The members of the Catalano household are longtime lovers of vino. So, they opened their very own vineyard.
Bent Oak Vineyard is the creation of CEO John Catalano and spouse Audrey Catalano, sister Marilee Catalano and sister-in-law Debbie Bruce.
“We fell in love with the wine business, and after taking a number of wine immersion journeys to numerous wine areas, determined to make a go for it,” John Catalano stated.
The plan was to discover a house as soon as all of them retired from the workforce, however as their ardour for wine and wine-making grew, the potential for beginning their very own model grew to become extra engaging.
Catalano, who had expertise as a house brewer, began issues off by studying learn how to flip Texas grapes into wine from scratch, an expertise that was 17 years within the making. Over that point, he earned certificates in viticulture and enology (the cultivation of grapevines and the research of wines, respectively).
“Brewing is 95% water, however a grape is slightly bio-chemical manufacturing plant all of its personal,” he stated. “So, I began taking natural chemistry programs and wine chemistry programs so I might higher perceive it. After which, we determined we had been going to begin a vineyard.”
As soon as Catalano realized the vinification (or winemaking) course of, he and his household shook arms and agreed to open a vineyard. Though, they nonetheless wanted a reputation and place.
The Bent Oak identify got here to John and Audrey Catalano as they sat on the porch of one in every of their favourite wineries. As John was discussing the monetary plan of the enterprise, Audrey stopped him mid-sentence and pointed to a tree that was arched over from the wind. Drawn to its kinked trunk, they went on-line and located the identify Bent Oak Vineyard was not but taken.
After years elevating cash for the enterprise, the subsequent step was to discover a residence for Bent Oak. Catalano stated they appeared to settle in several areas together with Marble Falls, however after two years of exploration and acquiring permits, they landed on their Cedar Park location to offer locals an city vineyard inside arm’s attain.
“We did not need folks driving 80 miles to have two glasses of wine and drive 80 miles again,” John stated. “So, we determined we had been staying proper right here.”
When the vineyard first opened in 2014, some barrel tables sat within the entrance half of the tasting room, and the again portion of the venue housed the model’s wine tanks and fermenters.
As extra enterprise rolled in over the subsequent two years, John stated theproduction house was pushed again and its fermentation tanks moved to make room for extra prospects. The household ultimately moved their manufacturing system to a different venue on-site to make much more house for others to get pleasure from their bottled choices.
Since opening its doorways eight years in the past, Bent Oak has turn out to be one of the vital adorned wineries in Cedar Park, receiving a number of gold and double gold medals from the San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Inventory Present & Rodeo Worldwide Wine Competitors and the San Francisco Worldwide Wine Competitors.
“We name it severe wine for severe wine lovers, however we do not take ourselves too severely,” Catalano stated. “We’re making world-class wines that may compete with anyone.”
Bruce stated Bent Oak is eager on creating a calming, laidback atmosphere that is open to each wine connoisseurs and occasional sippers. And with meals obtainable, patrons will get pleasure from quite a lot of pairings match for his or her abdomen’s wishes.
To not be confused with an on a regular basis wine bar, Bent Oak’s welcoming tasting room has the makings of a fantastic outside chateau — it is simply indoors.
The warehouse vineyard’s tasting house appears like the lounge of a small Mediterranean residence. It’s crammed with homey furnishings units, dimly lit candles and small glass tables sitting atop wine barrels. The partitions are adorned with footage of the founding members and their households and canine.
On the appropriate aspect of the tasting room, there is a small kitchen with charcuterie trays and candies beneath the counter, and the again of the house is designated for performers to serenade patrons with dwell music for Wine Down Fridays.
Given the summer time climate, Catalano stated many patrons sometimes lean towards Bent Oak’s blanc du Bois, zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon.
Together with Bent Oak’s charcuterie trays and chocolate bites, the vineyard additionally presents rooster nachos, ham sandwiches, pulled pork stew and different meals choices, which make for fascinating wine pairings.
Singer Heath Ham will take the stage for Wine Down Friday from 3:30 to six:30 p.m. on Aug. 5. Joel Rapaport will carry out 3:30 to six:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. No tickets or RSVP required. For extra info on upcoming occasions, go to bentoakwinery.com.
Location and hours
Bent Oak Vineyard is at 2000 Windy Terrace, Suite 2B, in Cedar Park. It’s open from 1 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday-Saturday and 12:30 to five p.m. on Sunday.
About this story
This story is a part of a brand new occasional collection exploring Central Texas’ breweries, distilleries and bars. Have a favourite? E mail your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.