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Welcome to Lost Oak Winery's Blog. 

 

Angela Chapman
 
March 4, 2019 | Angela Chapman

Get Out Your Pruning Shears

The weather doesn’t know if it wants to storm, freeze, heat up or do all of it at the same time right now. 
That can only mean one thing… it’s springtime here in Texas!
 
 
But, before we can really start to appreciate the wonders of a Texas spring, us grape growers are pruning our vines. During pruning we will cut off 70 to 90 percent of the previous year’s growth, basically taking the vine back to just a trunk and 2 cordons (making it look like a gnarly capital letter T). 
 
 
This may sound extreme, and indeed it looks extreme, but it is entirely necessary for good fruit production. The biggest reason for this drastic pruning is that grapevines only produce fruit on what it known as ‘one-year old wood.’ As it sounds, this is wood on the vine that is only a year-old. Wood older than that only produces shoots and leaves. We want to maximize the amount of fruit producing shoots while minimizing shoots that will only make leaves. 
 
 
But, it’s still not that easy. You can’t go out into your vineyard and start cutting all willy-nilly. We have to look at each vine as an individual and decide which buds will be the best to keep and cut the rest off. Yep, we aren’t even going to keep all the buds on the one-year old wood, only the strongest with the best chance of producing quality fruit. For the most part, the vine only has the energy to produce so much, so we want it to spend its energy growing the best. After all, exceptional wine starts off as exceptional grapes, and to get those we must be picky pruners.
 
 
~ Cheers!
by Angela Chapman
 
 
Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:47 AM
Mariam Copeland
 
March 4, 2019 | Mariam Copeland

Four Weddings and a Great Winery Wedding

On January 6, 2018 Lost Oak Winery was featured as a wedding venue on 

TLC's Four Weddings

 
 

We could not be more thrilled to report we scored a 9 out of 10 for venue! 

The wedding held here came in second place overall.  Cheers to all of you who tuned in to watch!
Check out the episode on TLC  "Four Weddings and a Texas Showdown" Season 7, episode 1.
 
 
Questions or want to make an appointment to tour?  Email us at events@lostoakwinery.com. 
 
 

WeddingWire Couples' Choice Award

 
Lost Oak Winery is proud to be a recipient of WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards®.
Recipients represent the top five percent of wedding professionals on WeddingWire who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism.
 
For more photos, find us on 

 

 

 
 
and Facebook.  

By Mariam Copeland
 
 
 
Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:46 AM
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
 
 
 
 

 

Angela Chapman
 
March 4, 2019 | Angela Chapman

A Look at Bottling

We have been hard at work bottling lots of new wines for you to enjoy in the coming year!  But, as with most things at a winery, bottling is not as easy as it sounds. As a boutique winery with smaller production we do not have our own bottling line. This means that when it’s time to bottle our wine we call on Vine and Spirit. Vine and Spirit is a mobile bottling service that pulls up right next to our production facility. The semi truck hauls the entire bottling line in its trailer. It’s a tight fit in there but it works wonderfully. Once the truck is set up we hook it up to our wine tank where a pump pushes the wine through a final filtration before being put into bottles that are then corked, capsuled, and labeled. The machine does most of the work, but unfortunately it doesn’t do everything. We still rely on staff and our fearless hardcore volunteers do the heavy lifting and quality control.  Get empty bottles onto the line, box and palletize full bottles, check labels and capsule placement… and taste the wine, you know, quality control. It’s not an easy job, so cheers to all our volunteers, staff and to the hard workers at Vine and Spirit that help make bottling go smoothly.
 
Cheers!
 
- The Lost Oak Family
 
Angela Chapman, WSET III
Featured in the Lost Oak Winery Newsletter
From the Wine Nerd
 
Jan/Feb 2018

 

 

 

Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:45 AM
Angela Chapman
 
March 4, 2019 | Angela Chapman

A Chill is in the Air but Not in My Red

Come colder weather many of us wine lovers start drinking more reds. Reds tend to be more appropriate for the winter because they are served at room temperature. This begs the question: why are reds served at room temperature? Much of the reason for this comes down to aromas and flavors. A white wine has very subtle and delicate aromas and flavors. These become detectable by our noses and tongues at lower temperatures. However, for red wine it is the opposite. Higher temperatures help release more aromas and flavors. Not only that, but when you chill a red wine the tannins and polyphenols can come off as more astringent and harsher. Again, the opposite is true for white wine, a higher temperature can make the acid more pronounced making it seem harsher and less crisp. As always, there are exceptions to the rules. Lighter reds, like Pinot Noir, tend to benefit from a slight chill, and heavily oaked Chardonnays can benefit from a higher temperature. Playing around with temperature can make your favorite wines more or less enjoyable. But, always remember, the important thing is what tastes good to you, at whatever temperature that may be.
 
Cheers!
 
- Angela Chapman, WSET III
 
Featured in the Lost Oak Winery Newsletter
From the Wine Nerd
Jan/Feb 2018

 

 

 

Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:44 AM
Mariam Copeland
 
March 4, 2019 | Mariam Copeland

Emerson Update

For those of you who have purchased Sweet Emerson wine, we THANK YOU!
Here is an update on baby Emerson, the daughter of Aly Lockhart and niece of our Winemaker Jim Evans.  She is eight months old and doing so well!  She has a very long road of hospital stays behind her, and a long road ahead of her, but we could not be more overjoyed to tell you news is good!

Emerson is now five months post-heart surgery. She has routine checks at her cardiologist, gastroenterologist, and nutritionist in Dallas and they are all very happy with her progress. She has one of the best post-surgical outcomes with her type of heart defect and is right on track to have her next heart surgery between the ages of 2 and 3. One in one hundred children are born with some form of heart defect or malformation, and her particular defects required her to have both a heart surgery and stomach surgery at the age of three months.

Having spent so much time in the hospital at such an early age, her oral development has been very slow. She receives most of her nutrition and medications from a feeding tube connected to her stomach. However, she continues to reach milestones and is working very hard at becoming more independent of the feeding tube, relying more on eating solid food and receiving some medicines by mouth. She has spent the last three months wearing a helmet to correct plagiocephaly, flat head syndrome, as a direct result of her lying on her back in the hospital. As much as she hates to wear it, the helmet is easily decorated with bows and has been the perfect accessory to every outfit she wears.

Her personality flourishes and she is such a bright light in this world.

For every bottle of Emerson wine purchased, Lost Oak will donate $5 to the GoFundMe account for Emerson's ever-growing medical expenses.

Please help give little Emerson the start in life she needs.

Thank you for your generosity.

- The Lost Oak Family

https://www.gofundme.com/baby-emersons-medical-fund

 

Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:43 AM
Mariam Copeland
 
March 4, 2019 | Mariam Copeland

How we "Lost" our "Lone"

Lost Oak winery didn’t start off as Lost Oak, in fact it didn’t start off as a winery at all!

Gene Estes started out as a grape grower here in Burleson, Texas back in 1989. He sold his grapes to a small winery in Denton called Lone Oak. In 2003 the owners of Lone Oak decided to try their hand at the restaurant scene and bought a little bar-b-que place called Rudy’s. By 2005 they had opened multiple locations and decided to get out of the wine business. Gene leaped at the opportunity to own his own winery, and bought Lone Oak Winery and moved it from Denton to Burleson.   In August of 2006 Loan Oak Winery was officially opened.

 


The new Winery in Burleson was a big hit, garnering awards and acclaim from all over, but none as prestigious as the Double Gold Medal from the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition we won with our Viognier in 2010!  We were so proud!

 

 


However, all this attention also had its downside. Amongst all the hubbub of winning such a huge award we also received a cease and dissent letter stating that another winery in California owned the trademark to the name Lone Oak Winery. Oopsie!

So, Lone Oak Winery in Burleson, Texas bowed out graciously and changed its name to Lost Oak Winery in 2012.

 

 


And that... is how we "Lost" our Lone!"

See the story of Lost Oak Winery over the past 10 years by clicking here

 

Mariam Copeland
 
March 4, 2019 | Mariam Copeland

Texas Wine Month: Tempranillo

Celebrate Texas Wine Month with Tempranillo!  Use Promo code TEMP10 at the Lost Oak Tasting Room or our online store for 10% off Tempranillo from Oct 4-8, 2017.  

Tempranillo, as most of the world knows it today, originated in Spain. Its versatility made it a popular grape with wine makers all over Spain and Portugal.
 
Here in Texas, grape growers are always looking for varietals that can stand up to our unique climate. After all, it’s not unheard of to have all four seasons in one week, or even one day. Not to mention the heat during the summer can be unbearable for a lot of grape vines. Tempranillo, however, tend to bud out a little later than other varietals making it a little less susceptible to late freezes. They are also heat and drought tolerant and ripen quickly. 

Lost Oak Winery is proud to have been featured in the news on multiple occasions with out award-winning Tempranillo.
One of our favorites is this article from 2013 from the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and picked up by the San Francisco Gate News.  Check it out by clicking here!

 

Tempranillo hits pay dirt in Texas

WINE Spanish grape Tempranillo puts down roots in state
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Published 4:42 pm, Saturday, March 16, 2013

Roxanne Myers of Lost Oak Winery near Fort Worth, Texas, with Tempranillo that took gold at the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
For two years, Neal Newsom, a well-regarded West Texas grower, stubbornly put off entreaties from a would-be Dallas winemaker in his 20s to gamble on Tempranillo.
It was the late 1990s and Newsom had never heard of Dan Gatlin, nor did he like what the scion of the Hasty liquor store chain had to say - that the dark red Spanish grape with flavor notes of blackberry and currant might someday produce the state's signature wine.
Gatlin kept nagging, but Newsom remained reluctant, explaining: "Tempranillo just had no history to speak of east of the Rockies. And it hadn't been grown at this altitude in the United States. I was just scared."
Then Gatlin made an unusual offer. He'd buy the vines, have them shipped to the High Plains from California, and supply anything else needed if Newsom contributed the labor to grow it. Gatlin would be reimbursed in grapes - if the vines actually produced.
And they did.
Going for the gold
Texas Tempranillo has now garnered gold medals, including one at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition, and many regional winemakers are predicting it will become the state's best-known wine grape. Bobby Cox, a Fort Worth-reared winemaker and consultant, is convinced that Texas will eventually surpass California in Tempranillo acreage.
"Where was Tempranillo 20 years ago when I needed it?" complained Don Brady, an award-winning winemaker at California's Robert Hall Winery and owner of the Brady Vineyard label, who got his start in Lubbock, Texas. "It may well be a big part of Texas' answer to quality red wine."
Lone Star winemakers have come a long way since the 1970s, when they were advised by "experts" that only American hybrids would thrive in the state. Some did, but the wine was generally disappointing.
Most switched to French and Italian varietals, which garnered respect for many wineries. Early on, Lubbock's Llano Estacado took a double gold (reflecting the judges' unanimous decision) with its Chardonnay at the 1986 San Francisco competition. But Cox said some varieties were more suited to California than Texas, or cost more to grow and yielded less.
'Different here'
"Everything's different here," Cox said. "We're the yang to California's ying,"
"Tempranillo has become a better grape for Texas than Cabernet or Merlot," insists Les Constable, an early experimenter with the Spanish variety who has tried out scores of different grapes at Brushy Creek Winery near Alvord, Texas, 55 miles northwest of Fort Worth. Alamosa Winery's Tio Pancho Ranch vineyard in San Saba County also was a Tempranillo pioneer.
"Like Shiraz is for Australia and Malbec for Argentina, I think Texas is going to do well with Tempranillo," Constable said. "It's already a huge grape for the state."
After Newsom took Gatlin's challenge, he discovered that "Tempranillo turned out to be winter hardy."
Today, he sells much of his Tempranillo to Gatlin's Inwood Estate Vineyards winery in Dallas and San Martino Winery in Rockwall.
"It's just so well adapted to many parts of the state," Newsom said. "It produces high-quality wines even as a young vineyard, 3 or 4 years old, while it takes eight or 10 years to get to that level with other grapes."
And it produces better in his vineyard than Cabernet. In a good year, an acre of Tempranillo yields 4 tons while Cabernet would do half that, he said. In a typical year, both fetch about $2,000 a ton, but with the Spanish grape outproducing by 2-to-1, it proved a boon for Newsom Vineyards.
Akin to cassis
Lost Oak Winery near Fort Worth grows its own Tempranillo but used grapes from Lost Draw Vineyards in the High Plains to be named best Tempranillo at the 2010 San Francisco competition. Lost Oak's owner, retired Alcon Laboratories executive Gene Estes, said the winning wine, aged in American oak barrels, has a dark fruit flavor akin to cassis (black currant) and blackberries - "with some cinnamon and cigar box undertones."
In Spain, a wine buyer can pay $5 for a Tempranillo or as much as $500, depending on the quality, said Gatlin, whose Inwood wines of that variety start at $41.

"In 100 years, Texas will be Tempranillo and everything else will be minor varietals," Newsom predicted.
Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:41 AM
Angela Chapman
 
March 4, 2019 | Angela Chapman

Let the Cauldron Bubble

It is harvest time again! And harvesting means making more amazing wine.
Harvest selfie!
 
I recently got the pleasure of helping out with the crushing and destemming of some newly harvested grapes. 
it's a dirty job....
 
I have to say that I got to do the coolest job there, literally. When the grapes arrived in their bins it was my job to spread dry ice pellets on top of the grapes.
Selfie with dry ice. Because Science!
 
Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide and is -109.3ᵒ F. You have probably seen it in action in spooky movies. When dry ice sublimates (heats up and goes from a solid straight to a gas) it makes what looks to be really cool fog that flows across the floor. It’s really just carbon dioxide that is so cold you can see it. 
Movie creepy floor fog
 
That’s cool and all but why was I putting it on the grapes? Well it does a couple different things. The first is the most obvious; it cools the grapes down helping to preserve them while they are waiting to go into the crush. Because carbon dioxide is heavier than the air around it sinks to the bottom of the bin and envelops the fruit preventing any bacteria growth and unwanted early fermentation from wiled yeast. The dry ice also creates micro cryomaceration.  A process that flash freezes the grapes in direct contact with the dry ice. This has the result of breaking down cell wall structure and releasing more anthocyanins (color pigment), phenolics, and flavanoids.  That is a complicated way of saying that it gives the wine more character and complexity.
 
The end product is better wine but the process was not only fun to watch but also a little reminiscent of Halloween.
 
Cheers!
 
 
- Angela, WSET III
 
Hard work
 
Requires hydration!


By Angela Chapman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:40 AM
Mariam Copeland
 
March 4, 2019 | Mariam Copeland

Tall in Texas 2017 Award Winner

You can imagine how THRILLED and honored we were to learn we were the recipients of this year's Tall in Texas award.  

 

 

 

What is the Tall in Texas Award?  Here you go!

 

During the Texas Wine Tribute on Saturday, September 9, Grapevine’s 31st Annual GrapeFest – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West, will be held. During the gala, the highly-anticipated “Tall in Texas” award will be presented. This honor is bestowed upon a Texas winery in recognition of the winery’s leadership role in the dedication to, support of and promotion of the Texas wine industry. For the first time, two wineries have been selected to receive this distinguished award. The 2017 recipients of the Tall in Texas award are Lost Oak Winery of Burleson, TX and Brennan Vineyards of Comanche, TX.

 

Dressed in our very best, we proudly went to Grapevine Texas to receive the award.
The power family
The Dinner was a four course meal with six wonderful wines, three from Lost Oak and three from Brennan.
 
 
 
 
Soup with Brennan Roussanne
 
Salad with Lost Oak Blanc du Bois
 
Entree
 
Dessert
 
Speeches were made, awards were given, and a grand time was had by all!
 
Gene and Jim looking so dapper...  always talking wine, and always a good time!
 
The girls can clean up pretty well....
 

 

 

 

Congratulations Jim, Carol won you a cruise to Alaska at the auction.  hehe
 
 
Award was received, and then they made the error of telling Mariam & Angela to bring it home.  It may have gone on a tour of Grapeveine TX, and there *may* have been a ransom note....
 
 
CHEERS!
 
 
 
 
 
woo-hooo!
 
By Mariam Copeland
 
 
 
 
Time Posted: Mar 4, 2019 at 8:39 AM
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