Hey there friends, welcome back to a new episode of the festivalPass Stories podcast. As we finally start the process of putting the pandemic behind us, live events are beginning to come back in full force! This week’s guest is thrilled about the future of his industry; oenophile and winemaker, Randy Hester.

Randy didn’t always want to be a winemaker. In fact, you could say the idea hit him like a bolt of lightning, (that pun will make sense later). As a native of the great state of Texas, Randy went to college at Lamar University and wanted to dedicate his life to helping children. He worked in the restaurant industry while pursuing his degree; you probably know where this is going by now. Randy was working for a great company and had a promotion opportunity on the horizon after receiving his Bachelor’s with a minor in Philosophy. But there was something that drew him to the service industry, and simply put, it was the wine.

From that point on, Randy decided to follow his gut, created a 10-year plan, and took a leap of faith that lead him to Napa, California. His courage should be applauded because starting over in your 30’s isn’t something you hear often. Nevertheless, he enrolled in Napa Valley College and got his Associate’s in Viticulture and Enology (the cultivation of grapes and the study of wines, respectively). For those who don’t know, Napa Valley is a big deal when it comes to American Wine culture. It was the perfect place for Randy to gain exposure in order to execute the final step of his master plan; taking his knowledge back home to Texas.

Now, Texas is known for a lot of things like BBQ, but wine isn’t one that comes to mind; until the return of Randy Hester of course. After learning from some of the best winemakers in California, Randy’s success in Napa gave him the confidence to start making his own product, and that was Lightning Wines. Since 2014, Lightning Wines has helped spearheaded the Texas wine movement and produced award-winning, Internationally recognized wines for the public. Now that COVID-19 is loosening its hold on our society, Randy has been planning events and tastings for the rest of 2021. Sign up to the Lightning Wines mailing list, and subscribe to their wine club to get bottles shipped directly to you.

We love Randy’s attitude towards the creation of wine, and how it should be consumed. His philosophy is that everyone should be able to enjoy it without feeling intimidated by it. He did invent lighting in a bottle, so we’ll take his word on it.

“I’m tasting all these great wines of the world and meeting all these people who are coming to our market…and it occurred to me, that I wanted to create that thing that we’re putting on that table, that’s enhancing people’s lives.” - Randy Hester

Catch the interview on Festival Pass Stories!


You can find Randy on:

Linkedin- https://www.linkedin.com/in/randy-hester-7269928/

C.L. Butaud Wines Website- https://clbutaud.com

C.L. Butaud Wines Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/clbutaud

C.L. Butaud Wines Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/clbutaud

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