Killeen residents were invited to sample world-class wines during KNCT’s sixth annual Wine Classic on Saturday night.

The event at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center is held each year to raise money for KNCT’s local public television and radio stations.

The event began with a “Wine 101” class hosted by certified sommelier Stephen Hanik. He took students though wine from grape to glass, teaching them how to select, taste and describe wine.

After the class, the event featured a wine tasting and food prepared specifically for the event by Pignetti’s restaurant in Temple.

Participants were able to sample close to 200 wines from around the world, including Chile and Argentina. They also sampled wines made in Texas, said Pat McCray, membership director of KNCT and the event’s organizer.

“This year we have 11 local wineries participating,” McCray said.

One of those 11 was Texas Legato, a winery based in Lampasas. Sulynn Bledsoe, who owns Legato along with her husband, Bill, said the winery has participated in the KNCT Wine Classic all six years of its existence.

“It’s a good event, and it helps get our name out there,” Bledsoe said.

While some may think only places like France, Italy or California produce great wine, Texas is rapidly making a name for itself. Texas Hill Country was recognized as one of the 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations for 2014 by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Bledsoe said she wasn’t surprised the number of wineries in Texas was growing.

“The climate and soil conditions are actually very good for growing grapes,” Beldsoe said. “It’s not a surprise at all to see Texas medaling in California competitions.”

In the end, the hard work and effort of making wine is about more than just competitions and medals to Beldsoe and the other winemakers at Saturday’s event.

“There’s really nothing better than watching someone take a sip of your wine and enjoy it,” she said.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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