Meredith Eaton is the winemaker and co-owner of Firelight Vineyards in Valley View, Texas. The winery opened in 2015 and has been doing great, even selling out some of their wines when we visited a over a year ago. I am sure that is partly due to the great winemaking done by Meredith, so this month we are glad to feature Meredith Eaton as the monthly winemaker profile.
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
I sold building materials for custom home builders for a few years, and I also worked as a manager for a wonderful property management company for about five years, but most importantly I was a stay-at-home mom until my youngest daughter started Kindergarten. After that, I decided to go back to school to extend my knowledge in winemaking and learn the art of grape growing.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Popcorn and dry red wine…with a little drama T.V.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I have always been fascinated with forensic science and psychology.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
My husband first had the idea of learning to make wine and I quickly fell in love with the whole process. We started as hobby winemakers about 13-ish years ago.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
For this industry, I think my age and gender are a bit surprising to most people, so I am always asked how I got started in winemaking.
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
I put on my mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend hat…and then I pour myself a glass of wine!
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
The incredible relationships I get to build with the most amazing people.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
I have different goals in mind for each wine before I start the process of making them. There are wines I make with the idea of a party or celebration in mind, and some with an upscale dinner or tasting in mind, plus everything in between. My philosophy is that making a wine is more about the people drinking the wine, and the many different occasions that a specific wine style can enhance. I believe that wine is meant to enrich life experiences.
- Anything else you would like to add?
I learn something new every day, and I love that I will be a student for life in the arts of grape growing and winemaking.