Bottled with Love

Written By Katherine White

February 14, 2014


Wine making is a lot like falling in love. There’s the courtship and the euphoric feeling you get at the very sound of their name. If you can persevere and face the peaks and valleys, the final product is worth the wait. Here’s a story about how the Llano Estacado Winery turned perseverance into a wine people know by name.

The Llano Estacado Winery

The Llano Estacado Winery.

It all began in the late 1970’s with Llano’s wine maker, Greg Bruni. At the time, Bruni discovered wines being produced in Tuscany called “Super Tuscans”.  His fascination for this odd Sangiovese turned into an infatuation.

A decade or more passed until Bruni found himself working for a California winery where he took his first shot at creating a Sangiovese. Unfortunately the batches continued to fall short of his quality expectations, but that didn’t stop him.

In 1993, his pioneering spirit brought him to the fertile earth of the Texas High Plains when he took the opportunity to become the winemaker for the Llano Winery here in Lubbock.  His unwavering pursuit of creating the perfect Sangiovese paid off in 1994 when he created a wine that finally produced the flavor profile he desired. Only two things stood in his way between creating the perfect wine: a barrel and a 36-month wait.

Llano wine.

Llano wine.

Once Bruni’s wine was ready to be bottled, all he needed was a name. At the time, the President of Llano, Walter Haimann, revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Despite his sudden twist of fate, Haimann came to Bruni with a request.

He asked if Bruni would name his latest creation after his wife, Vivian. Together they agreed on a name that honored Vivian’s beauty and grace, while paying respect to the winery that gave it life. That’s how Viviano was born.



Twenty years later, Viviano is still one of the most decorated and cherished wine that Llano has ever produced.


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