Just imagine, sitting on a porch gazing into the Texas night sky, stars overhead, a slight cool breeze comes through, sipping a glass of wine paired with the perfect cheese which enhances each flavorful sip. Where in the Wichita Falls could one experience such sensations? Wichita Falls Vineyards and Winery is now under new ownership of Scott Poenitzsch becoming the Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyard & Winery. Once a corporate vice president, president, CEO of many businesses, Scott Poenitzsch had decided to put his corporate lifestyle behind him. With the youngest of his daughters 8Gabriele graduating from Rider High School and he was soon to exit a business he came to the next question, what will be the next chapter? A Wisconsin native Scott and his wife Linda both decided to settle down in such a place where they love the community, the Texas culture, weather, the whole nine yards, found in Wichita Falls. Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyard & Winery is a family business where Scott is the founding president and CEO, his wife Linda does financial oversight, Gabriele the general manager, oldest son does the logistics and raw materials, oldest daughter Ashley develops perfect cheese pairings to go with their wine selection, and the middle daughter Adriana does all of their graphics and Facebook page. With the winery sale ending October last year the Poenitzscheys hit the ground running on renovations and wine making which will leave Wichita Falls begging for more.
Throughout Scott’s career he and his wife had fallen in love with the ambiance of wine culture including all of the food, cheese pairings, and music. In that time he and his wife became wine connoisseurs which led to experimenting at home creating different wines. This now goes into his new career with the Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyard & Winery where they can take the five gallons wine experiments from home into to 4,000 gallon tanks mass productions for all to love. Don’t worry if Wichita Falls Vineyards and Winery made some of your favorite wines, for Scott will continue to create these in the future as well. Currently there are thirteen different wines in their portfolio and expect to have 24-26 in the future. Keeping the original base wines the previous owners had, viene, moscato, cabernet sabetno, and many others Scott plans to build off of these creating blends. A blend is as simple as the name, where a number of different base wines are brought together to make creations such as the Desperado Red, and Wichita Red. As business continues to grow new blends will also unfold.
Do you think you have what it takes to make your own wine? Horseshoe Bend be holding opportunities to take part in parties through the whole wine making process. Scott plans to plant temperino, a spanish based red grape in the vineyards. There will be planting parties to help establish the vines, trimming parties, and then harvesting parties. From grape to harvest to crush to fermentation to bottling, you can say “I made that”. Along with the process of making the wine there will also be blending parties. New blends will be experimented on you to see which new blends should be the next bottled blend. In the future Scott plans to experiment with making wine with cherries and honey in compared to the traditional grapes with the challenge to constantly offer something different to drink for the customer.
Horseshoe Bend Cellars will offer tastings, wine by the glass or by the bottle, cheese and sausage trays that pair up perfectly with their wines, on occasion food trucks and also music events inside at their new expanded bar or on the porch along with tours of the facility. The porch overlooks 75 acres where you can spot wildlife such as hogs, turkey, deer, and the occasional local cow visiting the winery. Currently the winery can hold up to 40 people for wedding receptions, with the ability to get married in the vineyards. In the future Scott plans to build a pavilion near the lake for weddings, music, or social events. Horseshoe Bend will be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and in the Summertime Wednesday. In the future Horseshoe Bend will also have a free wine club membership which will include discounted wines and cheeses. If you can’t make it to the winery, head downtown to the Odd Duck where Horseshoe Bend Cellars has partnered with the coffee shop to have a wine bar located inside. Here you can do wine tastings and cheese pairings as well. From what I’ve heard there is also chocolate wine sauce of Horseshoe Bend Cellars infused in some of Odd Duck’s creations.
The month of March will be monumental for Horseshoe Bend Cellars where they will have their Grand Opening, participating at the Red River Wine Festival and St Patrick’s day Festival. The Grand Opening wa held March 2nd with the ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. and into the evening with an open house of the entire operations, tours, live music, cheese, and of course wine. The family of Horseshoe Bend Cellars wears lots of hats, one day being a farmer, the next a chemist converting juices and yeast to alcohol, and finally as a sales marketing team. Scott says their motto is to ‘Come and enjoy life with us’, “Come on out, slow down, have a glass of wine with us [and] have a conversation, visit us.” Horseshoe Bend Cellars Vineyard & Winery is located far enough from the city, that no city lights can be seen. You can sit on a porch to have a glass of wine with cheese while sitting under the Texas stars. To stay up to date with Horseshoe Bend Cellars and to find out when they are hosting different parties, like and follow them on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/horseshoebendcellars/