Karla Nash is the owner and winemaker of Cork This! Winery located in Montgomery, Texas. The winery has been open since 2009 and Karla has even opened up another location called Wonderland Winery that is open inside Santa’s Wonderland in College Station when they are open during the holiday season. Karla answered this month’s winemaker profile questions.
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
I was in healthcare administration and marketing for 18 years.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
Keeping up on all the regulations with the TTB, TABC, paying taxes, and filing everything correctly. Although they are very easy organizations to work with, it’s just a lot to keep up with.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Definitely both. It’s a science getting all of your chemical adjustments correct and and art getting the wine the way you want it to taste.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Baked Brie and a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I wish I’d be living on a Caribbean island somewhere, but realistically I would be back working in healthcare.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
I wanted to own my own business. I felt that wineries could sometimes be intimidating to the average person. So I wanted to make good wine in an environment that was fun and where people would feel comfortable no matter what their level of knowledge and experience was with wine.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
How did you get started in this business?
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Go home, have a beer, and relax with my dogs.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Seeing the business grow year after year and having your customers continue to support you.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
Life is too short to drink sh** you don’t like. So I make wine that I like and that I think will appeal to most people.
- Anything else you would like to add?
People tend to think that making wine is some idealistic career. What they don’t realize is you are a manufacturer and it’s a hell of a lot of physical, dirty labor with a low profit margin for a long time. This isn’t a career to retire into and work partial days and take lots of vacations. But on the other hand, people in this industry are willing to share their knowledge and support you, but do your homework first if you are thinking of becoming a winemaker.