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Program Helps Alumnus Bottle Success in Wine Industry

Grayson Davies, the university's first viticulture and enology graduate, earns prestigious honor.

Written by K'Leigh Sims

Grayson Davies

Davies

When Grayson Davies and his family became one of the first to start a vineyard and winery in North Texas, they named their product Arché (AR-KAY), Greek for “in the beginning” or “leader.”

Fifteen years later, the name still fits, especially for Grayson. He became the first graduate of Texas Tech University’s Viticulture and Enology (V&E) program in 2011 and has since helped his family’s vineyard in Saint Jo, Texas, grow into a full winery.

“We picked that name, because we were doing something new in the family, and we’re the first people in the area to do this,” Davies said.

The Davies family bought the old, abandoned vineyard in 1999, planted a variety of vines, and then later expanded into a winery and tasting room in 2007. “Wines as big as Texas” became their tagline due to the bold flavors they’ve created. One of which is their 2012 Vintage Roussanne that Davies describes as “full-bodied with almond caramel and dried apricot aromas with a good mouth feel, leaving a lingering finish.” This unique wine recently was awarded for its bold taste at the San Diego International Wine Competition, winning platinum designation after being blind-tasted by professional sommeliers.

“Out of about 3,000 wines, only around 20 to 30 wines were chosen for the Platinum award. Out of those that won platinum, my wine was the only Roussanne that won,” Davies said. “So that was a really cool achievement, because there are not many wineries that win that award.”

Arché.

Arché

Although Davies initially pursued a career in business, his taste and love for a nice glass of wine led him to Texas Tech with a group of other students pursuing careers in viticulture and enology. After completing his general coursework at North Central Texas College, he began his V&E courses in 2009. He was first to finish his required coursework and became the first Texas Tech V&E student to walk across the stage in 2011.

Ed Hellman, professor in the V&E program, recalls Davies as an excellent student who always participated in class.

“Grayson was an energetic and inquisitive student who was always involved in class discussions and asked excellent questions,” Hellman said. “He was often looking for practical applications of viticultural principles that he could apply back home in his family’s vineyard and winery.”

Since beginning the program in 2009, Texas Tech remains the only university in Texas with a four-year undergraduate V&E program. The program continues to grow by adding new classes, internship opportunities and also teaching classes in Fredericksburg, Texas where its teaching vineyard is located.

Davies says he is “thankful for this program and the professors,” especially since the wine making business is growing in Texas. With over 200 wineries in Texas, Texas Tech’s V&E program is as popular as it’s ever been.

“We are very proud to claim Grayson as the first graduate of Texas Tech’s Viticulture and Enology program. I was confident that he would quickly apply his education to take the family business to the next level,” Hellman said. “His recent platinum award at the San Diego International Wine Competition is clear evidence of his success.”

Related

Gracious Gift: Alumna’s Wine Label Helping Feed Hungry Across Texas

Wine Entrepreneurs Receive Certification At Fredericksburg Campus

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5 Responses to “Program Helps Alumnus Bottle Success in Wine Industry”

  1. Heather kaiser Says:

    Grayson,
    Just wanted to say congratulations, I’m so happy for you. You have come a long way over the years, your parents have to be so proud of you. I always knew you would be successful in life. I need to try some of your wine.

    Ryan’s not well, it’s a sad situation

    Wishing you the very best

    Heather Kaiser

  2. Laura Craig Says:

    What a great and inspiring story! Keep up the great things you are doing Grayson..you’ll go far. I can’t wait to try your families wine creations and add them to some of my dessert recipes!

  3. Jennifer Fisk Says:

    Would love to taste your wine! Will be looking for it next time I buy some wine.

  4. Debrah Rippeteau Says:

    Congratulations Grayson! What an accomplishment!
    Something that will follow you the rest of your life! I
    Know your parents are so very proud of you!

  5. Patrick Davies Says:

    Jealous…;)

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The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is made up of six departments

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is made up of six departments:

  • Agriculture and Applied Economics
  • Agricultural Education and Communications
  • Animal and Food Science
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Natural Resources Management

The college also consists of eleven research centers and institutes, including the Cotton Economics Research Institute, the International Cotton Research Center and the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute.

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Featured Expert
Ed Hellman

Ed Hellman is a professor of viticulture in the Department of Plant and Soil Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources. He also has a joint appointment with Texas AgriLife Extension.

View his profile.