This month we feature Silouan Bradford, co-owner and winemaker at Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards. Saint Tryphon was a new addition to the Texas Hill Country Wineries earlier this year. Read about Silouan Bradford and definitely check out their winery!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
Before founding Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards in 2016, I worked in the fine wine division for a large wine and spirits wholesaler. The experience afforded me many opportunities to travel across the great wine regions of Europe as well as those in North America.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
Varietal selection. We are a young wine region learning the varietals that consistently produce great wines on our terroir. We love Mourvèdre, Aglianico, and Tannat here at Tryphon. But the slate is relatively new, and it is very exciting to see so much experimentation from winemakers across Texas. The next 50 years of Texas wine will be absolutely amazing as we carve out regionality and varietal selection.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Both plus an element of the divine. The most interesting wines to me are those least intervened upon. Native yeast colonies populate nature and vineyards. If one farms cleanly, the basic infrastructure of wine is there naturally. Give it a clean vessel and protection from some elements, and the wine is called forth. At Tryphon we appreciate and use some more interventionist methods, mainly to explore possibilities, but our goal is always to let the vineyard make the wine.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Wherever food and wine are produced in closest proximity. But to be more specific, I do love a crunchy and crisp Sancerre (Claude Riffault) with oysters anytime. And Rhône Valley, you will always have my heart.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
Farm something less challenging than wine grapes and teach literature.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
I spent an evening with John Kongsgaard of Kongsgaard Wines in Napa in 1999. My introduction to winemaking and its attendant agristyle/lifestyle began with John.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
Which of your wines is your favorite?
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Get the pizza oven rip roaring hot and throw down some good food for friends and family.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Watching someone love a wine you’ve made.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
Learn, explore, try, and do as little as possible.
- Anything else you would like to add?
Come visit us at Saint Tryphon Farm & Vineyards!