Threshold Vineyards

This adage in the wine world rings especially true, as the Jeter Family’s emergence into the wine industry was as wine growers, producing the highest quality fruit as possible – they are wine growers first and foremost.

Threshold Vineyards is a family-owned vineyard and winery located in the Brazos Valley, three miles east of the Brazos River and south of Navasota. Owned and operated by Kimbrough and Dr. Betsy Jeter along with their four children, Threshold’s estate vineyard carries on a long family tradition of farming Texas soils. The Jeter Family settled in Texas 1846 when the Reverend Melvin Jeter and his brother Reverend George Washington Jeter traveled with their families from Alabama to Panola County, Texas to spread the Word and farm the land. On Betsy’s side, the Couch Family began farming in Hill County, Texas in 1880. Kimbrough and Betsy’s grandbabies are now sixth generation native Texans.

The seed for starting a vineyard and winery was planted in 1982 when Dr. J and Kimbrough visited Napa Valley wine country in California after her graduation from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. They toured the wineries and vineyards and returned to Texas inspired. In 1989, Kimbrough and Betsy purchased 102 acres of land in southern Grimes County, the presentday location of their vineyard and winery. At the time of purchase, the property was a nursery and Christmas tree farm, with over 25,000 Virginia Pine trees growing across the property, as well as thousands of oaks, crepe myrtles and other landscaping plants, that had all unfortunately seen some neglect. The Jeters rehabilitated the farm and operated Rudolph’s Treeland every year until 2001, selling Christmas trees from the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.

Taking advantage of the excellent sandy loam soil on the property, the Jeters have also grown watermelons, apples, tomatoes, peaches, wildflowers, and various other fruits and vegetables on the property. The seed for planting the vineyard came out of dormancy in 2010, when Kimbrough and Betsy planted their first grape vines in the same soil that once sustained the Virgina Pines – a grape variety called Blanc Du Bois. Blanc Du Bois is a hybrid white wine grape that is widely grown in the Gulf Coast of Texas and is known for its excellent wine quality and its tolerance to Pierce’s Disease. Their estate vineyard has grown to three acres today including plantings of Lenoir (aka Black Spanish), Lomanto, and Camminare Noir – a newly released Pierce’s Disease resistant wine grape known to make wines with characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Tried and true though, the Blanc Du Bois vines have thrived and continue to be Threshold’s signature grape and wine to this day.

Since the first harvest of Blanc Du Bois in 2012, Dr. Jeter along with her son Josh began honing their winemaking skills producing small batches of wine from the Blanc Du Bois. Understanding the principle that wine quality begins in the vineyard, they quickly began vinting excellent examples of Blanc Du Bois, while selling excess fruit to other wineries. After years of planning, growing and many glasses of wine, the family decided to share their property and wine with the public, becoming a permitted winery called Threshold Vineyards in 2018. The name was inspired by a favorite album of Kimbrough’s from the English rock band, The Moody Blues, titled Threshold of Dream, as well as his belief that our personal thresholds should be pushed and tested and exceeded to create something great.

In 2019, the Jeters completed an addition to their commercial wine production facility and opened an adjacent tasting room the following year, housed in the same building and lodge where families came to buy Christmas trees many years prior. To expand their wine portfolio, they started partnering with other Texas vineyards, primarily located in the Texas High Plains American Viticultural Area (south of Lubbock), to source a variety of different wine grapes, with an emphasize on several Italian and French grape varieties, again grown in Texas. Threshold produces 100% Texas grown wines.

The future of Threshold looks bright – already they have won several gold medals and Best of Class awards for their Blanc Du Bois at the statewide wine competitions. Outside of proprietors Kimbrough and Betsy, all four of their children are involved in the operation of the vineyard and winery: their eldest daughter Jacque is a school teacher, and brings warmth, hospitality and a family friendly environment to their tasting room on the weekend; Josh has a passion for winemaking, and you will often find him in the cellar with grape lees and wine stains on his clothes; Ben has the green thumb and lives in the vineyard caring for the vines; and finally, the youngest, Jordan, is the engine keeps the operation running by maintaining the farm and winery equipment and managing the property. Jacque’s husband Andrew and Ben’s wife Emily are also integral to Threshold’s success in both the cellar, vineyard and tasting room. In an operation like this, everyone plays multiple positions. Kimbrough and Betsy’s six grandchildren are already earning their ownership of the farm as well, so don’t be surprised to run across a few of them on your next visit.

The goal from the outset of this “retirement” endeavor for Kimbrough and Betsy was to grow and make quality Texas wine. Dr. J. has always said that life is too short to drink “cheap wine.” The family invites you to escape to the country to taste some hand-crafted Texas wine, breathe in the clean country air and enjoy the views of the vineyard and farm. Perhaps you will leave renewed and inspired yourself, with some wines to share their story with your family and friends.

Threshold Vineyards is just south of Navasota, and is the perfect destination for a day trip! The vineyard is just a short 25 minute drive from Bryan/College Station, 1 hour from Houston, and 1 hour from Conroe!