Alta Marfa

A Vineyard and Winery Estate in the Davis Mountains of West Texas.

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Alta Marfa

Location: Texas Davis Mountains AVA

Elevation: 5,400'

Vineyard: 3 acres

Vine Spacing: 4 feet x 5 feet

Average Summer High Temperature: 87°F

Average Summer Low Temperature: 61°F

Ricky Taylor

founder

engineer

believer in soil

dog lover

optimist

 

 

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Story

I grew up in vine covered Sonoma County, CA but didn't try my first wine until I was away at college in New Orleans. After a few years of $3 white Zinfadel and other similarly excellent values, I began to wonder if wine had anything more to offer. Before I knew it, I had a frozen bucket of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from California sitting on the floor in the living room of the studio my girlfriend Katie and I shared in downtown Houston. The first wine I made was unremarkable, but it was wine.  My love of wine, combined with my recent realization that, for me, long term fulfillment would mean working for myself, gave birth to the idea of starting a winery. I read all kinds of books about wine; wine history, novels about wine, books about wine chemistry, non-fiction books detailing the stories of Gallo, Mondavi, Kendall Jackson and others. I took the first course in the UC Davis Winemaking Certificate program, then enrolled in the full winemaking certificate program at Texas Tech. (it was waaaay cheaper) Every month I had a new a different idea of how my career and life around wine might look. An urban winery in Houston (I still think this is a great idea), a vineyard and winery near Cloverdale in California, should I quit my job and go to winemaking graduate school in California? should I quite my job and try to get an internship at a winery in California? or South America? or Australia? I realized that I didn't want to go back to school, I didn't want to work for someone else, I didn't want to move (yet) and I didn't want to quit my job (yet). Most importantly I didn't want to make wine with grapes that someone else had grown. There are two kinds of wine, wine that is a commodity and wine that is art. Most wine is commodity wine, it is the wine that you can buy at CVS, it is cheap, it has alcohol and it can be ok but it is never complex, it has no story, it is anonymous. The other kind of wine is totally different. When wine is at its best it is made by people, in a specific place, in a specific time. It is complex and it tastes different from year to year, it can taste good or bad but it is never anonymous. I want to make wine that is art.