The 2011 Lenoir grapes from Messina Hof Vineyard in Bryan are all in the fermenters bubbling away. There is not one grape left on the vine from either human or bird harvest and the Lord blessed us indeed with rain the day after harvest was done. It is not the first time He has done that. It was just enough to cool the ground, refresh the leaves, and cool the vines. I know that they were as appreciative as we were.
The Winemaster’s Challenge was a new event that we added this year and we will definitely do it again. The three winemakers were amazing. They not only shared their philosophies of wine with the audience but discussed within themselves their opinions and answered every kind of question. The challenge was to smell and taste 5 different flights of two wines. Each flight had one Messina Hof and one other wine from another region of the world. Guests discussed with the winemaker’s their observations and opinions. The winemakers did the same. Each flight was paired with a different course of food that was designed for those wines. I spoke about the wine and food pairings to talk about what worked and why with each of the different wines we served.
Messina Hof is blessed to have three winemakers passionate about wine. That passion shines through and is very contagious. Paul V is the winemaster of winemasters with such a depth of knowledge and willingness to share the things he has learned from first hand trial by fire. Randy Herron brings an international spice from having worked with so many different country’s winemakers while with Gallo and in Australia. Paul M is currently a student of the California of Davis and brings the latest in winemaking discussion and experimentation to the table.