Cougar Vineyard & Winery
is not our first home winery venture.
Over 17 years ago we started making wine in Texas.
Making good wine in an 85 degree room (yes, the air conditioner
was on) isnt easy. Even though the conditions werent
optimum for wine making, we managed to pull off some drinkable
wine. We bottled under the Ironstone Winery label.
to move to Seattle was met with smiles after the blistering Texas
heat. There we began making wine from grapes obtained from Eastern
Washington. We stepped up the wine making operation from a small
closet to a cellar dug into the hill below our home (yes, we replaced
the supports to the house with two 400-lb beams just to make this
room). The temperature and the grapes were much improved. During
our stay in the always green city of Seattle, we made several trips
to Buhl Idaho to visit our friend Terry White. One such occasion
we helped him plant an acre of Chardonnay grapes which started us
thinking about a vineyard of our own.
Wed have to wait since we couldnt grow anything around
our property that wasnt snail and slug proof
producing some very good reds and finally some whites to be proud
of. We entered and won 3rd place for our Semillon in 1998. We bottled
under the Cougar Mountain Winery label.
we moved to Fallbrook California. One of the conditions of the house
we were searching for was that it had to have at least an acre that
could be planted with a vineyard (or have an existing vineyard if
lucky enough). Seven years in the home and we have planted 1000
vines. Along the Italian theme of the Sangiovese and Montepulciano
we have planted Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and table grapes
(for eating). In order to grow the best grapes we can and make the
best wine we can, we joined the San Diego Amateur Winemaking Society
We were active members and enjoyed the many educational and networking
possibilities that the society offers. In 2003 we won a Bronze in
the Orange County Fair for our Sauvignon Blanc. We now bottle under
the Cougar Vineyard & Winery label.
In 2005 we purchased
the winery property in Temecula and planted Sangiovese, Aglianico,
Montepulciano, and Vermentino. Next door, La Vigna e Destra, we
continue to plant. So far there's Primitivo, Arneis, Malvasia Bianca,
Pinot Grigio and rootstock. More to come this year and next. We
opened our doors for Temecula Wine Tasting to the public after crush
in 2006. So there you have it. We are making estate wines from our
vineyards for the most part and also purchase a few grapes we don't