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Mariam Copeland
 
March 4, 2019 | Mariam Copeland

Gene Estes wins Lifetime Achievement Award

 
We are thrilled to announce that Gene Estes has been awarded the John E. Crosby, Jr. Award which recognizes lifetime achievement in the Texas wine and grape industry the Texas Wine and Grape Grower’s Association convention in February, 2018.  
 
 
The award was presented to him at the beautiful gala on Saturday night.  Gene is humbled, thrilled and was caught quite speechless at the announcement on gala night!
 
 
Gene was born and raised in Abilene, Texas - home of three religious universities, designated a dry precinct, and a 150 mile drive 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 his parent’s garage from Concord grape juice. It exploded. 
 
 
 
 
 
After serving in the Army in Vietnam, Gene returned to the United States in 1966.  He began graduate school at Texas Tech University and earned a Masters of Science degree in Microbiology.  
 
 
 
 
He entered the pharmaceutical world with jobs in North Carolina, and at Alcon Labs in Fort Worth, Texas. His favorite assignment was spending two years in Alsace to get FDA approval of the ophthalmic solutions that Alcon produced there for sale in the US market. 
 
Of course, he spent his weekends touring and learning the wine industry of perhaps the premier white wine region of the world.  While he was there, he earned a medallion of distinction with the Confrérie Saint-Etienne for his keen tasting skills as a connoisseur of wine after undertaking a formal and vinous admission test.
 
 
 
 
When Gene returned to the U.S., he bought property in Burleson, purchased wine grape vines and put them in pots until he could plant them.  And thus Lost Oak Winery was born.  Lost Oak has gotten to where it is today with a great labor of love.
 
 
 
Gene served as president of the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) in 2008, has served on their Board for numerous years and chaired their Education and Research Committee.  In 2018 Gene was awarded the John E. Crosby, Jr. Award which recognizes lifetime achievement in the Texas wine and grape industry.  
 
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
~  Cheers!
 
But then....  in keeping with Tall In Texas Award Tradition...
Mariam & Angela were entrusted to take the award home, and took it on a tour of Las Colinas, Texas!

 
 
The Mustangs of Las Colinas and Marilyn Monroe approve...
 
Written by Mariam Copeland
 
 
 
 

 

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