Rae Wilson is familiar with those rosé lovers who first discovered Dandy Rosé. Rae has gone on to also produce brands La Valentía and The Grower Project which is a collaboration with Andrew Sides of Lost Draw Cellars. All the wines made are 100% grown and produced in Texas. It is our pleasure to feature Rae Wilson as this month’s featured winemaker!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
Before winemaking I was a musician and worked as a sommelier, then had a consulting business for restaurants and wineries.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
It’s a young industry in a large state, so industry services are short, and logistics are tough.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Definitely both. Coming from an artistic background, I approach it with a creative view, but science is of course a part of the process.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Watching a wine’s expression change entirely due to the other flavors present and the environment in which it is experienced.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
Design is a passion of mine. I’ve always had a sensitivity to physical space and a desire to interweave beauty and art into our everyday experiences.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
After studying wines from all over the world, learning the production side was a natural next step for me.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
What it’s like being a female winemaker, and although I understand it, I look forward to a day when there are enough women in this industry that the question is no longer necessary.
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Enjoy food and wine with friends. There are few things that make me happier.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Feeling connected to the ground under my feet and getting to create something that connects people to that and each other as they enjoy it.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
I hope for the wines to tell a story and for them to convey a sense of place.
- Anything else you would like to add?
I believe Texas has a very bright future as an emerging wine region on the world’s stage, and I’m grateful to be able to contribute to that.
Randy Hester of C.L. Butaud and I are opening a shared tasting room about 30 minutes west of Austin on Fitzhugh Road, which is also home to some nationally known producers like Treaty Oak Distilling and Jester King Brewery. We’ll be the only wine producers in the area, and we’re looking forward to offering an elevated Hill Country experience with tasting flights and farm to table food. Both Randy and I produce wines from 100% Texas grapes, and we’ll both continue doing our production out of Slate Mill Wine Collective in Fredericksburg.