At English Newsom Cellars we strive to make the best wines possible from grapes grown in our vineyards here in the Texas High Plains. We are one of only a handful of wineries and tasting rooms located in Texas’s largest wine growing region, producing 80% of all grapes grown in Texas. In addition, English Newsom Cellars is one of the few Texas wineries that has complete control from soil to bottle. Our wines are heavily awarded and enjoyed throughout the state. We own, manage, and maintain over 100 acres with 21 different varietals. English Newsom Cellars has been producing wines since 2018, and we currently produce 10,000-12,000 cases annually.
The Fruits of Our Labor
Steve Newsom grows 21 varietals in Hockley County, Texas. His vineyards are on 100 acres just west of Lubbock, at an elevation of 3,600 feet. The landscape is flat, but its steady tilt to the north gives the Texas High Plains an opportunity to grow a broad array of varietals.
~ Harvest Season ~
During harvest the focus changes from grape growing to the juice. Our harvest season typically begins in August and lasts through September.
Harvest primarily depends on the balance of sugar and acid in the grape. Grape growers are occasionally forced to harvest before the grapes are ripe if the weather begins to cool or heavy rains are expected which can cause bunches to rot or absorb too much liquid and burst. Assuming weather isn’t a contributor, there is still a fair amount of guesswork because grapes don’t ripen uniformly. Grapes within a single bunch can range from over ripe to under ripe. The Newsom’s are looking for the perfect balance of what each section of vineyard will produce when mixed together.
~ Sorting ~
Sorting is done by a machine harvester. This machine destems and sorts the fruit into either 3 ton gondolas or half-ton bins called macro bins.
The bins are emptied into an auger where any last second MOG (matter other than grapes) is taken out by hand. Then the loose grapes are inclined directly into the press or into the tank to make wine.
Pressing is the process of removing any remaining wine from the grape skins. When the winemaking team has decided which tanks to press, the skins are dug out by hand (an incredibly labor-intensive process) and put through the press.
~ Fermentation ~
With pressing complete and all the wine is in the tank, malolactic fermentation is initiated. After malolactic fermentation, the wines will rest in in their tanks for a few more months where they are racked until it’s time to make the final blend in January.
Primary fermentation takes 1 month for white wines and 10 days for red wines. Our red wine and specially selected whites go through a secondary (malolactic) fermentation before the aging process begins. During fermentation, the winemaking team tastes each tank daily to see how the wines are progressing. Once primary fermentation is complete, the juice is technically wine but, it still has a long way to go before it becomes the award winning wine that you know and love.
~ Bottling ~
The final stage of the wine making process involves the aging and bottling of wine. Its precise execution is imperative to capturing the essence of the particular vintage, grape varietal, and the winemaker’s style. It is the final stage of the winemaking process and the last time the winemaking team at English Newsom Cellars can touch the wine before sending it out into the world.
~ Wine Tasting ~
Producing wine on our own premises and with our own grapes allows us to have complete control over all aspects of the winemaking process. This gives our customers the confidence that year after year we will deliver both quality and yields to support and grow the Texas wine industry and the Texas economy.