Everybody knows about wineries in the Texas Hill Country, but there are other wineries throughout the entire state of Texas. Haak Vineyards & Winery was the first winery in Galveston County founded by Raymond and Gladys Haak. Today the winemaker helm is led by Tiffany Farrell who is helping the winery win awards in wine competitions every year. We are proud to feature Tiffany Farrell as this month’s winemaker profile!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
With winemaking always in the background of my heart, I held a few professional jobs. I worked in the Microbiology Lab at NASA, taught Physics and Chemistry at Clear Creek High School, and spent time as a researcher at the Boise State Ecohydrology Lab.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
Our intense weather episodes from year to year (either at the winery or the vineyard site), the distance between our winery and the vineyards we source from, as well as the magnitude of potassium in the High Plains soil producing wine grapes with an elevated pH.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
I believe the craft is inspired by both, however, with respect to my approach, it tends to lean more toward science.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Haak Blanc du Bois Madeira and Pecan Pie!
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I enjoy working with data and teasing out the story it can tell. I believe I would enjoy being a weather/environmental/river and coastal-ground water/surface water modeler. Another interest would have been a makeup artist for Hollywood productions.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
My undergraduate degree is in Microbiology, so I was fascinated that by merely having an innate sense to survive, microbes could afford humans delightful results such as wine. I naturally wanted to learn more about fermentation science. I have been in this field for 13 years.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
“How did you become a winemaker?” Or “What exactly do you do?”
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Wind down and partake in a fabulous meal. A sunset walk to the beach does a good job setting the tone!
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Sharing my passion with the amazing individuals I meet in this industry.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
I aim to achieve beautiful and delicate expressions of every variety we bring in with a high regard for consistency. It begins with mindfulness in maintaining healthy fermentations. My winemaking philosophy takes on new ideas each vintage.
- Anything else you would like to add?
Practicing my craft in the great state of Texas provides me so much joy. If you are not drinking Texas wine, YOU SHOULD BE!