Two words: Dr. Bob. That’s all you need to say, and everyone knows you’re talking about Bending  Branch Winery. Co-owner and Executive Winemaker Bob Young is, in fact, a medical doctor and holds a master’s degree in public health in health care administration. But instead of practicing medicine for people and communities, he now spends his waking hours blending the art and science of wine, and sharing his innovative techniques in the winery. He and his wife Brenda co-founded Bending Branch in 2009, and in 2023, he and his daughter Alison launched a new bourbon line.

Bending Branch Winery is known for pioneering new grape varieties in Texas, most notably Tannat, a red grape known for having the highest levels of antioxidants and its origins go back to Madiran in Southwest France. Known as the Tannat House of Texas, Bending Branch makes Tannat wines from different vineyards across Texas as well as different styles including red, rosé, sparkling rosé and fortified.

Bending Branch has also introduced numerous other grape varieties to Texas, including Picpoul Blanc and Souzão. Picpoul Blanc is a white grape from the Rhone Valley that means “lip stinger” for its high acidity. Souzão is a bold teinturier (red pulp) grape variety native to Portugal.

One of the first in Texas to implement organic and sustainable vineyard practices, Bending Branch Winery, in conjunction with Tallent Vineyards of Mason, was awarded Grand Champion at the first-ever Texas Sustainable Winegrowing Competition. In the vineyard, Bending Branch Winery has planted grape varieties like Camminare Noir and Crimson Cabernet that are resistant and tolerant to Pierce’s Disease. In the Estate vineyard, Bending Branch uses chickens as the natural pest defenders, and only organic/natural sprays are used.

The ultimate researcher, Dr. Bob is making handcrafted wines that combine old world techniques with new world innovation. In particular, Dr. Bob is a fan of big, bold reds and uses two techniques to extract more flavor, tannins and color from grapes. The winery uses Cryo-Maceration (freezing) and Flash Détente (rapidly heating and cooling) to release more pigment and structure from red wine grapes. The flash détente process more fully utilizes grapes.

For the coming year, Dr. Bob is looking forward to sharing these wines with guests:

  • Méthode Champenoise Picpoul Blanc
  • Méthode Champenoise Estate Crimson Cabernet Rosé
  • Floc de Gascogne-style wine made of Blanc du Bois and Muscat
  • Amarone style red blend of Malbec, Tannat and Souzão

Visitors to Bending Branch can enjoy wines in the estate tasting room with a beautiful outdoor deck seven days a week. Wine Club members enjoy private tastings in the Wine Club Lounge that also includes shaded seating on the patio and under cabanas adjacent to the vineyard.

Don’t miss Bending Branch’s signature event – the 12th annual Derby Extravaganza – on Saturday, May 4 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This event celebrates the Young family’s Kentucky roots with a day of live music, barbecue, wine, hats, horses, cocktails, and of course, bourbon mint juleps.