Food & Drink » Flavor

Texas olive-industry pioneer and San Antonio native Saundra Winokur has died

By

comment
San Antonio native Saundra Winokur, a pioneer of Texas' olive industry, and has died. - YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT / TEXAS FARM BUREAU
  • YouTube Screenshot / Texas Farm Bureau
  • San Antonio native Saundra Winokur, a pioneer of Texas' olive industry, and has died.
Saundra Winokur, an acclaimed pioneer of Texas olive cultivation, died last week after a years-long battle with cancer.

Winokur, who owned and operated Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard in Elmendorf, just south of San Antonio, has been known as a trailblazer in the Texas olive industry since her orchard’s 1998 inception. One of the state's first organic commercial olive growing operations, Sandy Oaks tended its trees with sustainability in mind, using only natural fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

A member of the San Antonio chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier — a members-only organization of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality — Winokur offered cooking classes and hands-on workshops at the sprawling Elmendorf property. The Alamo City native also penned essays on olive cultivation to share what she learned over the years.

Sandy Oaks operated an on-site kitchen, event venue, gift shop and nursery. Before COVID-19 forced the property to operate on a curbside- and online-only basis, guests could tour the site, meander along the rows of olive trees and enjoy chef-prepared brunches under a multitude of oak trees.

The online store, featuring olive-based kitchen products and olive oil-infused skin care items, is still in operation. Representatives weren't immediately available for comment on future operating hours of the facility.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.