapted our experience to exceed CDC guidelines.

It is very important to read the Bending Branch Winery COVID-19 Guest Advisory before your visit.


Attention Wine Club Members:

If you want to enjoy your complimentary tasting or glass at the estate tasting room, you still need to make a reservation for a tasting. Upon arrival, you can choose the tasting flight or opt for a complimentary glass of wine.

If you haven't done so already, create a Tock account using the primary email address associated with your club membership. You must be logged in to Tock when making reservations in order to receive your complimentary benefits and access to experiences at the Wine Club Lounge.

Just a reminder that Wine Club Lounge experiences are only available on Saturdays and Sundays, and you can now enjoy a tasting there as well. Member(s) receive complimentary tastings or glasses of wine and complimentary tastings for up to two guests.

If you have questions or need help making a reservation, please contact the tasting room at 830-995-2948. We can't wait to see you!

Time Posted: Oct 22, 2020 at 12:36 PM Permalink to We are now open for outdoor tastings by appointment! Permalink
Sara Potter
October 14, 2020 | Sara Potter


Bending Branch Winery was awarded BEST OF HERD TEXAS WINERY at the 12th Annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Wine Competition held on October 5-7, 2020. The competition featured over 1,000 wines from across the United States and around the world. 

Best of Herd is awarded to the Texas winery which has the greatest percentage of wines receiving the highest number of awards within their total number of entries.

Wineries selected as Top 14 Champion Wines including Grand Champion, Reserve Champion, Best of Herd, Top All Around Winery, Best of Show, Top of Class and Double Gold will be featured during the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Virtual Super Auction scheduled for November 9-15, 2020. The auction funds support the Show’s goals of benefiting the youth of Texas. To date, over $223 million has been committed to educate the youth of Texas. This year, more than 21,275 Texas students have been educationally impacted. Proceeds from the Wine Events benefit the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Scholarship Fund with a portion for the advancement of viticulture.

The Champion winning wines will also be showcased in the Wine Cellar, sponsored by H-E-B, on the rodeo grounds during the 72nd Annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo to be held February 11-28, 2021. The H-E-B Wine Department is committed to supporting the competition and will feature the Champion wines in their San Antonio stores throughout the month of February 2021. Champion wines will also be recognized in the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo local media publications and website.

Want to purchase the Double Gold 2017 Petite Sirah before it's released? The Best of Herd Top Picks 4-pack includes two bottles each of 2017 Petite Sirah and 2017 Tempranillo. Cheers!

See a full list of winners here.

Time Posted: Oct 14, 2020 at 1:04 PM Permalink to BEST OF HERD TEXAS WINERY Permalink
Sara Potter
October 2, 2020 | Sara Potter

October is Texas Wine Month!

We are excited to invite our wine club members back to an all-new experience at our Wine Club Lounge this month!
We are taking reservations now through Tock for outdoor experiences on Saturdays and Sundays. 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 at this time, please.

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

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.


  1. Go to https://www.exploretock.com/signup.
  2. If you haven't done so already, 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.
Time Posted: Oct 2, 2020 at 8:05 AM Permalink to October is Texas Wine Month! Permalink
Sara Potter
September 17, 2020 | Sara Potter

Virtual Tasting Offerings

Experience a virtual guided wine tasting with one of our wine educators during this time of social distancing. 

Enjoy a virtual tasting at home

The At-Home package contains six bottles of wine; three to taste during your appointment, and three to savor later. Package includes:

  • Estate Picpoul Blanc, Lost Pirogue Vineyards (2 bottles)
  • Petite Sirah, Newsom Vineyards (2 bottles)
  • Texas Tannat (2 bottles)

To select an appointment online, visit our Virtual Tastings page.

Interested in a customized offering for a larger event? Contact us at info@bendingbranchwinery.com.

Enjoy a virtual tasting with your team

Looking for a fun team-building event for your organization?

Want to spike engagement in your next virtual meeting?

We have corporate virtual tasting packages ready for your next event, or we can customize an offering to meet your needs.

Signature Tasting Package (2 bottles)

Taste Bending Branch's signature grape varieties in our Picpoul Blanc and Texas Tannat. Experience the value of comparative wine tasting, appreciate body and balance, and get comfortable with wine vocabulary. The tasting culminates in a trivia challenge with prizes.

1840 Premiere Experience (3 bottles)

Enjoy three premium Bending Branch wines, personally guided by Owner and Winemaker Dr. Robert Young, along with members of our team. Understand the winemaker's style and objectives, appreciate the commitment to quality, and discover the vibrant world of food and wine.

Contact us at info@bendingbranchwinery.com for pricing on corporate virtual tastings.

What people are saying:

"Our virtual wine tasting was a success! When I arrived at the office today, I had many emails stating what a success last night's event was."  –Corporate Tasting Customer

"We had a wonderful time and the wine was excellent. I also shared the remaining wine with a few friends over dinner last night. It was the highlight of my week!"  –Signature Tasting Participant

"We not only loved the Tannat, Petite Sirah, and Picpoul Blanc, in that order, we also appreciate Dr. Bob for his commitment to whatever he does."  –1840 Premiere Experience Participant

Contact us for more information on virtual tastings at info@bendingbranchwinery.com.



Time Posted: Sep 17, 2020 at 11:48 AM Permalink to Virtual Tasting Offerings Permalink
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 Permalink to Celebrate California Wine Month with Ursa Vineyards Permalink
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 Permalink to Very exclusive Malbec for Case Club members Permalink
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 Permalink to Upcoming Virtual Happy Hour Schedule Permalink
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 Permalink to Harvest 2020 Update Permalink
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 Permalink to Upcoming Virtual Happy Hour Schedule Permalink