Lost Draw Cellars in Fredericksburg has been making award-winning wines since they have opened and have even placed in the top three wines at past Texas Wine Lover battles. They were second in the Battle of the Texas Mourvèdre, and was even the top wine in the Battle of the Texas Tempranillos the first year they opened. Today Brad Buckelew is handling the winemaking duties at the winery as 80% of the production now happens at the actual Fredericksburg winery. This month we are glad to showcase Brad Buckelew in the winemaker profile.
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
I’ve worked a lot of odd jobs but nothing substantial. I fell into winemaking shortly after graduating college.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
Obviously, the unpredictable Texas climate is often a big challenge, but I feel that is complicated further by being such a young winegrowing region. With so many people new to the industry, new vineyard sites, wineries, etc., there are a lot of times we can find ourselves just kind of figuring things out on the fly.
While that will always be a challenge to an extent, having worked in other areas where there are generations of regional specific experience to fall back on, that experience can often help inform a lot of decision making.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Definitely a bit of both.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Charcuterie, cheese, and bread. Simple and pairs well with whatever you feel like drinking.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
My first full harvest was in 2008. I knew basically nothing about winemaking, but after coming in one morning and smelling the first ferment that had started, I was hooked.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
So, like, what do you actually do?
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Drink a cold beer and then take my dogs for a long walk.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
I love the fact that the end result of hard work and concentrated effort is a very tangible product that can be shared and (hopefully) enjoyed by just about anybody.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
I think of winemaking as a very communal and subjective thing. It takes a lot of different people and a lot of hard work, to get from vine to bottle. I want wines that reflect the effort and focus of everyone involved, but more importantly, I want wines that can be easily understood, enjoyed, and shared by whomever comes into contact with them.