Have a Healthy Wine: Part II - Bending Branch Winery, Comfort, Texas: An Interview with Dr. Bob Young, MD

See the Amazing Healthy Polyphenol/OPC Results Revealed in Testing the Delicious Bending Branch Wines

I have written several articles on the benefits of red wine, most recently in an April 2021 newsletter in Wine Wanderings: The Healthiest Red Wines--Cheers to a Glass of Antioxidants. You may recall that I recommended several winegrapes for their high levels of resveratrol, polyphenols, and procyanidins (OPC’s): Tannat, Sagrantino, and Pinot Noir. Many of you probably realize that all of these grapes are grown in the United States in various wine regions, including Texas. Allow me to “Geek-out” for a bit with this interview!

Introducing Dr. Bob Young, MD, Owner, Bending Branch Winery

I’d like to introduce Dr. Bob Young, MD, co-owner,  Bending Branch Winery. Dr. Bob (as he is affectionately called by nearly everyone) is a physician, wine lover, and winery owner. He concentrates much of his winemaking on the healthy winegrapes mentioned in my articles. His wines have some of the highest antioxidant levels in the world. And, he has the research to back it up. In our interview (click Youtube above) Dr. Bob discusses the concept of why OPC’s may be more important than resveratrol in affecting the positive health benefits like vascular improvements. My first article talked about Dr. Roger Corder and the Red Wine Diet book. Dr. Bob Young met Dr. Roger Corder at a conference in Walla Walla, WA in 2009 and decided that, as a physician, it was in the interest of he and his customers to make sure his wines were the healthiest they could be. Dr. Bob’s study of French medical literature and his UC Davis studies also led him in this direction. It turns out that the increased extraction of anthocyanins and polyphenols contributes to the smoothness, structure, and longevity of the wines as well. Wine geeks and wine lovers alike appreciate that.

Dr. Roger Corder on Bending Branch Wine results:

“I am amazed by the results of Flash Détente [Bending Branch wines.] Some of the highest values [of polyphenols] I’ve ever measured.”

Have a Healthy Wine: Check Out Dr. Corder’s Results on Bending Branch Wines

During our interview (click on Youtube above or see full transcription on my Blog: GrapeStone Concepts Blog) Dr. Bob Young, MD revealed the results of his wines tested in December 2019 at Dr. Roger Corder’s laboratory in London. The Bending Branch wines were uniformly ranked at the top of the world in polyphenols and OPC’s (procyanidins.) Dr. Bob discusses in this interview how the use of two maceration techniques on his Texas grapes, cryo-maceration and Flash Détente, can cause an increasing extraction of these healthy chemicals from the skins of the grapes. Cryo-maceration is the freezing of grapes prior to fermentation which caused the cells in the skins to open up. Flash Détente is a technique for a rapid heating then cooling in a vacuum of the grapes prior to fermentation resulting also in the release of the these healthy chemicals. Dr. Bob has the only Flash Détente equipment in Texas, but other parts of the United States and the world use this technique, too.

The Bending Branch (BB) results are amazing. Dr. Corder authorized these results slides. Slide 1 shows their BB Tannat levels to be among the highest in the world in total polyphenols. Slide 2 shows the BB wines Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sagrantino, and Tannat to be among the highest in the world in OPC’s and Total Polyphenols.

Slide 1 Comparison: The levels of total polyphenols from Bending Branch Winery  (BBW) Tannat wines vs. those of France (swF) and Uruguay (TP)

Slide 2 Comparison: Wines from Bending Branch Winery vs. Previous Data Analyses

Visiting and Tasting Wine at Bending Branch Winery

Bending Branch Winery is a ranch-based winery and vineyard located in the Texas Hill Country near Austin, Texas. The staff’s hospitality is renown. I have visited the winery on three occasions. Outside tasting experiences, an annual Kentucky Derby Day party, an active wine club, Camp Lucy Wine Retreat, and virtual and corporate wine tastings are a few examples of the wide outreach available to Bending Branch wine fans. Dr. Bob and his wife Brenda founded Bending Branch Winery in 2009.  Along the way, Bending Branch wines have won numerous International Wine Awards and the Winery was voted “Best Winery” for the 6th consecutive year in the San Antonio Express-News Readers Choice Awards.

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Find the Wines

The wines are delicious, too. Unique varieties of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines anchor the Bending Branch portfolio.

Find the high-OPC recommended wines here:

2016 Malbec, Newsom Vineyards

2017 Malbec, Newsom Vineyards

2016 Tannat CM, Tallent Vineyards

2017 Tannat CM, Tallent Vineyards

Tricia Conover asks, “Dr. Bob, What is your favorite quote about wine?”

(Dr. Bob) “I would say my favorite one, particularly given our discussion today, is that “wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages,” said Louis Pasteur. Of course, he's the guy who did all the magic with helping us understand how fermentation works. So that's all quite appropriate. And, interestingly enough, he was also a pioneer with vaccinations. I can't think of a better person to quote than Louis Pasteur.”

Background: Dr. Bob Young, MD, Bending Branch Winery

Dr. Bob Young was drawn to the beauty and legacy of wine regions in Europe, South America, and the U.S. As a physician, he found the art and science of winemaking intriguing, as well as the increasing research regarding red wine’s impact on health. He progressed from a course in viticulture and enology study to a property search in the Texas Hill Country, near where his daughter Alison was starting a family. He enrolled in the rigorous Winemaker Certification Program at UC Davis, an international leader in winemaker academics and research. He’s had enormous success with the Tannat grapes, and also Tempranillo, Sagrantino, Malbec, Picpoul, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mourvedre grapes.

Dr. Bob became a 2009 Renaud Society inductee, and he is a member of The American Society of Enology and Viticulture and the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. A Phi Beta Kappa, Dr. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (KY), a Doctorate of Medicine (KY), a master’s degree in Public Health in Health Care Administration (MI), and is boarded in Preventive Medicine. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Comfort Area Foundation.

Quite a background. We welcome Dr. Bob to Wine Wanderings.

For a Transcription of the Youtube Video Interview (Click Video Above) with Dr. Bob Young: See GrapeStone Concepts Blog:

“Have Healthy Wine, Part II, Bending Branch Winery, An Interview with Dr. Bob Young, MD.”

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