Welcome to Lost Oak Winery's Blog.
Winemaking can be romantic and fun, but it’s also hard and dirty work. One of my favorite dirty jobs around the production barn is cap management. No, it’s not trying on different hats and posing for selfies with the barrels.
Let’s start with the cap and why it needs managing. The cap is a layer of grape skins and seeds that forms on the top of fermenting red wine. The yeast eats the sugars in the grape juice and produces CO₂. The CO₂ pushes the skins and seeds to the top of the fermenting juice and then you get a cap. We don’t want that cap to stay there, we want it all mixed up with the fermenting juice for better color, aroma, and flavor extraction.
There are different techniques we can use to get this cap all stirred up. The first is called a punch down. We use a tool to punch the cap back down and stir it all up. Large fermentation tanks are too big to use the punch down method, so we pump-over. This means we pump the fermenting juice from the bottom of the tank and spray it on top of the cap to mix it up.
The last method is delestage (rhymes with sell-best-lodge). This is like pump over except we pump the fermenting juice into a different tank, allowing the cap to fall all the way to the bottom. We let the cap settle and then pump the juice back on top of the cap. It is a messy job and it one that cannot be ignored; it must be done every day. As long as we have red wines fermenting, I’ll be here managing the caps… and taking the occasional selfie.
It’s hot out, and in Texas that means it is time for the grapes to come off the vine. We started harvesting on our property on July 24th! Now we are well into September and all the Lost Oak grapes are off the vines and being turned into wine.
So, how was the harvest? Going into spring the weather was cool and there were wonderful pop-up rains with no hail. The vines were bursting with buds and looking happy and healthy. But as the grapes matured the reality of “snowmageddon” started to set in. Turns out, it affected the vines a little more than we thought it was going to. Our yields were down… way down. No Blanc du Bois at all!
But it is not all doom and gloom. Our vines may not have produced what we wanted them to, but they survived, and we are sure that this will only make them stronger. We are also working closely with our growers in the High Plains, so we won’t be lacking for grapes around here. We may see less of some of our favorites this year, but it may also be a great opportunity to pick up some new favorites…wink-wink.
Lost Oak's Sangria Recipe
- 1 bottle of Lost Oak Dolce Rouge (750 ML)
- 1/2 can orange juice concentrate
- 1/2 can lemonade concentrate
- 1 can of Sprite or Ginger Ale
- Add round slices of lemons and oranges to float.
- Mix Dolce Rouge with fruit concentrate
- Stir well and add Sprite
- Add fruit and enjoy!
Share your creation with us! Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! #Lostoakwinery
5 Wines to Bring to Your Next Tailgate:
1. Tempranillo 2019
Tempranillo is going to be your best friend during the fall for sporting events. With smokey notes and strong tannins, Tempranillo will pair nicely with almost any barbeque and Texas party.
The Texas terroir is in full force in this Tempranillo. It is bold and full-bodied with a strong earthiness. The flavor is decadently rich with cherries, chocolate, sweet tobacco, and mocha. Strong tannins linger on the palate along with cherry and a hint of smoke.
Food Pairing Notes:
Tacos, steak, barbeque, chocolate
2. Quartet 2018
Quartet is perfect for a tailgating event. Its flavors are versatile and can pair with most tailgatiing sides, salads, appetizers, and cold snacks.
Four varietals combine to create a treat for the senses. This wine starts with wonderful aromas of lemon drops and flavors of cactus fruit and soft citrus that all blend together to make the perfect summertime wine.
Food Pairing Notes:
Fruit, cold slaw, salad, appetizers, and more!
3. Dolce Rouge
Our Dolce Rouge will pair well with your favorite gaming snacks so make sure to have this one close by!
It is medium bodied and carries bright berry flavors with just a hint of spice on the back of the palate. A perfect wine for those who don’t like it so dry.
Food Pairing Notes:
Pair with deer jerkey, brisket sandwiches, barbaco street tacos, guacamole with fresh tortilla chips, milk chocolate truffles, or make sangria with the Lost Oak Sacred Sangria recipe!
4. Gewurztraminer 2020
The Gewurztraminer is a nice classic that you'll want at your next party as it can pair with salty chips, grilled goods, fruit, and more!
Pronounced “Guh-voorts-trah-mee-ner,” this wine has an inviting slightly honeyed color. Delightful aromas of golden pear, green mango and papaya start this wine off. The first sip coats the mouth with more tropical fruit flavors reminiscent of pineapple. Soft with just the right amount of crispness it has a finish of Persian lime.
Food Pairing Notes:
Pair with fruit skewers, blackened rainbow trout, banh mi, grilled stuffed jalapenos, cobb salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, or pineapple upside down cake.
5. Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
And last but certainly not least, is the classic Cabernet Sauvignon that you can pair with other classics! This is a wine you can pair with some fruit, chili, burgers, and hot dogs.
This Cabernet Sauvignon has an inky ruby color. Aromas of black cherries, currants, and just a hint of liquorish are ever changing with each inhale. Cherries and currants carry over to the palate but with the added flavors of dark chocolate and espresso. It finishes with a lingering mouth feel reminiscent of black tea full of structured tannins.
Food Pairing Notes:
Pair this wine with sundried tomato bruschetta, burgers, hot dogs, chili, bacon wrapped asparagus, tomahawk steak with potatoes, grilled pizza with Italian sausage, or devil’s food cake.
When Michele isn't drinking wine, she tries to keep herself hydrated with flavored/sparkling water and in the colder weather months, she loves hot chocolate with milk. "You mean there is some other beverage other than wine?" When she isn't at work, Michele likes to hike, bike, and kayak in nature. Michele also likes to go to live local music venues with her dogs. She also teaches Business Information Systems, Supply Chain Management, and Statistics at TCU.
"I also spend quite a bit of time at home where I foster dogs for Trinity GAP Rescue. Many have met Trapper at the winery. I affectionately refer to him as my 'foster fail' and since then we have fostered 10+ amazing dogs. When you foster, you know you've saved a life, you know you're making a difference, and you know your changing the world a little bit. Speaking of making a difference, prior to Covid you could find me once a month as a Repeat Attender for the Prison Entrepreneurship Program."
In her spare time, Michele enjoys binge watching TV shows like Beverly Hills 90210 as well as movies Directed by John Hughes. "I love to cook in my gourmet kitchen at home and rotate meals around seafood, filet mignon, chicken, pork, vegetable dishes, and salads. Of course, I cook with wine (in my glass) - unless it is breakfast (most of the time)."
When it comes to her prior work experience that helps her do her job at Lost Oak Winery, Michele started as a Volunteer in 2012 harvesting grapes, bottling, pruning, and leading tours. When she retired from Corporate America in 2020, she was officially hired on as a Tour Guide.
We are lucky to have Michele on our team and we appreciate everything she does at the winery!
- 1 loaf of French bread
- 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 8 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup of shredded basil
- 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place sliced French bread on parchment paper and brush olive oil on
- Top bread with shredded parmesan and bake for 5-10 minutes or until crispy.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, garlic, basil, and salt and pepepr.
- Dice the tomatoes and cut the basil into ribbons. Stir well.
- Assemble the bruschetta mixture on the French bread.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes
- Enjoy it and pair well with Lost Oak's Blanc du Sharkey
As the Delta case counts are increasing in our community, we have adjusted our policies regarding COVID.
- All staff and guests are encouraged, but not required, to wear a mask when in the tasting room or with groups of individuals whose vaccine status is unknown.
- All staff members are encouraged, but not required, to acquire the COVID vaccine. Lost Oak has offered paid time away from work to get vaccinated.
- Lost Oak Winery staff will continue to maintain all cleaning protocols, as outlined previously, to keep staff and guests safe.
- Through this blog and other mainstream media, all staff and hopefully our guests, understand the inherent risks associated with not being vaccinated against COVID 19.
Much information has recently been published regarding the safety and efficacy of the current vaccines. Below are several well-written articles which better explain how these vaccines are safe to use.
- This well-written article by UT Southwestern Medical Center describes how vaccines are a one-and-done treatment that gets eliminated quickly, thus eliminating potential side effects. Also, all post-vaccine side effects are being carefully monitored through the V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker, which is the most extensive long-term monitoring database ever created.
- Hopkinsmedicine.org explains in this article how virologists have determined that the proteins in the vaccine are in no way able to cause infertility.
This article from the CDC explains the severity of the Delta variant compared to the early form of the COVID-19 virus. The newer variant not only causes more infections and spreads faster than previously, but also appears to cause more severe illness in unvaccinated people.
At the time of this writing, Johnson County, Texas is experiencing an increase in COVID infection and hospitalization rates similar to those of early spring, 2020. This dashboard from the State of Texas Health and Human Services reflects the severity of the current outbreak.
Charity Spotlight: Evans2 and Kidd's Kids
Evans² is the blending of not only wine but two men’s passions for grape growing and winemaking: Dusty Evans (Owner of Sprayberry Vineyards) and Jim Evans (Winemaker at Lost Oak Winery). For every bottle purchased, $5.00 goes back to the Wine Society of Texas Scholarship program, awarding scholarships to those interested continued education in Texas wine.
The Wine Society of Texas was founded in 1996 with the goal to promote the knowledge of Texas wine appreciation, Texas winemakers, and oenology and viticulture. The scholarship assists students or individuals pursuing wine and winery education, internship, field study, research work, grape growing, wine making and marketing in the state of Texas.
Decadently dark in color, Evans² does not disappoint. It is abundant with aromas of blackberries, ripe cherries, vanilla with just a hint of herb garden. The cherry and vanilla flavors are front and center accompanied by plum with silky tannins. Full bodied with a prolonged finish, this wine is truly a product of passion for all things wine.
Kidd Kraddick founded Kidd’s Kids in 1991 with a dream to make a difference in the lives of children and their families who were dealing with life-altering or life-threatening conditions. Since 1991, the charity has sent over 1000 kids and their families on a trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The goal has been to continue to grow that number each year. For every bottle purchased $5.00 will be donated to the Kidd’s Kids foundation.
With a color of light straw this blend starts off with a vibrant aroma of sweet flowers and melon. On the palate, melon gives way to more pear and crisp apple flavors. Tropical fruit flavors of star fruit green mango finish this wine off while bright acidity lingers, reminiscent of lemon zest.
When Rylee isn't drinking wine, she enjoys Dr. Pepper. "I used to be obsessed with Dr. Pepper and would only drink it for the longest time until one of my co-workers introduced me to getting healthier. Now, I mainly just drink water and Dr. Pepper once in awhile for a nice treat after a long day." When she isn't at work, Rylee likes to spend her time with her friends. She also works as a waitress, works on art projects, or tries to catch up on sleep.
In her spare time, Rylee has been watching the TV show, Shameless, with her dad when he has time. "My sophomore year of high school, I would binge Grey's Anatomy and maybe in class too, which wasn’t a good idea! Then I moved to Vampire Diaries and would stay up all night watching it on weekends." One of her favorite foods is sweets. "Junk food is by far my favorite food even though it’s not healthy for you at all. I have a weakness for sweets. My favorite healthy food is any kind of fruit."
When it comes to her prior work experience that helps her do her job at Lost Oak Winery, she attributes her other job as waitressing that helped her develop and be confident in her people skills and small talk. She has been working as a waitress for three years and has worked at Lost Oak for 10 months as a barback.
"One day, on a sangria Thursday, we made the sangria ahead of time to be extra prepared. It was sitting in one of the refrigerators in the back. When it was time to get the container full of sangria, she had tried to pick it up and move it to the rolling table so it was easier to move it," Rylee said. "However, when she got it she slipped and busted her bottom and split the sangria all over her. It was so funny after we made sure she was okay."
We are lucky to have Rylee on our team and we appreciate everything she does at the winery! We will also miss her as she goes off to college, but lucky to still have her included in the Lost Oak family.
Recipe: Watermelon Wine
In honor of National Watermelon Day, we are sharing with you a simple cocktail using only five ingredients for a nice watermelon wine!
- 3 cups of cubed watermelon
- 1 bottle of Lost Oak Gewürztraminer wine (750 ml)
- Juice of one lime (1/4 cup)
- Mint sprigs for garnish
- Mix all ingredients except mint into blender
- Garnish with mint and enjoy!