FUQUA-Gate: Lee Fuqua Speaks

fightIn case you’ve missed the thread about FUQUA Wines and where his grapes come from,  here’s the link. I just caught up with Lee who has been working 24/7 over the last five days. His head just cleared from a tasting last night that ended with a  smooth-drinking 1925 Haut-Brion.

Me: Lee, why didn’t you just make it easy on all of us and just answer the question?

Lee: I didn’t like the way the guy asked the question.

Me: Yeah, but it looks like you’re being a jerk too by not answering the question. Even I know your grapes come from California. What gives?

Lee: It’s not a secret and it’s not a big deal. All of the grapes are Tempranillo–the Texas grapes are from the high plains and the other fruit is from Santa Barbara, California. I’m a real person and I follow all of the rules. Every wine writer in Dallas knows what I use. I just don’t like the way the guy asked the question. It says on the front page of my web page what kind of grapes I use and it has said that for eight years.

Peace out. Men will be boys.

16 comments on “FUQUA-Gate: Lee Fuqua Speaks

  1. Banter of the type this heckler provided is such a bore. He provided so much of the sniping attendant with people that kick you in the arse, then hug you and point to someone else as the culprit then ask if you’re okay… He’s been to the winery and knows Lee? The why not put your name up? You would expect greater character from someone that has a TRUE love of this craft. I have been to Lee’s winery dozens of times and have never observed anything but candor, honesty, and passion about the art of winemaking. His lab and equipment are top notch, and his open door policy is clearly provided for all. To taint Fuqua’s work with drivel of chacanery not only makes folk that know Lee mad, but incensed. Would the anger of false descriptions do anything but fire up folks that have such respect for a fine winemaker? Is this guy a fifth generation Texan like me, that stands up and delivers his name, and better yet, IN PERSON if there is an issue or problem?

    To hide behind the shadowed cloak of a screen name and attempt to drag an excellent winery into the swill of a fetid ditch repulses me. Potation off of Lemmon I bet he has never had, although claimed. Fuqua Winery is owed respect and an apology.

    Here’s my name, and all in Tulsa find the riches of the taste of his wine as the best that they have encountered. And may I tell you, they are VERY well traveled people.
    Steve Daugherty

  2. First of all, I will only answer questions to a real person using real a real name. I do not answer any questions to fictitious people using fictitious names unless they want a fictitious answer.

    Every real person who has asked me about the source of the grapes has received the real answer.

    For more than five years, on the main page of my Web site, I have proclaimed that: “FUQUA Winery now specializes in the production and distribution of super ultra-premium wines using the best grapes coming from the best vineyards in Texas, California, Oregon, Washington and Europe.” I do not think that I can be any clearer.

    Unfortunately the percentage of Texas High Plains fruit or Santa Barbra fruit is too low to call this wine anything except American, and I did not want to call it that. This is why it only says Vat No. 3.

    If you have not tasted it, you should come by the winery and try it. It is not a bad wine.

    I want to thank everyone for their support and thank everyone for their continued interest in our wines!

    Lee Fuqua

  3. That can’t be clearer, Lee? It would be clearer if you would specify the origin of the fruit for each individual wine. Nowhere on your site do you specify the origin of fruit for the Tempranillo.

    You apparently told Nancy Nichols (and, on the Eats blog, Kim Pierce) that your Tempranillo is part Texas and part California (Santa Barbara). Be clearer still. What percentage of the fruit for the Tempranillo comes from Texas? What percentage from Santa Barbara?

    Now it sounds like you might be modifying your position again, saying that “unfortunately the percentage of Texas High Plains fruit or Santa Barbra [sic] fruit is too low to call this wine anything except American….” So there’s not enough Texas fruit to call it Texan and not enough California fruit to call it Californian? Do you use fruit from outside of Texas and California for the Tempranillo? If so, from where and in what percentage?

    Maybe you’re trying to be transparent, but it’s not coming across that way.

    Hugh D. Christensen

  4. I could be walking into a shooting match without a gun here but I think you can only call a Texas wine a Texas wine if it is made from 100 percent Texas grapes. I guess I should have put the percentages in–Lee told them to me long ago and, correct me if I’m wrong, I think they were 90% Tex, 10% California. What I don’t get about all of this is that every other wine, except one or two, in Texas do the same thing. Some eve go so far as to buy the wine already blended and bottled and they slap on a label a intimate on the label that it’s Texas wine. Maybe we should take this energy and go fight in a different town.

  5. Tear off the label and enjoy the bottle itself, or drink some Lone Star and be a big Texas homer.

  6. You don’t have to have 100% Texas fruit to call it a Texas wine. It’s 75% for AVA regions. The Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute, after studying the grape production and needs of Texas wineries, can recommend that the TABC lower the percentage in some cases, so Texas wineries can make Texas wines with fewer Texas-grown grapes.

  7. Well hello Lee,
    Won’t answer legit questions (i.e. not fictitious) fictitious names from fictitious people? Well Lee, not only have you just killed any future PR from any blog or newssite that takes feedback, you have just demo’ed that you are clearly lacking in PR skills.

    Plus, by you attacking back, and refusing to confirma very simple question outright, that is readily apparent. I wonder how many of those other “fictitious” replies in the other post came from the same IP address? You do know, Leee, that D easily tracks that, don’t you? And could publish that any time.

    You do know that the way you are handling this means that you are now qulified to hire that (former) PR guy from Ghost Bar, who so readily set the path of PR idiocy before you. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t own his business/job, and was gone is a week for acting just like you are now.

    Steve: meet Lee. Good transcibing. Need a job in PR?

  8. WneOMeter:”I wonder how many of those other “fictitious” replies in the other post came from the same IP address? You do know, Leee, that D easily tracks that, don’t you? And could publish that any time” Yes, you are correct and I did check them. All legit. Sorry to ruin your parade.

  9. Nancy,

    At this point, only my non fictitious attorney wants to know any of the details.

    He is a real fan and he wants to take some non fictitious action here.

    Thanks for all of your real help,

    Lee Fuqua

  10. Mr. Fuqua:

    All this sound and fury, because you didn’t want to answer a legitimate question from a consumer? Your attorney must be a busy person.

    Seems to me there was a very simple way to avoid this entire situation: answer the question, and answer it truthfully, fully and in simple terms. Surely, it’s not proprietary data or competitively sensitive information. If you believe it is so, why do so many other winemakers openly disclose there grapes, blends, fermentation times, casking and aging?

    You’ve managed to take a situation that could have been over in five minutes and become a net positive for your brand, and turned it into five days (so far) of crisis.

    Here’s some advice from someone who deals with these issues:

    Stop arguing, don’t rattle your sabers or threaten legal action, and just post the information … here and on your website.

  11. WineOMeter is right. With veiled threats of legal action (against whom? Nancy Nichols? D Magazine? Worzel Gummidge?), Lee Fuqua has officially overtaken DJ Wade “Magically Delicious” Hampton as the front-runner for the Baghdad Bob Public Relations Prize.

    Lee, for your own sake as well as ours, turn off your computer, grab a bottle of your Tempranillo, dim the lights, and turn on the “easy listening” play list. You are doing yourself no favors here.

  12. Oh no, I seem to have damaged my fictitious public relations campaign. I guess I will just have to sell my real wine only to real people. After all, those fictitious people are always trying to pay me with fictitious money. Unfortunately my real bank doesn’t take their fictitious money.

    Fuqua wines for real people. Fictitious people need not apply.

    Thank you to the real people for your continued support.