This month we get to feature another Texas Hill Country Wineries winemaker. Mike Guilette is the owner and winemaker at Woodrose Winery since he bought the winery in 2005. The winery has a large event center which was used for lunch one day when the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference came to the Hill Country in 2016. Thank you to Mike for participating in the winemaker profile!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
I worked in the Semiconductor Industry making and testing computer chips.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
For me, the toughest challenge is managing harvest, and coordinating when to harvest and how to get the fruit crushed and into tanks.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Winemaking is a little art and a little science. There is a lot of science in the chemistry and a lot of art in the aging and blending.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
I am a big fan of pairing food and wine. The right pairing makes both better. We make a blend of Merlot, Zinfandel, and Tempranillo called Three Day Weekend that pairs remarkably well with an Artichoke-stuffed Filet with a Béarnaise Sauce.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I would likely still be making computer chips and waiting to start my winemaking career.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve been attracted to the lifestyle for a long time. I started the winery and making wine almost 12 years ago. The best way I have found to describe this lifestyle is to say, “Where else can you have a job where your customers all leave happy and you get to drive a tractor?”
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
I talk to a lot of interesting people every week and get a lot of questions about wine and winemaking. What I really enjoy is that I don’t get a common question. Everyone wants to learn more and ask a variety of great questions that are always fun to answer.
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
I hate to give this answer, but after a long day nothing works better than a cold beer and sitting out watching the stars.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Walking into the winery in the morning during the peak of fermentation and smelling all of the wonderful aromas.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
I believe that the best wines have an aroma that you can still remember three days after you drink it. I strive to make wines with wonderful aromas.