Meet The Winemaker: Meghan Brasington of Stoneledge Winery
Stoneledge Winery & Vineyard is located in the Texas Hill Country, near Lampasas. Breathtaking views provide the perfect setting for you to enjoy a glass of their award-winning wines. Owners, Greg and Deborah Gissler’s, first started work on building their beautiful winery in 2014. Stoneledge Winery & Vineyard wines are produced using a gravity-flow technique which allows for less bruising of the skin and juice. The property allowed for the unique gravity-flow process to be built into the side of the to integrate and take advantage of cooler temperatures. Stoneledge Winery & Vineyard has a different approach to how they produce their wines and we sat down with their Winemaker, Meghan Brasington, to learn more.
What led you to become a winemaker?
I fell in love with the taste and romance of wine on long road trips with my husband. We used to travel back and forth up the east coast to visit our families while in the military. I loved the fact that every wine was so different, and the vintner had such an impact.
What has surprised you about being a winemaker?
The chemistry and the amount of cleaning. I wish I listened to my chemistry teacher more when she said “Pay attention, you will use chemistry in your life.” However, lucky for me I love cleaning and that is a majority of the job, too.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a winemaker, and how have you overcome them?
My biggest challenge is stepping out of my comfort zone. My original career path was Veterinary Medicine, as I worked in a veterinary clinic since I was fifteen. Until a few years ago I was a lead Veterinary Technician and Manager of a clinic here in Texas. There is not much gray area in the medical field, everything must be by the book. Winemaking is different in the way that – you can make different choices, try new things, learn from mistakes, and always improve because of them.
What goals in winemaking are you still working to achieve?
I am still so new to the winemaking circuit so I have a million of them. My goal is always to make a wine that can be enjoyed by everyone. Really, I would love to bring home a few gold medals this year.
What is one of your favorite varietals to work with and why?
If I had to pick one, so far it would be Syrah. I love the color depth and the way this grape evolves into such a rich, beautiful wine.
Which wine that you’ve made, is your favorite?
Red Pearl, 2017. It is a blend of Sangiovese and Tempranillo. This was the first blend I did, as well as the first Red Blend Stoneledge Winery & Vineyard offered. The Tempranillo barrels had amazing coffee and chocolate aromas, and the Sangiovese displayed warm fig and rhubarb. Who wouldn’t want to try that?!
Who do you most admire in the world of Texas wine, and why?
There are so many accomplished winemakers that I do not personally know but are doing amazing things. However, it is the people closest to me that are my inspiration. They make me want to do better and they are killing it in this industry. Michael McClendon, Wes Jensen, Tiffany Farrell, Michael Barton, and Seth Urbanek – just to name a few. Being new to the industry these giants have helped me with any technical questions I have had, moral support, a listening ear, and friendship.
What do you hope for the future of Texas Wine?
I hope we continue to grow and improve. I know this industry is not what it was ten years ago. All of the wineries and winemakers I have met are more than willing to help out their fellow neighbors, and that approach will help make all of Texas produce amazing, world-renowned wines.
Any tips for future generations of winemakers?
Jump right in, the time is now. “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.” – Lewis Carroll. Oh, and pay attention in Chemistry!
Take a trip out to the 11-acre property amidst the beautiful scenery of the Texas Hill Country as you sip on Stoneledge Winery & Vineyard delicious wine. Sunset time is exceptionally breathtaking. While you’re there chat with their knowledgeable staff and learn more about their unique winemaking process. You can also place your orders online or opt for curbside pick up.