We rarely miss an opportunity to travel to the Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, TX. and news of their upcoming Wine & Roses Festival was quite timely. At this time of year, the weather is perfect and also marks the season when Messina Hof’s new releases are ready to pour – straight from production.
The lively festival attracted hundreds of guests who mixed and mingled as they sampled new releases like the Sophia Marie Rose, Trebbiano, and DRZ. Guests could also attend wine pairing classes, wine printing classes, and even stomp on a few grapes if they were up to it. The main objective of this event was to bring together the community by showcasing local vendors, artisans and musicians.
While I sipped on my favorite wine, the Messina Hof Port, I chatted with Paul Bonarrigo VII, CEO of Messina Hof Winery. We had a great discussion on what was next for the winery and what trends they were seeing in the industry. Paul and I discussed craft beer and its impacts on the wine industry and how its reemergence has opened doors for the same with “wine on tap”. You will come across wine on tap in several spots around Houston but it hasn’t quite grown to the level of popularity that we see in our surrounding cities. Messina Hof has already started to take steps in this direction by offering their Moscato and other popular wines on tap in San Antonio (hello Houston, let’s jump on this, okay?). Let’s be honest…no one wants cheap wine on tap and I personally like where this is headed.
Other trends are around brand loyalty. This changes every few years and we have come back to sticking with the brands we love. The times of flipping back and forth are no more. I can attest to that and I do find myself opting for a choice that is a for sure thing versus the uncertainty of going with a new wine. Market research also shows that regional wines are gaining momentum and are becoming the preferred choice. I am always impressed year after year with the strategy behind the Messina Hof brand. This is just one of the reasons they have been so successful and certainly the reason they are one of Urban Swank’s faves.
During my visit, I also got a chance to vote on which artist painting would be on the next wine bottle.