May 24, 2024


What is Sagrantino?
Messina Hof Winery has imported the grape varietal “Sagrantino” from central Italy to their vineyards in Texas. Sagrantino is a vigorously growing grape vine that produces red grapes. These grape vines are relatively disease-resistant and produces lower yields of grapes per ace than Cabernet Sauvignon. As a result, Sagrantino grapes are full of the grape substance due to the lower yields that the roots can embody with nutrients and the essence of the vine. This grape varietal flowers early to produce green berries which evolves into grapes. Since it flowers early, the grape berries reach verasion early to form thick, dark skins and large pips, Sagrantino vines require a long hot season to ripen which is ideal for Texas Summers. The vines produce small slightly conical winged bunches, late in the season, being September in Texas. In the birth place of Sagrantino vines, being Umbria in centrally Italy, the grapes are normally ready in late October. The grapes normally have one of the highest tannic levels of any variety in the world Sagrantino wines contain more tannin than those made from Aglianico or Tannat, and about twice the level of Cabernet Sauvignon or Nebbiolo (another Italian grape varietal) wines. The Sagrantino wines are inky purple with an almost-black center to the wine. The bouquet is one of dark red fruits with hints of plum, cinnamon, and earth.
Messina Hof Winery in Bryan has become the “hot spot” in Texas for growing Sagrantino grapes. Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo planted these grape vines in Bryan over ten years ago and were the first in the State of Texas to do that planting. Their Sagrantino vineyard currently has green berries on the vines with vines flourishing in a pruned environment. Second generation Messina Hof winemaker, Paul Vincent Bonarrigo told me, “Messina Hof Estate Sagrantino Bryan looks amazing. Five more acres will be producing this year. We have been Suckering, Training on cordon, tucking canes into the trellis wire and removing leaves near the clusters to improve aeration of the canopy and expose the cluster on the east side to sunlight. Looks like best crop ever.” The Messina Hof Winery currently produces three levels of Sagrantino and consistently earns gold medals with their Estate-grown Sagrantino. Their 2015 Paulo Sagrantino is an exquisite, dark red wine with jammy fruit flavors. Oak aging adds hints of cinnamon with earthy tones. This nine year Sagrantino and other Sagrantino wines from Messina Hof Winery are only available at the winery.
Upcoming Wine Events
The 20th Annual Wine and Food Week in The Woodlands will be the best assortment of wine events, making this a special celebration of wines and foods. For information on this huge array of wine events, go to These events will be world class in stature.
“Around the World in 180 Minutes” benefitting Bridgewood Farms had to be postponed due to the recent flooding in Montgomery County with their event venue turned into a Red Cross Emergency Center. The event is now scheduled for July 12th from 6:30 to 9:30 at The Vale in historic downtown Conroe. This is a great way to diversify your wine tasting experiences from Aglianico to Zinfandel. For information on this wine-learning experience benefitting Bridgewood Farms (a place for Special Adults), go to

I hope to see you at both of these events.

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