D’Vine Wine’s Partnership With Fossil Rim Aging Well

Tye Chandler :
Posted August 3, 2021

Since Fossil Rim and D’Vine Wine of Granbury have joined forces, it has proven to be a fine pairing.

They came together in July 2014.

“(Former Development Coordinator) Lynn Rogers and (Former Director of Development) Susan Foster, who were with Fossil Rim at the time, came over to visit with us and discuss what they were looking for in a Fossil Rim wine,” said D’Vine Wine Co-owner Diane Hedges, who shares the business with Tony Hedges and Joshua Winters. “Lynn knew we made custom wine. We hit it off while creating the wine, started doing events together, and our partnership with Fossil Rim took off from there.”

D’Vine Wine of Granbury Co-owner Diane Hedges has been partnering with Fossil Rim since July 2014. For every bottle of Fossil Rim wine sold, 25 percent of the proceeds go directly to the wildlife center.

Like Fossil Rim, and most other business organizations, D’Vine Wine faced great adversity when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Texas in spring 2020.

“When Covid hit (in Granbury), it was right around St. Patrick’s Day last year and we’d just had our big Irish music event,” Hedges said. “Then, everything shut down and the world stopped for a while. We realized that we could do to-go orders; people began to call us by phone and we’d do curbside delivery. We also did a lot of shipping during the shutdown.”

As it turned out, that was only the beginning of the D’Vine Wine team getting creative to keep the business afloat.

Every year, D’Vine Wine presents a donation check to Fossil Rim. In the fall of 2019, the winery’s owners and staff came out to Fossil Rim to present the donation and take a special tour.

“We had some really wonderful patrons who supported us so much, plus the (Granbury) Chamber of Commerce provided grants to help us,” she said. “We were able to do some home deliveries. We filled up a car one day and took an order to Waxahachie. It was a group of teachers; they’d picked one house for us to make the drop-off at.

“We did more of that throughout the pandemic and learned how to do some online demo videos showing how to make various wine-related items. Our online business picked up quite a bit. We were blessed because we could at least come into our building as a staff and get things done, so we were never totally shut down.

“You had to be willing to shift gears to survive as a business, and for us that was a shift to online operations. None of us were used to hosting Zoom meetings beforehand.

Throughout the year, if you visit D’Vine Wine in Granbury there is evidence of Fossil Rim wine to be found.

“We had virtual events like Girls’ Night Out, Gallery Night, and things like that, as other businesses participated with us. We did curbside raffle prizes – anything we could do to stay moving forward.”

Now that D’Vine Wine has made it through the toughest times, Hedges believes the winery is better for that adversity.

“I think the creative marketing we discovered during the shutdown puts us in a better position than ever as a business,” she said. “We also made a lot of wine during the months without in-store customers, which is what we are best at, after all.”

When the time came to welcome customers back to their store in downtown Granbury, the staff was more than a little excited.

Cheetah Bubbly is a Fossil Rim champagne that is served when D’Vine Wine hosts Fossil Rim events.

“We have a wonderful staff, and they stuck it out with us,” Hedges said. “When we were able to open back up, they were thrilled to death. Communication with customers was a little challenging behind a mask, but we figured it out.”

Returning To Fossil Rim

In late July, Hedges made her first trip to Fossil Rim in quite some time. She visited The Lodge so that Fossil Rim staff members who were not familiar with the three varieties of Fossil Rim wine could get better acquainted with them.

“It is wonderful to get back out here,” she said. “Fossil Rim is my happy place, and my staff was a bit upset they didn’t come with me this time. They wanted me to make sure I set up another time for all of them to visit again. We all did a Behind-The-Scenes Tour, but that was nearly two years ago, so they are ready.

“They loved it and couldn’t quit talking about it. Plus, when discussion of the Fossil Rim wine comes up with customers, now the staff can discuss the conservation efforts and tours. We get a lot of tourists, so Fossil Rim comes up in conversation (considering it is only 22 miles from D’Vine Wine).”

Her favorite Fossil Rim species probably will not come as a shock.

“My favorites are the giraffes; I just love them,” she said. “I also enjoy how gentle the deer and antelope seem to be. The zebras are really fun, too.”

Perfect Pairings

At The Lodge, there were charcuterie boards and other appetizers to accompany the wines, so Hedges was asked what food pairings she recommended for Rhino Red, Giraffe White, and Zebra Blush.

“Rhino Red pairs well with red meats,” she said. “Because it’s 50 percent Sangiovese, it has a hint of a smoky taste, which goes great with any barbecued or grilled meat. Heavier, stouter cheeses also pair well.

“Giraffe White goes really well with fish and chicken. Ours is unoaked, which means it tastes like the pure grape. So, it also goes well with milder cheeses.

“As for the Zebra Blush, it goes well with fruits and desserts.”

Sip And Support

In terms of the best seller among the Fossil Rim wines, it turns out to be a bit of a surprise.

“Rhino Red – it’s also one of our best-selling red wines in general,” she said. “At D’Vine Wine, our best-selling wine every month is a blackberry merlot, which is sweet. Our sweet wines outsell the red wines all the time, so you’d expect the Zebra Blush to be the top Fossil Rim seller. We do sell plenty of it and the Giraffe White, but people really like the Rhino Red.”

These were some of the many creations of art by Fossil Rim animals that were featured at D’Vine Wine during a 2018 fundraising event.

Speaking of selling, for every bottle of Fossil Rim wine sold, the wildlife center receives 25 percent of the proceeds.

“People will choose to buy Fossil Rim wine over something else we offer when they know the proceeds are going back to Fossil Rim, which makes me feel good,” Hedges said.

Stop On By

For people who have not been to D’Vine Wine in quite some time or perhaps ever, there is a blend of familiar and new offerings to enjoy.

“I think we probably offer more food now than what people may remember,” she said. “During our Music, Massage, & Merlot, which is our karaoke night, we have Chef Rob, who prepares several options. That event is on the second and last Fridays of each month.

“We have the Granbury Irish Music Session, which has really taken off – it’s done on the third Saturday of each month. It is regional musicians just having a jam session.”

Depending on the week, the wine menu is in various stages of deliciousness.

“We now have a blueberry cabernet sauvignon, and it’s called ‘Bridge Street Blues’ after the location of our winery,” Hedges said. “We introduced it during the pandemic and it became permanent on the menu. We have seasonal wines; right now, we have watermelon. When fall arrives, we’ll have a cranberry wine and a pumpkin spice wine.

In 2017, artist Thomas Shea showcased his paintings of Fossil Rim giraffes at D’Vine Wine. His daughter, Molly Shea, is now a senior hoofstock staff member.

“In winter, we’ll probably do a Sleigh Ride Red and an ice wine. You can always check out the menu online – https://dvinewinegranbury.com/our-menu/ – or if you are in store, we have QR codes you can scan with your smartphone.”

To order Fossil Rim wine by phone, customers can call (817) 573-7200 or they can go online – https://tinyurl.com/w2tpfje – and the order will ship the next day.

“If any questions are not answered on the website, just give us a call,” she said.

Looking down the road, there are a couple of Fossil Rim-related events at D’Vine Wine that will support the wildlife center’s conservation efforts.

“On September 16, we will have a Sip And Support event,” she said. “Twenty percent of sales will go directly to Fossil Rim. Some Fossil Rim staff will be there. We’ll have raffle items and other fun stuff.

“On October 30, Fossil Rim will be the focus of our Gallery Night. We will have some type of animal artist exhibiting their work.”

Like a fine wine, the D’Vine support Fossil Rim receives just gets better with age.

-Tye Chandler, Marketing Associate 

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