Wedding Oak Winery has promoted head winemaker, Seth Urbanek, to General Manager. In his new role, Urbanek will lead the winery through its next phases of growth while continuing to oversee the winemaking team. Founding partner, Mike McHenry, who has guided Wedding Oak Winery’s success since 2012, will remain as managing partner.
“Over the past decade, Wedding Oak Winery has emerged as one of the premier wineries in Texas,” says managing partner, Mike McHenry. “When we opened, we became a cornerstone in the revitalization of San Saba, Texas that now has a thriving downtown. Later we added new tasting rooms in Burnet and Fredericksburg, Texas. Since joining our winemaking team five years ago, Seth has earned numerous accolades on an international stage for the outstanding quality of our wines. His promotion is a natural step in our strategic plan to continue to produce high-quality wines with Texas-grown grapes and I’m excited for the future of our winery.”
Urbanek joined Wedding Oak Winery as assistant winemaker during crush in 2017. He was later promoted to winemaker in 2019 and continues to be responsible for all aspects of wine production leading the winemaking team. He brings a scientific approach to winemaking and has focused on making vineyard-specific wines with Texas-grown grapes to shape the winery’s portfolio. As general manager, Urbanek will oversee the day-to-day operations of the winery and will chart a path for the winery’s continued growth.
Before joining Wedding Oak Winery, he worked in winemaking at Sheldrake Point Winery, Ovid, NY, MollyDooker Winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia, and Champagne Bollinger, Aÿ, France. Urbanek is a graduate of Texas A&M University, holds a certified proficiency in the French language from Centre Universitaire d’Etudes Francaises, Grenoble, France, and a Master of Science degree in Enology at Cornell University.
To add depth to the winemaking team, Wedding Oak Winery has hired Elizabeth Kuehne as assistant winemaker. Kuehne is responsible for cellar management and assisting with all aspects of production working, working with head winemaker and GM, Seth Urbanek, and the winemaking team. She previously worked as a summer intern for two harvests at Wedding Oak Winery before joining the team as an employee for her third crush this summer. Kuehne recently graduated with honors from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry with a concentration in organic chemistry and English.
“I am grateful for the leadership of Mike McHenry to guide my career development and provide a roadmap for me to take the reins,” says Seth Urbanek, Wedding Oak Winery general manager. “I will continue the winery’s mission of making 100% Texas-grown wines that are perfect for life’s grandest celebrations as well as everyday enjoyment. As our business grows, we have consciously hired people with the right skills to strengthen our team in essential business areas. We’re pleased to have Elizabeth join our team. Her passion for wine, background in chemistry, and previous harvest experience make her a great addition to our winemaking team.”
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