Val Verde Winery was established in 1883 by Italian immigrant Frank Qualia, who brought with him the family tradition of winemaking. Â When he arrived in Del Rio, he found Lenoir grapes flourishing under the warm Southwest Texas sun, and founded the winery. Â After his death in 1936, his youngest son, Louis Qualia, took over the vineyards, who in turn passed the winery to his youngest son, Thomas, in 1973.
Today, the winery is operated by third-generation vintner Thomas Qualia, with the knowledge and experience that has been handed down for generations. Â Qualia respects the efforts and expertise that preceded him, and is dedicated to producing wines of excellent variety and quality. Â Many of his wines have gained the attention of serious wine connoisseurs, particularly his Don Luis Tawny Port, which has won medals from Texas to New York.Â Frank and Louis plowing by mule, accompanied by dogÂ
Texas Century Farm Award (click for larger view)Â In 2008, Val Verde Winery completed its 125th year of continuous winemaking. Â It is the oldest bonded winery in the state of Texas, and was awarded the Land Heritage Award from the Department of Agriculture for single-family-ownership of the vineyards for over 100 years. Â Because of longevity and family pride, the Val Verde Winery is a landmark and an innovator in the growing Texas wine industry. Â Its survival is an inspiration to its future and the future of the industry in Texas.