In this episode of the History of Wine Podcast, Matthew Kaner chats with Tiffany Tobey. Currently, she’s the Sommelier and General Manager at Thirty Eight & Vine in Fort Worth. Together, they talk about the history of wine in Texas and its role in saving Bordeaux.
Tobey began working in hospitality after graduating from Texas Tech University. There, she earned dual degrees in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management and English. She went on to pursue wine certifications through The Court of Master Sommeliers and the International Sommelier Guild. Before settling in Fort Worth, she was the wine director at SER Steak & Spirits in Dallas. During her time there, she created an award-winning wine program.
Her judging experiences have taken her across the country. She’s been on the panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards, the Seattle Wine and Spirits Awards, and the Somm Journal Wine Competition.
During the episode, Kaner and Tobey discuss how wine history in Texas predates both California and Virginia by 100 years. Early documentation shows that the Mission grape was the first grape planted near El Paso in 1662. In the 1800s, Texas was integral in fighting phylloxera. At the time, the disease was tearing through vineyards in most of Europe. It would have killed the industry, especially in France, where it was most common. Researchers used Texas vines to create hybrid grapes with a rootstock immune to the vine-killing insect.