Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo were part of the early Texas agricultural group that pioneered the Texas wine industry into what it is today. In 1977, Paul and Merrill married and settled into a home in Bryan, Texas. During that same year, they watched the television mini-series “Roots,” which inspired them to learn about their family heritages. Paul’s family came to America from Messina, Sicily, and Merrill’s family emigrated from Hof, Germany. Later that year they began planting their first vineyard. They named their vineyard Messina Hof, after their family roots, and incorporated traditions from each family into the wine, food, and hospitality of Messina Hof Winery and Resort. The Bonarrigo tradition of winemaking was reborn in the United States when Paul Bonarrigo (also known as Paul VI) started creating Messina Hof wines in Texas. Messina Hof is now the most awarded Texas wine in national and international competitions. They have created consumer wine and food pairing education, wine and culinary tourism mentorships, and have been at the forefront of wine tourism in the US. Today they have two wineries in Texas – one in Bryan-College Station and one in Fredericksburg. Today their son Paul (VII) and his wife Karen are leading into the next generation.
Paul and Merrill delivered a talk titled:
Managing the Guest Experience & Avoiding Hospitality Mistakes
The greatest single impact on improving existing business is learning how to master service to guests. Wine and Culinary Tourism is fiercely competitive. Many businesses compete for the same guests. It is survival of the most gracious. Who are your guests and what are their expectations and needs? Learn what makes you fail and how to improve hospitality habits.
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