Trio of Aggies contributing to growing Texas wine industry
A trio of Aggies who grew an unbreakable bond-building bonfire more than 20 years ago is back together.
Michael Nance, Duke Meadows, and Zachary Huyge met back in college during their time in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets.
"We knew each other through the Corps; we really got to know each other building Aggie bonfire,” said Nance.
After graduation the group says they went their separate ways, keeping in touch every now and then.
“The experience at A&M was just unbelievable, you know it was life-changing, you meet these people that you know, you come back together over and over,” said Huyge.
What brought them back together this time was something unexpected.
"We kind of went our separate ways after graduation and have gotten back together in the last couple of years and started putting together this plan,” said Nance.
That plan was to make wine. Nance says he caught the wine bug and it wasn’t long until his friends were all on board.
“I called him up one day and said hey I bought some land, and he goes oh crap, are we seriously doing this? ” said Meadows, “I said yes sir we are.”
The land they bought is just off 290 outside of Johnson City, it may not look like much now, but big plans are in the works.
"We're going to build a small tasting room, bungalows for some overnight rentals. Phase two when we're ready will be out production facility,” said Nance “Then, phase three will be a grand tasting room, an event center, we plan to have some underground caves and barrel storage areas.”
They say the name of their winery, 12 Fires Winery and Vineyard came naturally.
"We burned four bonfires each basically, so the three of use, 12 fires, he was squadron 12, 12 months out of the year, 12 bottles in a case of wine,” said Huyge.
Their 100% Texas-made wine is available now at limited locations, their tasting room, online, Aggieland Outfitters or The Republic Steakhouse.
The group says never in a million years did they think this is what they’d end up creating, but they’re happy to do it.
"Every single day you get the chance to meet some interesting and unique people from all corners of the world so that's one of the beautiful parts of it,” said Meadows.