La Vina Loca
Welcome to La Vina Loca, the Majek Winery blog. Here you will find a mixed bag of information, including tales from the winery and vineyard, recipes, and other news.
The blog started in 2013ish, as we planned and planted the vineyard. There are huge gaps in time because I underestimated how hard it would be to keep up with all of it! With new software, I hope to post more regularly...we'll see.
Welcome to my slice of Texas.
If I think too much about it, I scare myself with the prospect of opening any business, much less a vertical operation of harvesting a crop, manufacturing a perishable product, and creating a retail experience…all at the same time. I had had a garden, and had really enjoyed picking the right heirloom seeds, watching them grow with Olivia, and canning the produce. But, that was the full extent of my agricultural experience.
I fell in love with our neighbor’s vineyard. For me, it really began with a fascination for growing such a beautiful crop – the symmetry of the cordons, the lush green leaves, the bountiful fruit. It’s a peaceful setting, like a sanctuary. Also, I couldn’t believe how plentiful even a small vineyard could be. I signed up for the Viticulture Certificate Program at Tech, even before Randy had bought into the idea. I enjoyed every single minute of the 4-6 a.m. online study times before work and the field work sessions at Round Mountain Vineyard.
When our neighbor decided to open a tasting room, we were first in line to volunteer to help. Randy and I had both worked in Retail in past lives…..opening a tasting room was a cinch! We set up his tasting room and worked it with him every Saturday that summer. We loved that part, too! It was really fun meeting the customers and sharing that discovery experience with them.
Once I decided to plant my own vineyard, my original plan had been to grow grapes for sale to other wineries. I began to realize that I wanted my own wine and tasting room. As much as I loved our neighbor’s place, it was his dream and vision….and I had a different vision of my own.
So, I decided to open a casual, mostly outdoor wine venue where the agriculture will play as much of a role as the winery. Where people can congregate for music, to watch a game, and to enjoy wine! And, just as in Italy and Napa, and on Hwy 290 in the Hill Country, side by side wineries make each other even more successful. So, that’s what I'm going to do and we will all be the better for it.
In the interest of brevity, I will postpone the first 8 or so years of The Saga, until another day.
In the beginning, Randy and I were corporate-people, working 5 or more days a week, in office-type jobs. We had a nice home, but wanted to have “a place to go”.
Grandpa Sassin’s land had been laying fallow for many years, after his retirement to Corpus and his eventual passing. After working with relatives, we inherited part of our property from Randy’s mom and purchased part from two of his aunts.
The land had been cleared at one time and planted with cotton, corn, and other fruits/vegetables to sustain Grandpa’s family. After years of laying fallow, however, the property was completely overgrown with cedar. The lane from 957 was not even detectable. Many comfort-zone expanding experiences were to follow as we tackled the tasks to retake the property.
Fast-forward to about 3 years ago. Vast amounts of capital outlay, heavy lifting, help, and prayer yielded:
Road Improved (this is debatable)
Little Barn Built
Small Farmhouse Built
It’s all good!
Through our neighbor’s love of vineyards and wine, I have “caught the bug” to have my own vineyard and winery, as unbelievable as that sounds. We helped him a little bit at his place...
and I was accepted to the Texas Tech Viticulture Certificate Program.
Randy and I started to plan the business. We began making wine in our office to get a high level understanding.
I lost my original “name” to the trademark police (Rocky Creek Vineyard). I am now in the middle of many varied permitting and licensing processes.
I plan that my vines will eventually look like this.
Today, after planting during Spring Break 2013, they look like this.
We are beginning to see the crazy challenges of Agriculture and we anticipate many other unplanned-for outcomes.
The reason for The Saga is really two-fold.
1. When owning property, there is sense that something needs to be done with it. Our “farm” has been such a blessing to us…the beautiful property and the rich heritage that comes with it. I want to share both the product and the experiences from our blessings….as Grandpa did.
2. I felt that if I could put a portion of my creative energy that I put into my day job, into a business of my own, we would be successful.
My business will be fun, innovative, diverse, hopefully profitable, and rich in experiences for our patrons, our employees, and ourselves.