Paul V Bonarrigo, born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, graduated from Columbia University, served in the Navy during Vietnam, and studied winemaking at UC Davis while stationed in California. Merrill Bonarrigo, a native of Bryan-College Station, Texas, graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Business Management. Together they founded Messina Hof Winery & Resort in 1977 in Bryan, Texas, and pioneered the wine industry of Texas.
After 43 years Messina Hof continues to be one of the most awarded wineries in Texas in regional, national, and international competitions. Under Paul’s leadership as Winemaker, Messina Hof won Top All-Around Winery at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Paul has served three terms as president of the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association organization. He has been honored with the Qualia and John Crosby awards, as Businessman of the year, as Vin du Professionale, and as a Supreme Master Knight.
Merrill developed, with Texas A&M University, the first wine hospitality internship program; programs for the Aggie Women Network; Designer Events and developed Vineyard Cuisine and educational food and wine pairing programs, The Culinary View and wrote three cookbooks. Merrill has been awarded the Louis F. Qualia award, the Blazing Star Award, TAMU Women’s Former Student Legacy Award, and is a Supreme Master Lady of the Vine in the Knights of the Vine.
Today the Messina Hof legacy continues with their son Paul and his wife Karen. Paul and Merrill continue to travel and teach wine tourism and hospitality introducing Texas wines in 38 countries and on the Disney Cruise ships and AmaWaterways. Since 2015 Paul and Merrill developed Messina Hof Estates, a 37-acre vineyard lifestyle community. They also completed their book, “Family, Traditions and Romance – The Messina Hof Journey”.
In 2013, Messina Hof earned a “lifetime achievement award”.
ISBN – 978-1-7361770-0-6
UPC – 085763206050 Copyright 2020