For Christmas Eve this year we may work on a duck cassoulet paired with the 2019 Estate Tannat, Lost Pirogue Vineyard. While we’re digging into the wine closet, we’ll probably pull a bottle of the 2020 Ice Wine to share with Santa. Steak Diane is on the Christmas Day menu, paired with my wife’s favorite: D’Elissagaray Basque Blend.
The chef will need help in the kitchen and that starts with Blanc de Blancs. The 2019 Double Barrel Cabernet will be finding its way to the table this year. I’ll be sure to hold a bottle (or 2) back at room temperature for after dinner. Letting this wine warm slightly completely changes it. D’Elissagaray Basque Blend is our must-have EVERY holiday! You just can’t go wrong. Anyone need a nightcap and a spot by the fire? Pour that 1840 High Rye Kentucky Straight Bourbon over a clear ice ball and put your feet up.
I will be enjoying my new favorite 2019 Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon during the holidays!
For me, the Sparkling Picpoul Blanc is a favorite for everyday and special occasions. I love it with desserts like cheesecake and baklava, but I can drink it any time of any day!
My 2 picks:
1. Double Barrel Tannat - With its bold flavors and slightly creamy finish, pairs well with a ribeye steak with blue cheese topping.
2. “The Traveler” Bourbon - With just placing the Bourbon to the lips, a party is ignited!!! Flavors just bursting … tobacco, hints of cherry, with a hint of sweetness.
This year my favorite wine is the 2017 Reserve Charbono. With notes of blueberry, tart cherry and a hint of spice, it’s elegant, silky smooth, and absolutely delicious! We paired it with our family Christmas dinner of beef tenderloin with béarnaise sauce, pan fried potatoes and roasted broccoli. A definite repeat! Cheers and Merry Christmas!
The winter holidays are a time for celebrating and visiting with friends and loved ones. I can think of NO better way to celebrate the holidays than with a nice warm hard apple cider (several recipes online) using our ChickenDuck Wheated Bourbon! It warms the body and soul and makes for great times among friends and family. Pair that with caramel covered popcorn, for your get together, and good times will be had by all! P.S. The colder weather brings sore throats, but ChickenDuck makes an excellent hot toddy as well.
The Bending Branch 1840 Culinaria Blend is my go-to bourbon for the holidays. Aside from the Traveler, this is my favorite Bending Branch bourbon right now. This 3-barrel blend selected by the Culinaria team is a unique combination of sweet and sour mash from the classic BR21 mash bill. While I like it best as a neat pour, this bourbon shines as the main component in a Manhattan. My recipe calls for 1.5 ounces Bending Branch 1840 Culinaria Blend, .5 ounce Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters, and 1 Woodford Reserve cherry. Shake vigorously with ice before pouring. It’s best enjoyed in a thin-rimmed martini glass.
And as a bonus, $10 of each bottle sold goes to Culinaria, so you can sip while supporting a great organization. Culinaria is an internationally recognized non-profit with a focus on connecting people through food and beverage culture as an innovative approach to building community.
For wine, the 2020 Petit Verdot, Newsom Vineyards is a winner for the holidays (and all year). It is bold and has great texture. Every time I have a glass of this Petit Verdot, I’m appreciative of Neal and Janice Newsom for the great farming they do, and for granting us access to more of this fantastic fruit.
For that special occasion - paired with a nice dinner - I really like the Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon … it’s a wonderful collaboration of a California Cabernet Sauvignon that made its way to Texas, where it was aged in Bending Branch 1840 4-Grain Bourbon barrels.
I have so many favorite wines, but recently I've really been loving our Ursa 2021 Tannat Rosé. I plan on enjoying it with a cranberry cheese log and charcuterie while my family and I prep for Christmas dinner. Happy Holidays!
My favorite variety is Petite Sirah. I love the Shell Creek Old Vine Petite Sirah, the bold plum/berry notes and smooth finish pairs well with a great pork roast, yams, and dirty rice.
I will be having the 2022 Sauvignon Blanc from Ursa with my turkey dinner on Christmas Day. I am a fan of Tannat as well. The 2019 Tallent Tannat will also be open. That pairs well with anything from a pork roast to a holiday movie on the couch!
This holiday season we will enjoy glasses of Picpoul Blanc with our roasted turkey and cornbread dressing on Christmas Day. For dessert, bring out the Double Barrel Tannat with pieces of dark chocolate candy truffles and/or peanut brittle.
We will be drinking Sparkling Picpoul Blanc for any excuse we can come up with.
We will be enjoying the 2019 Lucy's Reserve, Camp Lucy Vineyard. It is a lovely blend of Mourvèdre and Petit Verdot that will go well with the smoked Cornish hens on the menu for Christmas Day.
During the holidays, I will pull out some bottles that I’ve been holding on to for a while. We usually have a small gathering of wine-loving friends, and this year we may do a vertical tasting of Tempranillo or Petite Sirah from Newsom Vineyards. For additional Christmas cheer, I will also be making some High Rye ‘Ritas from ChickenDuck High Rye!
My favorite 2022 Sparkling Picpoul Blanc will be served on Christmas morning with our favorite brunch casseroles and fruit medley! As a new member of the Ursa Gold Rush Club - I will serve the Basque Blend with Christmas dinner, which will be prime rib this year with some caramelized roasted sweet potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. Cheers and Happy Holidays!
I’m going with 2020 Pinot Noir, full flavored but light on the palate.
This holiday season I will be enjoying the new Ursa soon-to-be-released Alicante Bouschet. It is a savory wine with notes of cedar, spice, herbes de Provence and packed with boysenberry. Pair it with anything grilled or smoked, or with just a second glass of itself.
I will definitely be enjoying some Sparkling Picpoul Blanc while preparing Christmas brunch. The 2019 Lost Pirogue Tannat has a special place in my heart! It will go great with our beef tenderloin for dinner. And there is nothing more perfect than a High Rye Bourbon old fashioned for a night cap!
We are thrilled to release our 2022 Estate Crimson Cabernet Rosé from the Bending Branch Estate Vineyard. Only 13 cases are available for sale, so get your hands on this wine while you can! PURCHASE NOW
The Bending Branch Estate Crimson Cabernet vineyard was planted in 2019. Crimson Cabernet is a genetic cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton. Along with being Pierce’s Disease tolerant, this grape variety is also cold hardy because of the Norton component. Norton is thought by many to be the best non-Vitis Vinifera American red grape variety.
While we intend to craft red wine from this vineyard, we elected to make a rosé from the first harvest, which took place on August 20, 2022. The wine is a knockout with aromas of magnolia and pineapple that open up to flavors of strawberry, mango, and tropical fruit. The limited bottling of 22 cases was first available to customers who adopted vines in the vineyard (vine parents), but it is now available to everyone while supplies last.
We are expecting a larger Crimson Cabernet harvest this year and are still determining if the grapes are destined to make another rosé or a bold red wine. See our recent blog post for an update on the Crimson Cabernet and Camminare Noir vines in the Bending Branch Estate Vineyard. READ VINEYARD UPDATE
We are thrilled to announce that we can now ship bourbon to 41 states and Washington D.C.
Unfortunately, we cannot ship to Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah.
A flat rate shipping fee of $20 applies no matter how many bottles are purchased.
Please note: Bourbon is sold on a different platform and is not able to be combined with wine orders.
ChickenDuck High Rye Bourbon
92 Proof | $42 bottle
Gold – 2023 Ascot Awards
ChickenDuck Wheated Bourbon
92 Proof | $42 bottle
Gold – 2023 Ascot Awards
Bending Branch 1840
Kentucky Straight High Rye Bourbon
108 Proof | $75 bottle
Platinum – 2023 Ascot Awards
Bending Branch 1840
Kentucky Straight 4-Grain Bourbon
Barrel Strength at 109 Proof | $120 bottle
Platinum – 2023 Ascot Awards
A tasting flight of all four bourbons is available for $18 at the Bending Branch Estate tasting room. Open noon to 6 p.m. daily
Bourbon bottles are available for purchase Monday through Saturday at the tasting room. (By law, we cannot sell bourbon bottles on Sunday.)
Bourbon cocktails are now served out of the bourbon wagon at Bending Branch every Saturday and Sunday!
Explore our bourbon brands:
COMFORT, TX (Feb. 24) – Out of their mutual shared interest in quality bourbon, Bending Branch Winery CEO Dr. Bob Young and President Alison Young brought some of their Kentucky Bourbon Country heritage to Comfort. Today, Bending Branch announces the launch of two new bourbon brands, Bending Branch 1840 and ChickenDuck.
“After successfully growing the Bending Branch reputation for quality, exceptional wines and experiences, we are excited to expand the Young family of beverage brands with the launch of outstanding bourbons from Kentucky,” said Alison Young, president and Master Blender of Bending Branch.
The Bending Branch 1840 brand features premium Kentucky straight bourbon and high rye bourbon whiskeys, aged for a minimum of four years in new American charred oak barrels, that Alison and Dr. Bob have sourced over the last two years for additional aging and bottling in Texas. 1840 pays homage to the year the Bending Branch Winery property was settled and to the original log cabin home on the property.
The first two 1840 Bourbons offered from Bending Branch are a premium high rye bourbon and a signature four-grain mash bill bourbon. The high rye bourbon offers aromas of vanilla, orangesicle and crème brûlée and opens to caramel and orange cordial on the palate. At 108 proof, this bourbon is exceptionally smooth. It retails for $75 and is available at Bending Branch and will soon be in Texas retail stores. The four-grain bourbon features a unique mash bill created by Dr. Bob. It is a small batch blend of three barrels, bottled at barrel strength of 109 proof. Only available at Bending Branch, this bourbon tastes of decadent vanilla buttercream. At $95, the less than 600 bottles that are available for sale have already begun to fly from the shelves.
ChickenDuck is serious bourbon that is purposefully crafted differently. It is named after two of the original chickens and ducks that roamed the vineyard managing pests and entertaining guests. Continuing Bending Branch Winery’s expertise in innovative techniques, the ChickenDuck bourbons use an advanced extraction technology that give them the qualities of bourbons that are aged for multiple years. 100% of the aging of these bourbons takes place on the property in Comfort.
The environmental impact of ChickenDuck is less than traditional bourbon whiskeys because of the extraction technology, reduction in barrel storage time and associated costs, and its almost complete reduction in evaporation loss (“Angel’s Share”) compared to bourbons aged a minimum of four years.
The first ChickenDuck bourbon releases are a high rye bourbon and a wheated bourbon. The high rye has aromas of brown sugar, baking spices and molasses and opens to sassafras and cracked pepper on the finish. The wheated bourbon entices with cedar chest and vanilla on the nose, and it follows through with caramelized sugar and buttery toffee notes. Both ChickenDuck bourbons retail for $42 and are available at Bending Branch. They will be offered in Texas retail stores soon.
Flights of four tastings are available daily at the Bending Branch tasting room. On April 1, Bending Branch is featuring a Bourbon and Bites Sensory Experience. Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/bourbonbites.
Bending Branch Winery has been nominated again for Best Winery in the 2023 YourSA San Antonio Express-News Readers’ Choice Awards. We are honored to have been voted Best Winery in this competition for the last 7 years.
We can’t do this without YOU!
Please take a moment to vote for Bending Branch.
You may vote once per day through February 15th.
Thanks to our members and loyal fans, Bending Branch has been voted Best Winery for the last seven competitions: 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015. (There was no competition in 2020.)
Let's rock the vote and make it eight years in a row!
#YourSA23 #SupportLocal #SanAntonio #OpenLocalWine
Can’t go wrong with the Ursa Vineyards 2018 Zinfandel. Smooth and flavorful and great compliment to any holiday meal. Rated excellent by Wine Enthusiast.
Like holiday shopping, we’ll probably wait until the last minute to finalize holiday meals, but this season the Blanc de Blanc American will surely be a starter and the 2021 Petit Manseng will be a finisher. Having these two new exceptional wines available this year may lead us to untried menu options and new holiday traditions. Just in case a standing rib roast makes it back on the menu, a 2019 Tallent Tannat will be handy.
We will be pairing the Ursa Vineyards barrel fermented Chardonnay and Ursa Vineyards Mencía with grilled prawns, crusty sourdough bread, and a Caesar salad on Christmas Day. For dessert, we will enjoy a cheese plate paired with Ursa Petite Sirah.
My pick is 2017 Newsom Tannat Port Brownies. Use a box brownie mix (I recommend a dark chocolate) and add 1/4-1/2 cup of port to the batter. Enjoy some port alongside these delicious brownies! Happy Holidays!
I'm planning to open the 2019 Estate Tannat, Lost Pirogue Vineyard. We submitted this wine to just one contest, the San Francisco International Wine Competition, and it was awarded Double Gold/Best Other Red Varietal. This wine is so good because of its spectacular fruit that was hand-harvested from one acre, 11 miles away from the winery. It is our second release of Tannat from Lost Pirogue Vineyard. Because it is such a standout wine, it deserves a spot at holiday gatherings, and I’m looking forward to sharing it.
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays! I usually start the morning with last minute gift wrapping. Never fails! Christmas meals are a mix of Cajun and traditional for us. We will have a seafood gumbo (blue crab, andouille and Cajun sausage, chicken and shrimp). We also will have traditional Christmas food such as ham, cornbread dressing, mustard greens and potato salad because my dad doesn't eat gumbo. WHO DOESN’T EAT GUMBO?! I'll also make icebox lemon pies and pecan pies. Because we have so many different types of food, I'll open the 2019 Tallent Tannat, 2019 Souzão, and of course Bending Branch Brut!
My absolute and all-time fave for the holidays is always the Tannat, Tallent Vineyards. The bold blackberry and hints of tobacco pair really well with smoky, spiced meats and cheeses which is perfect around this time of year!!
The Ursa Tannat Rosé is always a good "pregame" wine for the elves busy in the kitchen!
I am definitely going to enjoy the sparkling Blanc de Blancs on Christmas morning with a breakfast/brunch casserole! Then I plan to pair my favorite 2019 Mourvèdre (Desert Willow Vineyards) with a spiral-cut ham and lots of yummy side dishes!! Cheers!
My personal favorite red wine is our Mourvèdre! It’s such an easy drinking, versatile wine that pairs well with almost anything. I especially love it paired with a braised, slow cooked pot roast and roasted potatoes. Perfect for the fall and winter! It’s also a great sit back and relax wine, which we all need this time of year. Cheers and happy holidays!
It is always hard to pick a favorite wine when you work at Bending Branch. I am really loving the 2019 Mourvèdre and 2019 Texas Cabernet Sauvignon as of late. We will definitely ring in the new year with some bubbles, either Bending Branch Brut or Blanc de Blancs.
I will be drinking Blanc de Blancs and pairing it with creamy smooth cheesecake. Not just for dessert, but for anytime day or night!
We will have a delayed Christmas celebration while some family members are traveling. I plan on a bottle of Tempranillo paired with some tamales at least one evening and break out the new Cabernet Sauvignon Ice Wine for everyone to try.
I always look forward to having a glass of Angelica with my pumpkin chocolate cheesecake on Christmas Eve. And of course, this year I will be drinking 2019 Tallent Tannat alongside my smoked brisket. Lastly, I can not bring in the new year without Blanc de Blancs!
2019 Mourvedre, Desert Willow: Cuban sandwich (slow roasted citrus marinated pork butt, smoked ham, swiss cheese, mustard, dill pickle pressed in a panini or George Foreman grill til crisp) with black beans with olive oil
2017 Tannat Port-style, Newsom Vineyards: Almond biscotti with River Whey's "Whey Bleu" blue cheese
We will enjoy Texas Tempranillo with grilled chicken breast, bordeaux cherry compote, and farmhouse sourdough!
Bending Branch wines are out of this world! A photo of Dr. Bob Young, holding bottles of Picpoul Blanc and Tannat, was launched into space last week. As part of a Tesla referral program, Tesla launched a mosaic composed of pictures of select customers on SpaceX’s lunar orbiter mission with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute of South Korea. The mosaic of Tesla owners was laser etched on glass and will permanently reside in space.
The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral on the evening of August 4, 2022. The Tannat House of Texas is reaching astronomical new heights! These are truly Next World Wines.
Click HERE to see the photo in the mosaic.
Photo credit: Dayna DeHoyos
The California State Fair has announced the winners of the 2022 California Commercial Wine Competition. The highly anticipated event was held June 1-3 at Cal Expo in Sacramento.
This year, a panel of 44 official judges tasted and evaluated 1,953 California wines from 443 California wineries. The competition, which had been on a 2-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, celebrates the wine growing and wine producing industry in California. It is open only to wines made with fruit grown and produced in the eleven growing regions across the State of California. Wines are evaluated by class, varietal, style, and region based upon the source of the grapes. Total medals awarded were 99 Double Gold, 257 Gold, 878 Silver, and 583 Bronze.
Eleven Ursa Vineyards wines were entered in the competition, three of which earned Best of Class Appellation awards. The star of the show was the 2018 Tannat, Ferrel Ranch, which earned a Double Gold medal, Best of Class Appellation, and a whopping 99 points.
“We’re thrilled with the results from the California State Fair. I love that all our wines placed, but especially our flagship Tannat with Double Gold, 99 points, AND Best of Appellation El Dorado. It’s an honor to have done so well and in such good company,” said Deborah Elissagaray.
Congratulations to Ursa Winemakers Deborah Elissagaray and Greg Stokes!
2018 Tannat, Ferrel Ranch, El Dorado *
2020 Viognier, Hidden Mesa Vineyard, Sierra Foothills *
Major Red, Sierra Foothills *
2018 Mencía, Silvaspoons Vineyards, Alta Mesa
2018 Souzão, Sierra Foothills
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ferrel Ranch, El Dorado
2018 Syrah-Sirah, Sierra Foothills
2018 Petite Sirah, Sierra Foothills
2020 Chardonnay, Wilson Vineyard, Clarksburg *
2018 Barbera, Lone Meadow Vineyard, Sierra Foothills
2018 Zinfandel, Sierra Foothills *
Dating back to 1854, the California State Fair Wine Competition is America’s oldest and most prestigious wine event. For more than 160 years, the California State Fair has showcased the Best of the Golden State. Visit the Cal Expo website for a full list of winners: FULL LIST
* Available now at Ursa at Branch on High
On May 11, 2022, we had the privilege of spending the evening at Texas A&M University. Hosted by the Department of Horticultural Sciences, Bending Branch Winery was featured during Spirited Learning — a new, collaborative, and interactive experience created to bring awareness to wonderful Texas wines.
Bending Branch Founder and Co-Owner Dr. Bob Young spoke about our winemaking processes, and General Manager Jennifer McInnis Fadel led a wine tasting for the 250 attendees. Bending Branch Enologist and Texas A&M alumna Allison Thomason also attended and assisted with the event. Allison graduated with a degree in Agricultural Systems Management in 2017 and then stayed and received her Master of Science degree in 2018.
The evening began with a very special award presented by Dr. Amit Dhingra, Department of Horticultural Sciences Professor and Department Head. Dr. Bob and Brenda Young were acknowledged for the creation of the Phillip Young Foundation Excellence Award, an endowment in honor of their son Phillip that will provide annual scholarships to underprivileged and minority students interested in working in the Texas wine industry and pursuing degrees in viticulture or enology. The Young family is passionate about this cause and excited to make this investment in the future of Texas wine.
Photos and video by Dayna DeHoyos/Stella Haus Films
Dr. Bob and Brenda Young and Bending Branch Winery received an award for Outstanding Business at the 2022 Comfort Chamber of Commerce banquet held on March 31st at Riven Rock Ranch. Dr. Bob did not know that he was receiving this honor, but his team knew in advance. He thought he was attending the banquet with his daughter, Allison, and General Manager Jennifer McInnis Fadel, but several other staff members just happened to show up. It was a complete surprise to him.
This award was given in recognition of countless contributions and support for the local community. Dr. Bob served, including as Chair, for several years on the Comfort Area Foundation to help improve the lives of Comfort residents. Dr. Bob and Brenda give back via events and wines that have a charitable component. Examples include the annual Derby Extravaganza that benefits a local charity (the 2022 recipient will be the Boys & Girls Club of Comfort), and Brenda’s Cuvée wine that raises awareness and funds for Team Fox. The wine has helped raise more than $30,000 for Parkinson’s Research.
Dr. Bob’s unique résumé in medicine, public health, and winemaking positions him and Bending Branch as industry examples in the battle to control COVID-19. His leadership and expertise in public health helped navigate the Bending Branch team of 30+ employees, as well as the Comfort community, during the pandemic. He is proud that the Bending Branch team remained intact during unpredictable times, and it continues to grow.