Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

SANDY OAKS IS CLOSING
Our beloved patriarch Sandy Winokur has passed away after a years-long battle with cancer. It is with great sadness that we have to inform our wonderful clients that we are shutting down. Unfortunately we will no longer be accepting any orders. Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

SAUNDRA SUE COPELAND WINOKUR

On Monday, March 22 2021, Saundra “Sandy” Sue Copeland Winokur passed peacefully from this world while at her home in Elmendorf, Texas near San Antonio after a long illness.

Sandy is preceded in death by her husband, Stephen C. Winokur, her father, H.E. Copeland and her mother, Virginia Copeland. She is survived by her sister, Virginia Gail Bartlett, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, her nephews, Edward Fuller Butler III, of Tallahassee, Florida, Michael Brennan Butler of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jack Butler of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Miles Kehoe of New Orleans, Louisiana, her nieces, Virginia Butler Kehoe, of New Orleans, Louisiana, Kate Kehoe of New Orleans, Louisiana, Claire Kehoe of New Orleans, Louisiana, Brennan Butler of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Isabel Butler of Tallahassee, Florida.

Sandy was born in San Antonio, Texas on July 9, 1939.

Sandy graduated from Austin College. After receiving her teaching certification, she taught in Texas, California, and in Europe. Sandy graduated with a M.A. from Texas Christian University, a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Bowling Green State University. After receiving her Ph.D., Sandy taught psychology as a university professor for several years at TCU and other colleges. Sandy then relocated with her late husband to Chicago and New York City where she took art classes and developed her innate talent for visual arts. She was adept at painting, drawing, and sculpture. Sandy also illustrated several children’s books.

Sandy had a passion for travel and was particularly captivated by Tuscany, with its magnificent landscape and verdant olive groves. In 1995, Sandy, a proud Texan, purchased acreage in Elmendorf on fallow land near San Antonio. Sandy had lived and travelled all over the world, but Texas remained her beloved home. Descended from six generations of Texas ranchers, Sandy had a dream of establishing an olive farm much like the ones she said seen in Italy and Spain. Sandy defied the naysayers and skeptics who told her that it was impossible to commercially cultivate olives in Texas. After a difficult start, Sandy not only successfully grew olives on her Sandy Oaks Ranch, she also harvested enough olives to press her own olive oil, and manufactured many culinary and cosmetic products from her productive groves. Sandy eventually added a restaurant, guided tours, and event planning to her Sandy Oaks Ranch and became a fixture in the San Antonio community, where she belonged to several philanthropic and culinary organizations. Years after leaving the classroom, Sandy still perceived herself as educator and gave many lectures on the challenges and joys of olive cultivation in Texas. Sandy generously shared her knowledge with those who also had a passion for olives. Sandy, who loved teaching and art, stated “I am still teaching, I just have a different venue and I am still doing art, this land is my canvas.”

Sandy treated everyone with dignity and compassion. She remained eternally optimistic and full of good cheer despite a long struggle with cancer. She was beloved by her family, friends, colleagues, and employees. Sandy touched many lives and will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the SPCA and the American Cancer Society.

A short distance from downtown San Antonio, is one of the first commercial olive orchards in Texas, Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, owned and operated by me, Saundra C. (Sandy) Winokur. When I bought the property in 1998, it was unimproved pasture land graced by ancient oaks. I fell in love with the huge oak trees and felt that because they thrive in the sandy soil of the farm, this would be a perfect place to start an orchard. Just as the oaks do, the olive trees I planted flourish. As a steward of the land, I grow the olive trees and other crops, sustainably, using only organic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

Revered throughout history by many cultures for its bounty, the olive tree bears olives to eat, from which a juice called olive oil is extracted. The leaves are brewed into a beneficial tea. The wood is used to make beautiful objects or as a source of clean fuel for cooking. My Initial goal was to produce quality extra virgin olive oil, but over time another goal arose to show the range of value-added culinary and skin-care products that can be made from the oil and the leaves. I am proud of the full range of products my staff and I have developed and continue to develop.
Knowledge gained should be knowledge shared. Education is one of my passions, so I often write essays to share what I have learned over the years about growing olive trees and other lessons from farming. You will find these on the website under Orchard. I have experimented with a number of growing methods such as spacing of trees, fertilizing, insect control and varieties that are suitable for Texas.
Additionally, I try to offer a new recipe once a month using olive oil. Cooking is another passion. I especially enjoying showing the versatility of olive oil in cooking, as well as the health benefits provided by using it as a major source of fat in your diet. Look for some of my favorite recipes in the kitchen section of our website.
Finally, Sandy Oaks isn’t just an olive orchard, I raise grass fed beef as well. Soon, I will begin to sell beef in bulk. You will be able to order a whole, side or quarter of a steer and specify the cuts you prefer.