About Perissos Vineyards & Winery
Our story begins with a name and the significance that lies therein. Perissos is a Greek word found in the Bible (Ephesians 3:20) meaning “exceeding abundantly, beyond what is expected, imagined, or hoped for.” It is our sincere desire and aspiration to craft wines that live up to that description. However, with awe and gratitude, we can say that it is our lives that have been blessed exceedingly and abundantly by God. Thus our choice for the name Perissos. That is the beginning of our overall story. The part of our story as it relates to the vineyard and winery follows below.
Three generations or so ago, in most all of our families, there was a family farm. So, perhaps the idea of farming wine grapes stirred in us the passion to return to those farming roots. We longed for a place to raise our family on a genuine farm, away from the trappings of city life. A place where we and our children could run free, get dirty, work hard, and savor the land. Coupled with that, we loved wine and were (and still are) educating ourselves about it. So began our first steps in the journey that led us to plant a vineyard and build a winery in the center of the Texas Hill Country. Initially, we started growing grapes next to our home in Austin, in 1999, as a hobby. Having no prior knowledge of grape growing or winemaking, we were free to explore that world with no preconceptions. We dug into the pursuit with all our energies and, as hobbyists, tried to figure out how to successfully grow grapes and make award-winning wine.
Based on results from three small test vineyards that we had farmed previously, each located on different soil types, we determined that wine grapes ripened best in decomposed granite soils. We selected and moved to our land for the sole purpose of growing quality wine grapes in just that type of soil. We found it in Hoover’s Valley in the Texas Hill Country, near Marble Falls. In fact, Perissos is the only vineyard located in decomposed granite soils in the Texas Hill Country. We deliberately researched and studied which grapes would be best suited for our particular site. Then, we experimented with those varieties on a small scale to further determine whether or not they would ripen properly at our vineyard location. Finally, we put those grapes into the barrel/bottle. Once all that came together beautifully, we planted the best of those grapes on a commercial scale. This process is ever-changing and ongoing, which is one of the reasons we love it so much. New weather patterns, pests, diseases, etc. are ever challenging what we “know”, thus we remain humble and never go unchallenged in the vineyard.
Growing premium winegrapes well in Texas is an expensive endeavor. In any given spring we expend extraordinary amounts of energy to pull leaves in the vineyard canopy, to thin the crop for a proper balance of foliage to the grapes, to lovingly tie up the individual canes, and finally to install bird netting on 12.5 miles of vineyard trellis. In all of our vineyard endeavors, we consider ourselves gardeners and stewards of the land – responsible for making our site more fertile for our grandchildren than it is presently. With each year’s harvest, vital nutrients are depleted from the soils. As such, each year we diligently rebuild the soil with organic composts, mulches and compost tea applications in order to add back to the soil in a responsible and sustainable manner. Essentially, we build our fruit from the ground up.
We farm 16 acres of vines, and planted to that acreage are 13 different grape varieties. The bulk of our vines are Aglianico, Malbec, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Tempranillo, and Viognier. The Library Block, which is 1/3 of an acre, is planted to 13 varieties and was our original Estate plantings to see what was going to thrive on the property. These vines were planted in 2005, and are used to make some of our famous blends such as Lucy, Jillianico, and Bella.