Meet the people that make up Lost Oak Winery
Gene Estes, President and Vintner
Born and raised in Abilene, Texas - home of three religious universities, designated a dry precinct, and one had to drive 150 miles to buy an alcoholic beverage. This probably had something to do with his decision to start making wines from Concord grape juice at the age of 23. Gene made his first wine in 1963 in a garage from Concord grape juice. It exploded. Then, after returning from Vietnam in 1966, he entered graduate school at Texas Tech University and earned a Masters of Science degree in Microbiology.
After pharmaceutical jobs in Houston and North Carolina, and finally at Alcon Labs in Fort Worth, Texas, he bought property in Burleson, purchased wine grape vines and put them in pots until he could plant them. He served on the Board and was President of the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association in 2008. In addition, he chaired their Education and Research Committee.
Anyone who meets Gene senses his passion, enthusiasm and energy to grow wine grapes and produce excellent wines in Texas - perhaps the most hostile environment in the world to do so - but as Gene claims, it is a testament to the Texas mentality of doing the impossible.
Roxanne Myers, General Manager
Gene's stepdaughter received a B.S. degree in Pharmacology/Toxicology in 2001 from University of Wisconsin. She sold reference books door to door for Southwestern in 2001 and 2002 and earned sales person of the year in spite of the fact that anyone can download encyclopedias on line. She became a Medical Sales Rep. for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in 2004. For the next five years, she lived in Ecuador where she has traveled, achieved fluency in Spanish, worked in sales and taught English to natives. She began at Lost Oak Winery in February 2007, and is now Lost Oak's General Manager. In addition to her role at Lost Oak Winery, Roxanne is busy with Lost Oak Family Brands as General Manager of Vintage Lane Wines and Partner of Ethaka Travel.
Jim Evans, Winemaker
Jim has been harvesting grapes and making wine in Texas since 1981. Jim graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. degree in 1984. He went to work making wine for the University of Texas Experimental Viticulture and Enology program in 1985 and continued in that position until 1996. In 1996 Jim began making wine for Robert and Jamey Wolf of Lost Oak Vineyards which became a commercial winery operation in 1999.
In 2006, Jim began working with Gene and Judy Estes of Lost Oak Winery in Burleson. In 1997 Jim was awarded the Louis F. Qualia Award by the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association for his work with home winemakers across Texas. In 2003 Jim also received from TWGGA the John E. Crosby Lifetime Achievement Award. Jim is co-author, along with Nancy Barrus, of the book "A Handbook for Wine and Must Analysis."
In 2011, Jim celebrated 30 years of winemaking in Texas. He claims, that wine is made in the vineyard. A winemaker should just guide the process and not interfere too much. Let the wine be an expression of the grape.
Sheila Brown, Operations Manager
Sheila has had the privilege of managing events and coordinating weddings for Lost Oak Winery since 2013. According to Trae, Sheila's husband, this is a great fit because she is the, "happily ever after" girl. Sheila and Trae, along with their two kids and two dogs reside in Mansfield. Sheila is studying for her B.S. in Business Management with a minor in Accounting and also helps keep Roxanne in line.
In 2015, Sheila became Wine Club and Operations Manager for the Winery.
"Thank you for choosing us and I look forward to working with you to make sure your event is everything you hoped it would be." ~ Sheila
Mariam Copeland, Executive Administrator & Marketing
Mariam has a B.S. degree in Zoology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked both in a forensic lab and as a full-time horse trainer and riding instructor before transitioning into Lost Oak Winery. Mariam handles the daily behind-the-scenes activities that help keep Lost Oak Winery running smoothly. From the details of wines, to website and Social Media marketing, to accounts receivable, she does a bit of it all. If you can't find Mariam at Lost Oak Winery, she's either at home with her husband Chris and 2 dogs, or at the barn riding jumpers and dressage horses.
Ashley Babatov, Marketing & Event Manager
Ashley attended Abilene Christian University studying Business Marketing. Upon graduation, she stayed in Abilene working at the Abilene Country Club as their Assistant Event Manager. After two years, she moved to the Dallas Fort Worth area where she continued in the Catering and Event Planning industry. Ashley began working at Lost Oak Winery in March of 2013 as Event Captain. She has continued to grow in her role at Lost Oak, and has been promoted to Event Manager and Marketing. With her children Alister and Genevieve, her husband Murad, and all of Lost Oak's events, Ashley has very little time for Caribbean vacations. We expect she'll come up missing one day and we'll find her drinking Sangria in Mexico.
Angela Chapman, Tasting Room Lead & Lead Trainer
Angela had been in the wine and spirits industry for over 5 years when she came to Lost Oak in June of 2014. She has been studying wine, wine making, and spirits for even longer than she has been working in the industry! Her extensive knowledge of wine is thanks, in part, to the prestigious Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level III Certification she earned in 2013. She passed the tasting portion of the exam with distinction and the written portion with merit. Having a natural love for her home state of Texas and of Texas wine, she came to Lost Oak to learn hands on about the grape growing and wine making process. You can find Angela in the Lost Oak Tasting Room most days we are open. When she's not talking enthusiastically to people about wine, she spends her time writing short stories, going on nature hikes with her dog Jubilee, and photographing wildlife.
Nancy Posey, Tasting Room Specialist & Retail
Nancy was born in California but is a Texas girl, raised in Fort Worth and residing in Burleson. She has worked in the travel, real estate and financial industries while working part-time at Lost Oak Winery in the Tasting Room. Nancy’s love of interacting with people, learning wine and helping others led her to a full time position at Lost Oak Winery; helping our Guests and the rest of us employees! In addition to the Tasting Room, Nancy ensures our wonderful Retail clients throughout DFW are stocked with Lost Oak and Vintage Lane wines. When Nancy is not at Lost Oak, she loves spending time with her three children, Tyler, Tanner and Heather, and her furry kids too!