Dabs Hollimon is the winemaker of 1851 Vineyards just south of Fredericksburg. The winery has been open barely two years, but the winery behind their vineyard is definitely one you will want to visit. Please read about this month’s winemaker, Dabs Hollimon!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
Before becoming a winemaker, I was a teacher. For the latter part of my career, I taught Science Lab to elementary students. Always having a love of science has helped me better understand winemaking.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
For me, dealing with the differences in grapes from year to year. Texas is known for its crazy weather. The weather changes how each variety matures. Learning how to handle the changes has been a challenge. In the winery, it is all about the grapes. You get the best grapes possible and make sure you have the basics right.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Making wine is both an art and a science. I think science is the basis of making the art of wine come to life.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
That is a tough question. If I had to pick one pairing it would be Beginnings, our first estate blend of Petite Sirah and Malbec, with an exceptional quality dark chocolate.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I would travel and enjoy wine from different parts of the world. It would be wonderful to take a trip around the world sampling wines from every region and tasting the food that brings out the best in each wine.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
Our daughters played an important part in my decision to become a winemaker. After all, they were the ones who first said our family should grow grapes. That led to needing someone to be our winemaker. My love of science was a motivating factor as well. What better way can there be to mix wine and science?
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
What made you decide to become a winemaker?
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
I love to kick back, relax, and enjoy a glass of wine with friends and family.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
The greatest part of being a winemaker is having the opportunity to bring smiles to people’s faces as they enjoy the wine. Sharing wine is like sharing a special part of yourself. The feeling of joy I receive when someone appreciates our wine is indescribable.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
I continue to think of myself as a winemaker-in-training. Because I do have limited experience, I have yet to finalize exactly what style suits me best. However, I do strive to produce the highest quality wines possible.
- Anything else you would like to add?
Please come to visit us at 1851 Vineyards. We would love to show you around and share the fruits of our labor.