Bell Springs Winery is in Dripping Springs and has long been a member of the Texas Hill Country Wineries. This month we bring you Nic Compton, winemaker at Bell Springs Winery!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
I graduated in 2010 from Cal Poly SLO with my degree in viticulture and enology and proceeded to begin my career in the wine industry after working harvests in Paso Robles, Austria, and New Zealand. I’m delighted to be overseeing winemaking here at Bell Springs Winery now.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
Having just completed my first Texas harvest, not having daily access to check on the vineyards prior to harvest was the biggest adjustment for me.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Definitely both – you have chemistry and microbiology intertwined with instinct and experience.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
So many to choose from! One I always come back to is a crisp, bright Grüner Veltliner with assorted cheese and cured meats.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I’d probably be a teacher.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
I knew from my teen years that I wanted to be working at something that would include physical and mental aspects on the daily. Frequent family vacations to various wine regions also helped me visualize a future in this industry. After high school, I was fortunate enough to study enology and began my career in winemaking in 2009.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
Do you love your job? I say yes, absolutely – to me it’s more than a job.
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
I like to unwind with a walk and quality time with my wife at home followed by a nice glass of wine or beer naturally.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
I like to think that I help to facilitate enjoyment in people’s lives. Knowing that and looking forward to each day in the cellar (despite the sometimes-arduous days) brings me fulfillment in making wine.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
My goal is to make wines of balance and that are easy to approach. Wine should be something that everyone can appreciate. I also have to find them pleasing to my palate as well.
- Anything else you would like to add?
I’m very excited to be part of this growing Texas wine industry and anticipate great things for all involved in our great state.