Often a winery starts out as a vineyard, and they decide to start making their own wines from their estate fruit. One such winery is Threshold Vineyards. Co-founder Betsy Jeter started the winery making the wine, but her son Josh Jeter has taken over the reins. We are proud to feature Josh Jeter as this month’s winemaker profile!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
Our family owns and still currently operates a land services company that serves the energy and right of way industries. I helped our family run the business and also worked as a land agent buying right of way. Not quite as fun as making wine!
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
In Texas we deal with various environmental challenges that can result in suboptimal fruit chemistries and conditions — the high pH challenges are well documented and they can make it challenging to produce a stable wine with balanced acidity and phenolics. In the Gulf Coast, weather is a challenge as well, not as much with pH, but certainly late rains and ripening.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Winemaking is very much a science at its core with the art side coming in as the winemaker, understanding the science, and making stylistic choices to create balance and harmony in a wine.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Sangiovese and pizza (the works).
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
My first foray into fermentation was homebrewing beer in college, so maybe make beer?
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
I always loved the magic of fermentation going back to my homebrewing hobby, so winemaking definitely scratched that itch. I also come from a family of farmers, so I very much came to wine on the viticulture side before learning winemaking.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
Probably most common is, where did you learn and how did you get into winemaking? Another funny one I get often is, “I taste ‘X’ fruit or spice in the wine. Did you add that fruit/spice to the wine? Where does that flavor come from?”
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
In the summer, we fill a stock tank up with well water and jump in. Usually alongside a cold beer or glass of Blanc du Bois.
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Creating something living and unique that tells a story from grape to bottle.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
Showcase the grape variety and terroir while still respecting the fruit by creating a stable, balanced, and nuanced wine.
- Anything else you would like to add?
The Texas wine industry is an exciting place to be right now with huge growth potential and a lot of the story left to be told. We are excited to tell ours.