Where do we begin to tell the story of this particular piece of Blue Mountain? We could start eons ago, when lava flows from the Paradise Mountain Caldera forged the rock that slowly, gently eroded over time into smaller rocks and the volcanic soil we find there today. We could start with the humans and wildlife who made this mountain home, as tribes then nations were created and borders on the map moved around them. We could start in the 1970s with trailblazer and pioneer Gretchen Glasscock, who planted the first vineyard on the land. We could start in the 1990s and early 2000s with the Weisbach family, especially the matriarch Maymie "Nell" Weisbach, who created and ran the Blue Mountain Winery with such abiding care. For us, Dan and Maura, the story begins in 2018, when we became the newest caretakers of this special place.
It would be an understatement to say that the Davis Mountains have a special place in our hearts. We have long dreamed of one day living in the region and are on the cusp of making that dream come true. We think there's so much potential in the Texas Davis Mountains AVA (American Viticultural Area) and are excited to play a part in building on the grape growing tradition of the area.
Dan, who grew up in Oregon's Willamette Valley, is the number one (and only) ranch hand and focuses his time on getting the vineyard site ready for planting in 2020 while conserving as much of the wild ranch land as possible. He is also set to complete the two-year Viticulture Certificate Program through Texas Tech this summer. Maura is pursuing formal wine industry education through WSET and is looking forward to getting more involved in the Fort Davis community.
We do not view ourselves as owners of this special land as much as stewards of it for now -- until it's time to pass it on to the next generation. We have two main goals for the Vineyard at Blue Mountain and our Blue Mountain Ranch: conservation and economic empowerment.
We want to conserve and protect as much natural habitat on the ranch as possible. We plan to farm sustainably, which includes having an economically sustainable business. But we also want to create opportunities for others in our community to learn about wine grape growing and how they can be part of the Texas wine industry. We are blessed that in addition to two humans and two vineyard dogs, a litany of wildlife call Blue Mountain Ranch home -- mule deer, whitetail deer, Montezuma quail, blue quail, elk, mountain lions, javelina, aoudad, and a host of other birds, bees, bats and butterflies. This was their home long before it was ours.
For more information about our plans for the Vineyard at Blue Mountain, please check out our interview with the Fort Davis Chamber of Commerce.
Fort Davis, Texas, United States
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