Urban wineries are becoming more popular and another one has arrived in Houston, Texas. The definition of an urban winery is one that is located in an urban environment instead of in the traditional rural environment. The latest winery that opened in Houston is The Cause Urban Winery owned by Jennifer “Jenn” Rossi who is also the winemaker.
Jenn started studying wine in 2016 and began her drive to open her Texas winery. She got her first grapes in 2019, Alicante Bouschet, and began her winemaking journey. The first wine was made at her house in Houston after a challenging process to get grapes from a vineyard near Mason back to Houston. Succeeding wines have been made in the Kerrville Hills Winery incubator. Along the way, she also took the Texas Tech Winemaking Certificate Program and finished that in 2021.
A tasting room is planned in Houston but is currently being remodeled. Until that is complete, Jenn is doing tastings and serving her wines at local Houston farmers markets. I made a visit to one farmer’s market and met Jenn for the first time.
While I waited for one customer to complete his purchase after a satisfying tasting, I read the sign for the winery in front of the booth. The tastings include free samples and there were currently five wines to taste. These were the fives wines available:
- 2022 Caprifolia Trebbiano – Texas High Plains
- 2021 Skýlos Viognier – Texas Hill Country
- 2021 Vai Avanti Mourvèdre Rosé – Texas High Plains
- 2021 Alta Semita Mourvèdre – Texas High Plains
- 2020 Cura Annonae Petite Sirah – Texas Hill Country.
Jenn and I talked while I tasted her wines, and I inquired about the tasting room. She said there is still work to be done with the remodeling, and she could not really give an estimated time when it would be open. But after it opens, that is when it will be time for the production of the wine to move to Houston too.
As the name suggests, The Cause Urban Winery is not only about producing exceptional wines but also about giving back. Jenn regularly partners with local charities and nonprofits, demonstrating her dedication to making a positive impact on the community. These are the causes for the current wines:
- Trebiano – Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
- Viognier – Scout’s Honor Rescue (rescue animals)
- Mourvèdre Rosé – Houston Area Women’s Center
- Mourvèdre – Memorial Park Conservancy (MPC)
- Petite Sirah – The Houston Food Bank
Donating a portion of the proceeds from the wines is an honorable thing for Jenn to do and I applaud her for that.
All the wines I tasted were excellent, which is impressive for a new winemaker. As I made my purchase, there was a returning customer who had returned to buy even more wine. I look forward to visiting Jenn at a future farmer’s market or perhaps the tasting room when that opens.