One of the first and one of the largest Texas wineries is Llano Estacado Winery. Years ago we had Greg Bruni of Llano Estacado provide his winemaker profile. Jason Centanni took over the role of winemaker and he has continued the production of excellent Texas wines. We are very happy to focus this month’s winemaker profile on Jason Centanni!
- What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)?
I graduated from the University of Houston in May 2005 and started my employment with Llano Estacado Winery in July of 2005, so besides being a waiter/bartender in college, I’ve spent my whole professional career learning and improving my winemaking craft.
- What is the toughest challenge about being a winemaker in Texas?
In Texas, the challenges will always lie disproportionately in the winegrowing than they will with the winemaking…assuming you’re a winemaker who’s worth their salt.
- Is winemaking an art or a science or both?
Both. Nowadays, more art than science for me.
- What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Hmmm, that’s like asking what is my favorite song of all time. Let’s go with Vietnamese or Thai food with a five-year-old dry-ish, electric German Riesling.
- If you didn’t make wine, what would you do?
I can’t think of doing anything else, but if I had to choose another career it would be a winegrower.
- What first attracted you to winemaking and how long have you been doing it?
The fact that wine comes in a bottle and makes me feel good was the first attraction, since then, I enjoy the challenge each vintage brings. I’ve been involved with winemaking, professionally, since 2005.
- What is the most common question you are asked as a winemaker?
With the local crowd it’s usually, “What’s going on at the winery these days?”
- After a long day in the winery or vineyard, what do you do?
Go home and be a dad and husband. Sometimes I get to play golf 😉
- What’s the greatest part about being a winemaker?
Working with the hardworking and humble winegrowers, and turning heads with that occasional “homerun” we hit with some of our wines.
- What is your winemaking philosophy, that is, what are you trying to achieve with your wines?
Taste of the place where the grapes were grown. That’s what winemaking is truly all about.
- Anything else you would like to add?
Sorry this took me seven years to answer your questions Jeff!