Becker Vineyards in Stonewall, Texas, was named the Top Texas Winery at the 2022 Rodeo Uncorked!® International Wine Competition held Nov. 12-14, 2021, at NRG Center in Houston. This year’s competition featured 2,862 entries from 17 countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Peru, Argentina and South Africa. Of those entries, 480 entries were from Texas wineries, and 203 entries came from this year’s featured region, Washington state.
Becker Vineyards, a long-time award winner at the Houston competition, received a total 30 medals in the 2022 event, including a Double Gold medal and Texas Class Champion award for its GSM Texas, 2020, and a Double Gold medal and Class Champion and Texas Class Champion awards for its Iconoclast Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Select, Texas, 2019. Becker Vineyards also earned six Gold medals in the competition.
Located in the Texas Hill Country between Fredericksburg and Stonewall, Becker Vineyards was established in 1992 by Dr. Richard Becker and his late wife, Bunny Becker. What started as a simple quest for a hill country weekend getaway from San Antonio nearly 30 years ago has blossomed into one of Texas’ most iconic wineries, with annual production of 109,000 cases of wine and distribution throughout the state. It is one of the largest wineries in Texas, and the largest purchaser of premium Texas grapes in the state. “We are honored [with the Rodeo award],” Dr. Becker said. “This is a tribute to our winemaker Jonathan Leahy, and our entire team at Becker Vineyards. Everyone has done an amazing job.”
Since their first vintage in 1995, Becker Vineyards has been instrumental in the story of Texas wines, which began its explosive growth in the late 1980s and 1990s. The Beckers’ goal was to “cut no corners and produce the best Texas wines possible.” They were the first winery to plant Viognier (native to the Northern Rhone) commercially in Texas and are said to have put the grape on the Texas wine map. Viognier is now the most popular varietal for Becker Vineyards and the most widely planted white grape in the Texas High Plains and Panhandle.
Today, Becker Vineyards is home to 56 acres of vineyards. There, they cultivate Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Petite Syrah, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Becker also sources grapes from the Texas High Plains, which allows them to produce 44 different wines. Becker wines have been served at the White House, at James Beard House Dinners in New York, NY on ten occasions, and featured in Wine Spectator Magazine as one of Texas’ most prominent vineyards. Becker wines were also a favorite at the Texas White House in Crawford.
Becker produces its wines in a 40,000 square-foot winery located in a reproduction of a late 19th century German stone barn. Since the Beckers founded the winery, they have expanded three times to accommodate 74 fermentation tanks and over 4,500 barrels for aging. The winery is the largest purchaser of French and American oak barrels in the state of Texas. Their state-of-the-art Italian-designed bottling line was customized just for Becker, and processes 55 bottles per minute. Guided tours are conducted hourly on the weekends and on a limited basis during the week.
Becker Vineyards is open daily for tastings, wine gift purchases and picnics. A variety of tasting experiences are offered in the Estate Winery Tasting Room and on an outside patio, as well as in several spaces designed to accommodate private tastings and dinners. Becker also offers virtual tastings weekly and tastings at the Main Street Tasting Room in downtown Fredericksburg. Besides tastings, guests at Becker Vineyards can enjoy the three-acre lavender field, which blooms April through May. Becker Vineyards hosts an annual Lavender Festival the first weekend in May. For more information on Becker Vineyards, visit www.beckervineyards.com.
The Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, now in its 19th year, is one of the largest and most prestigious wine competitions in the country. For more information on this year’s winners click here or join the Rodeo Uncorked! Facebook group.