The Wines of Dotson-Cervantes are a testament to the glory that can be accomplished through the love and determination of a husband and wife. Alphonse Dotson, a former NFL defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders, and his wife Martha Cervantes went from the sparkle of a dream to growing some of the most-prized grapes in Texas, and creating the most exquisite wines.
When Alphonse was just a boy, he recalls a visit to his grandfather’s house in Houston like it was yesterday. Walking the grounds, he stumbled upon the most beautiful grape vines, and was amazed that his grandfather was able to accomplish this feat in Texas of all places. His grandfather’s chuckle at his perplexity planted the seed that would sprout in his mind years later.
So many of his life experiences have taught Alphonse the determination and strength needed to accomplish his goals. From his beginnings on the football field at Yates High School in Houston, Alphonse worked hard to go on to play for the Grambling State University Tigers – no small feat for a young African American man in the 1960s. After making the All-American Team in 1964, Alphonse was highly sought-after in the National Football League, signed on by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Miami Dolphins, and eventually playing for John Madden’s Oakland Raiders from 1967-1970.
Fast-forward years later, Alphonse has won the heart of Marta, a hardworking business woman in the world of Acuna real estate. Their families grew together, making lasting memories that strengthened the bond between husband and wife, setting the stage for their new venture. That seed planted all those years ago by his grandfather had finally started to sprout in Alphonse’s mind. “Are you crazy?!” was Martha’s reaction. She knew the hard work it would take, but she was also very familiar with her husband’s damn ambition.
That damn ambition brought them to Voca, Texas where Alphonse and Martha purchased over 80 acres in 1997 for Certenberg Vineyards. Over the years, they would grow to produce the finest grapes for Fall Creek’s award-winning wines as well as their own Wines of Dotson-Cervantes.
While both have a hand in every aspect of the vineyard and winery operation, they each have their passions. Alphonse has a love for wine making and the experience that each wine brings. The vineyard is where Martha feels at home, tending to the vines with careful hands. When they come together, their creations are extraordinary – a true partnership in the journey of wine making.