Our next entry comes from Alta Marfa – wine enthusiasts turned viticulturists looking to grow their far west Texas vineyard. Photos used with permission from altamarfa.com/blog
Who are you?Ricky Taylor and Katie Jablonski
How did y’all end up getting into wine-making? By way of wine drinking, and out of a desire to work for ourselves.
How many are in your crew, or, how many people work on your vineyard? Katie and I and our friend Promit Bagchi have spent every weekend for the last year or so preparing for the vine planting process that we just completed this past April. Prior to that Katie and I began the project in January of 2016. We have also had tons of friends and family members and enthusiastic volunteers (aka new friends) come out and help.
How long have y’all been here (Fort Davis)? January 2016 we began looking for a property in the Davis Mountains to turn into a vineyard.
What’s the story behind your vineyard? In 2015 I put in google “where is the coolest weather in Texas?” the answer is the Davis Mountains. Once Katie and I came out to visit in January 2016 and saw what a magical place it was we got very excited and knew it was the place for us!
What kind of soil/microclimate does your vineyard grow in? The geology of the Davis Mountains is volcanic, which translates into the soil. Our vineyard area so far is about 2.5 acres and is on volcanic soil. That being said, inside that relatively small area, we can see several very distinct looking soils. We have red soil, a dark black soil, a greenish clay, and a very light powdery white soil.
How would you describe your wine-making style? To be determined. We have made wine and beer at home, but never on a commercial scale. I plan on letting our agricultural product (the grapes) dictate some of the styles, but similar to our farming style our goal is to make a wine that tastes good out of the grapes we have rather than trying to make a wine that tastes like French wine or Italian wine or California wine.
Which grapes (varietals) are grown at your vineyard? 90% of our 6,000 vines are Cabernet Sauvignon, the other 10% are a mix of 25 varieties, many of which are from Italy, Spain and Portugal.
What’s your favorite kind of wine? Favorite Texas wine? I am constantly trying a new wine. There is just so much to try! My favorite Texas Wines: Southold Farm and Cellar, Calais, Lightsome Wines, Robert Clay Vineyards.
Do you give tours? Anyone interested in seeing the vineyard can send either Katie or me an email to schedule a time to come by and see it. We do not give regular tours and are not open to the public.
How can people help out? By either subscribing to the blog or following on Instagram people can stay tuned and we will make announcements there about events for things like planting, harvesting, etc. We will also let the email list know first when there is finally wine ready for sale.
What’s the hardest thing about running a vineyard/wine-making? So far everything we are doing we are doing for the first time. From buying the property to clearing the land to build an irrigation system, planting vines, writing a blog, designing a winery. So everything is fairly difficult. We are beginners.
When/Where can we buy a bottle? Don’t have any wine yet. First wine will be available to buy ~ 2022.
What’s your favorite thing about far west Texas? There aren’t many people.
What’s the vision for your vineyard? We just finished planting, I would love to die at the ripe old age of 100 and for those vines to still be growing strong.
How can people get in contact with y’all for more info? firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook – Alta Marfa
www.altamarfa.com Please subscribe to the email list in order to be kept informed about when we will have wine for sale and when we have volunteer events for things like planting or harvesting.