Welcome to Lost Oak Winery's Blog.
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.
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.
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!
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.
"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.
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Edited by fellow wino Mariam Copeland