KK first fell in love with wine in the early 80’s when her father’s best friend and avid French wine lover, Dr. R. introduced her to Louis-Jadot’s Puilly-Fuissé. Fast forward now. Because her love for all-things wine deepened so significantly, she enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology Program at Grayson College in January 2015. In April 2015 Krista received one of five Texas Wine and Grape Growers Foundation and the Hoss Newsom Scholarship Fund’s awards for future Texas Winemakers and Grape Growers. She proceeded to graduate with Honors and an Associates of Applied Science in Viticulture and Enology on December 11th, 2015.
Together with her husband, Scott, in December 2015 a week before Grayson College graduation, they closed on the purchase of a 25 acre farm near Sadler, Texas. They packed up their Dallas home and were moved in by Christmas. No time was wasted to get started. In April 2016, 125 vines creating a small test vineyard planted with Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Alvarinho, and Viognier. Subsequently, an acre of Tempranillo in 2017, plus 25 more test vines, Petit Verdot; another acre of Tempranillo in 2018, plus fifty more test vines, Picpoul Blanc and Roussanne; in 2020 and 2022 another two acres of Tempranillo.
Despite some “mother” nature verses nurture new farmers lessons which came with set backs and revised plans, such as needing to replace nearly all of the 2018 Tempranillo acre because of a crazy October 2019 early freeze which killed the very young vine’s future buds, they’ve continued to thrive. Scott has renovated a small barn which is now called the Wine Shack and the practice wines have been made inside the shack in 2020 and 2021. Mother nature struck again in 2020 and 2021 with late spring freezes, so crop yields were very low. But this vineyard lifestyle has proven to them, as is does to many others, “Its a marathon and not a sprint.” Eventually these two will be opening their small winery in the Texoma AVA (American Viticulture Area), by sometime in 2024 at the latest.
They travel often and on purpose to explore the world of wine. From Napa and Sonoma, Paso Robles, to the Dundee Hills on the West Coast, to New Mexico and Texas in the Southwest, to Chianti Classico and Vernaccia di San Gimignano in Tuscany, to Reims and Bordeaux where a huge highlight was meeting, visiting and tasting with Madame Nicole Roskam-Brunot (a fellow Rotary club president, as was KK, at the time and one of the first women invited into La Renaissance De La Jurade) at her Saint Émillion Grand Cru home, Château Cantenac, to Georgia and North Carolina in the Southeast U.S., and to La Rioja, Spain.
Before attending Grayson’s Enology and Viticulture programs, her early efforts in wine education, included Component Tasting and Wine Analysis at the Chicago Wine School; and The Wine Academy/North Shore’s “How to bluff your way through ordering wine, – and really know what you’re talking about,” “The World’s Great Whites,” The Sexiest Reds of the Century,” and “World Class Wines of the West.”
She’s a member of the Women of the Vine & Spirits and Rotarian’s Wine Appreciation Fellowship. Together she and Scott belong to Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, American Wine Society, Texoma Wine Society, and as vineyard owners are industry partners of the North Texas Winery Association.
She serves on the Advisory Board for the T.V. Munson Center for Viticulture and Enology located on the campus of Grayson College in Denison, Texas. She also recently completed a 6 year term as a member of the Board of Trustees at Grayson College, and served with the Education and Conference Committee and Strategic Planning Committee for Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association in 2021-22.
She and Scott love to cook and entertain. Pairing Texas wines with fun foods and wines of similar varietals from other regions around the U.S. and the world and succeeding in surprising many of their friends who don’t expect to enjoy the Texas wines as much as they do wines from other well known regions around the world is an activity they take pleasure in.