John Rivenburgh, champion of sustainable and organic practices as an award-winning Texas winemaker, has said of his guiding philosophy ”keep it simple.” As fellow appreciators of unadulterated nature, we thought featuring the inaugural vintage of the brand that bears Rivenburgh’s name to be a great way of celebrating the bounty of fall at our upcoming wine dinner.
This fifth generation Texan knows the Hill Country’s unforgiving landscape and the state’s relatively young commercial winemaking industry better than just about anyone. At a time when Texas winemakers were literally building their own equipment because it wasn’t regionally available and too costly to ship from California, John was carving out a name for himself as a pioneer in marrying technology and Old World technique in Texas oenology. His efforts to discover a Texas style—as opposed to imposing an identity on the region by growing more market-friendly varietals—have introduced Tannat, Sagrantino, Souzao, Charbono, and Picpoul Blanc to our local viticulture vernacular. Crusaders eager to raise the profile of Texas wine owe this diversity to his daring and expert cultivation.
After almost 10 years at Bending Branch Winery, which he started with his in-laws, John struck out in February of last year to pursue his own venture. As a consultant, he educates other passionate Hill Country growers in his celebrated methods, establishing more acres poised to produce Real Texas wine. His hope is that within a few years, the practice of buying grapes out-of-state won’t be necessary. It’s an exciting time for Texas terroir, and John is leading the charge.
We look forward to spending some time with this #farmerdoro in his vineyard this month and sharing his incredible creations our wine dinner on October 17th.