Angela Moench is the co-owner and winemaker at Stone House Vineyard in Spicewood, Texas. At the winery is a vineyard with Norton grapes. Angela Moench is from the Barossa Valley of Australia and the wines at Stone House Vineyard showcase Australian wines in addition to Texas wines. We asked Angela Moench about her background and philosophy of winemaking.
What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
For many years I organized international loan art exhibitions. One of the successful exhibitions was Art and the American West. It was a fascinating experience and I became friendly with many curators, museum directors, and private lenders as a result. It went to the prominent museums in Australia to coincide with the America’s Cup there in 1985.
What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
I think that the weather creates the challenge here. Even if the late freezes are avoided, one faces a very long hot summer and in the past few years, severe drought.
Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
It’s both of course. You need to know the practical side and know and understand it well. If you have an artistic side it can be used to great merit in winemaking.
What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
I don’t know if I have a favorite per se. It’s a great occasion when a pairing works well and the correct balance is achieved. It shows off both the food and the wine.
If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I’d probably have a larger garden as I enjoy the outdoor life so much, read more books, and definitely do something creative. I used to think I’d like to have a restaurant but I’ve certainly outgrown that idea.
What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
My family has a vineyard in the Barossa Valley in Australia so it’s been a natural progression for me—really such a part of my life. In Texas I’ve been doing it since 2002.
What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
Probably the above!
After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Take Schopenhauer for a walk, have people to dinner, but always a glass of wine.
What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
The way of life, and the exceptional people I’ve met and made friends with.
What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
It is to make the best possible wines I can and staying true to my course in doing so.
Anything else you would like to add?
The wine and grape industry in Texas has come a long way in the years I’ve been involved and I feel a sense of privilege to be a part of it.