JUDY AND BENNY MOORE MAKE O’FARRELL COUNTRY VINEYARDS
A FAMILY AFFAIR
by MOLLY KENDRICK
It has been said to never put business before family, but in the case of the Moores, the family is business. O’Farrell Vineyard started in 2008 with Benny Moore and his father, B.F., as they worked tirelessly growing the North American-native muscadine grape. This thick-skinned grape is more round than what you would typically see in the grocery stores. They are bigger and have a very distinct keynote that bites the taste buds. In the beginning, the Moores only had one section for grape growing used for the “U-Pick” section where customers could come out to the vineyard, pick their own grapes, and take them home to make their own jellies and wines. Over the years, they have added 6 more sections totaling 7 sections. Although Benny had been making wine for 30 years, he had no idea this is where this learned skill would lead him. His wife, Judy, also enjoys spending almost all her time running this family business helping in all operations and inventory.
A stand out component of their unique wine is the popular fruit wines made with blueberries, blackberries, plum, and peaches which they buy from local farms. “We have purchased fruit from Efurd Orchards, McPeak Orchards, and Moss Springs Berry Farm which are all local to the Pittsburg, Texas, area,” explains Judy. Keeping their ingredients local is an important culture for this family. The Moores made the leap to navigate through this rare opportunity and began applying for all appropriate licenses and permits leading them to officially open O’Farrell Country Vineyards for business in the fall of 2011. This was the beginning of what would turn into a successful wine- making and grape-growing career.
Set in East Texas’ piney hills just outside of Atlanta, this beautiful and relaxing vineyard is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays. One would enjoy sitting on the beautifully crafted patio area or venture into the tasting room to find a wine that fits your palette. The Moores also plan to enclose a section of the outdoor area which is just one of the many improvements this family has for their business in the near future. Since opening in 2011, the Moores have recruited their daughter, Lisse McBride, and son-in- law, Lyle, as well as their granddaughter, Kate, who is the Tasting Room Manager. Lisse is the company’s Winery Operations Manager helping with the “business” side of things like inventory and marketing. As the Vineyard Operations Manager, Lyle’s responsibility includes managing day-to- day operations as well as quality control. “He’s just got the nose for it, and learned quickly,” says Judy when describing what is required when determining if the wines are developed to full capacity.
O’Farrell has cultivated 14 different varieties of muscadines that grow on the property and they make 7 different muscadine wines and 4 fruit wines. As the business developed, the family began trying their hand at wine competitions, winning double gold, gold, silver, and bronze medals at several of the events and have been successful with the Vintage Country, a dry white wine, another is the Moonglow, an aromatic sweet white, and lastly the Blue Diva, a sweet red made from blueberries out of DeBerry, Texas. Whether you prefer a spicy, smoky note or a drier floral flavor, you will find a wine to fit your palette at the O’Farrell Country Vineyards
Visit www.ofarrellvineyard.com to learn more