Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo

Paul & Merrill Bonarrigo

Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo were part of the early Texas agricultural group that pioneered the Texas wine industry into what it is today. Paul grew up in the Bronx, New York, and he was the first of his family to get a college education. He graduated from Columbia University in 1968. Merrill was born and raised in Bryan, Texas, and she graduated with one of the first classes of women at Texas A&M University in 1975.

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.

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