New wineries are continuing to open in Texas and one of the recent ones in the Texas Hill Country is Untamed Wine Estates in Johnson City. Co-owner Dane Sanvido is also the winemaker and is producing fabulous wines to go along with the food offered at their winery. We are proud to feature Dane Sanvido as this month’s winemaker profile!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
I was in the process of pursuing a degree in civil engineering. An internship at a local wine estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa inspired a career change, and the rest is history!
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
The biggest challenges I have found is the inconsistencies in weather (late freezes, unexpected hail, etc.) and skilled labor.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Both. It’s an art because every winemaker has different beliefs and styles. It’s a science because you need to know the numbers of your wine to produce the best wine possible. It’s an arrangement between tastes while being within certain parameters.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
An earthy mushroom soup and Pinot Noir or a classic steak and a Cabernet.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I would follow in my father’s footsteps and practice engineering.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
I discovered winemaking on an internship opportunity in South Africa. After completing a degree in viticulture, enology, and pomology, I worked as a winemaker in South Africa, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, California, Missouri, and now Texas. Last year I completed my 31st vintage in a winemaking position.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
“How do wines get different aromas and flavors?”
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Usually, I sit on the patio at Untamed while having a glass of wine with my wife and throwing the ball for our dogs.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Being able to create something with a personal touch and watch customers enjoy all the hard work that went into each glass.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
To be as honest and true to the grape as possible. I am a firm believer that wine is made in the vineyard, only vinted and managed in the winery. The grape must be the dominant factor in the bottle to enjoy the terroir of the grape.
- Anything else you would like to add?
I have worked many places throughout the world; I enjoy it best in Texas. We love feeling like we are contributing to the quickly growing industry, not only making progress within our company but helping progress the wine industry of Texas as a whole.
DAVID J LOVE says
Dane’s wines are truly delicious, but his wife is what make them a double threat out on the 290 Wine Road. Mackenzie is an excellent chef and also a wine chemist. There certainly needs to be a feature on her and her many talents.
Jeff Cope says
David, you are correct. I wasn’t hungry for lunch but I had an appetizer and wow, it was fabulous! Next time I’m going back to make sure I eat.