Here’s a four-minute video of my vineyard

I’m an oenophile (one who studies wine). I find it endlessly fascinating. The study of viticulture and viniculture leads one into geography, history, chemistry, agriculture, gastronomy, culture, and social psychology.

Years ago I earned certifications from the Society of Wine Educators, The Court of Master Sommeliers, and WSET, but I realized that the only way to complete my education on this topic would be to actually plant grapevines, harvest grapes, and make my own wine. But I didn’t have a place to plant the vineyard. Then, three years ago, my daughter and son-in-law let me plant a 60×60 vineyard on their property at Cedar Creek lake (60 miles east of Dallas). 

It’s been an interesting, exhilarating, and challenging project (beavers destroyed five vines; Black Rot stymied their growth; birds ate the red grapes, etc.), but in July we had our first harvest and in September we tasted the first fruit of the vine.

This project has reminded me of several important things: physical labor is refreshing; an enjoyable hobby is therapeutic; having a vision and seeing it come to fruition is very rewarding; nature is remarkable; and enjoying a nice meal with loved ones is wonderful. 

Here’s a video of our journey.

38 Replies to “Here’s a four-minute video of my vineyard”

  1. Don, wonderful project and lovely vineyard. Enjoy your fruit of the vine. I grew up on a farm in Arkansas and I know the joy of watching plants grow and produce. Blessings to you and Mary.

  2. Don, this is amazing: first, your interest and hobby, that turned into studies, and then physical application! The photos with family involved in the project are terrific. I can only imagine the conversations beforehand, not to mention those during the actual planting, tending, being dismayed by critters’ damage, and actually harvesting and processing into wine. The flavor, certainly, is deepened by all that went into it. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Don – that is absolutely wonderful. I recall you telling Randy and me about your venture a few years ago while having lunch.

    1. Thanks, Michael. It has been a wonderful project (and a lot of work). I have fond memories of all our times together. Remember the convention in New Orleans with the man singing…(what was the name of the song)…

  4. What a beautiful location and fun family project. Thanks for sharing.

    Elna and Merlyn

    PS – the video wasn’t attached to the email but the link to your website worked fine.

    1. Thanks, Merlyn. I’m trying to figure out why some people saw the video in their email and others didn’t. I remain technologically challenged. Take care, Don

  5. Dear don ,this is Barry Thombs. You are truly blessed among men. You and your wife look fantastic. Your daughter and son in law with your grandson together .priceless . I think of you often. Would love to see you again sometime .if not I will meet you on the other side when time will be no more .
    Your brother in Christ Barry.

    1. Barry, it’s so good to hear from you. I think of you often. Without your help the iPlace retreat center would not have been possible. I remember how close to death you once got and how God healed you. You are a dear friend. Don

  6. Don, I can tell that this adventure brings you great joy! Our staff recently worked our way through the book “The Trellis and the Vine” – there are so many lessons to learn from the vine. I’m looking forward to hearing what planting, growing, and harvesting a vineyard has taught you. The pictures were fabulous.

  7. Don, This is wonderful and extremely cool. I am not a wine drinker, (I don’t drink alcohol of any kind), but I love grapes and have tried to grow them over the years, and admire what you have done. Congratulations!

  8. Thanks for sharing this video. You’ve got a lot to be proud of. That first bottle had to be extremely rewarding. I love that it was a family affair. Great photography!

  9. I loved seeing the video and the interaction with your family. I would imagine your wine tasted delicious! What a fun hobby! Bonnie B.

  10. Congratulations on your harvest Don. Growing a family vineyard sounds wonderful. Sorry I could not pull up the video.

    Best to you a blessed harvest as your grow future vineyards.

    D. Funk

    1. Thanks, Darlene. Yes, the video didn’t work like I thought it would. Go to and you can see it there.

  11. You are definitely a man of many talents and are very inspiring to me! Thanks for sharing another expertise of yours with your followers!

    1. Hi Jim. Thanks for the thought. At maximum production we’ll only product around 200 bottles, so it will be for family and friends consumption.

  12. Thanks for sharing this great project! I loved seeing Benjamin and Buddy assisting, as the whole family worked together!
    There wasn’t a link to the video until I used the comment link 🙂

  13. Looked forward to seeing the video. It was not attached, but enjoyed seeing all the wonderful steps from your son’s gift of space , to the physical work and on to the harvest in my
    mind ‘s eye.
    It is the work part of life that has been left behind in our moves, and it is that, along with family, that I perhaps miss the most.

  14. The video did come through in the “Comments.” It is a wonderful review of family effort and enjoyment. All the benefits of working together cannot be shown with even the most beautiful pictures, but these blessings of God are forever felt in the relationships of the heart. – God bless you and yours. Thank you so much for sharing this joy with us.
    Karen Steinman

  15. This video is absolutely a treasure for your family. It looks like hard work paid off. God is good.

    Thanks for sharing.

    D. Funk

  16. Wow, impressive. Love that you involve the family. what beautiful memories… not to mention the fruits of your labor some wine! Last year our sisters in law went to Fredricksburg texas for some girl time, and had a chance to visit some vineyards. There is something about looking upon the fields with friends/family that is so relaxing. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    1. Molly,
      Thanks for kind comments. It has been a lot of manual labor but worth the effort. This is the first time our family has had a joint hobby. Fredricksburg is the wine-capital of Texas. Take care, Don

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *