May 292010
 

Video: Dallas Wine Trail – A Wine Trail without Leaving the City

This is the fifth in a series of eight videos on Texas Wine trails. This episode features the Dallas Wine Trail, a cluster of four wineries in and around downtown Dallas. These wineries bring the rural winery experience into the heart of Big D. For more information, visit: http://gotexanwine.org.

As they say on the Dallas Wine Trail website: “Drink Dallas. The wineries in Dallas are not the oldest, or the biggest, or the fanciest, but when it comes to the wine, Dallas made wines are some of the best wines made in the USA. We invite you to taste them and see for yourself.” More at: http://www.dallaswinetrail.com.

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Guest Blog: Powerful Wines and Powerful Thoughts for the Texas Wine Industry by Dan Gatlin, Inwood Estates Vineyards

This article was originally written for the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Excellence Uncorked E-Zine, Ask-the-Expert column and ran in an abbreviated form in the February 2010 issue

(http://www.agr.state.tx.us/gt/channel/render/items/0,1218,1670_28589_0_0,00.html):

What is distinctive or unique about the Texas Wine industry, compared with other wine states or regions?

In reference to high-end, hand-crafted, premium Texas wines made from authentic Texas grapes, in my presentations, I often say, “If you remember one thing about Texas wine, it should be this: The extremely high amounts of minerality in Texas wine will forever define our wines as “Old-World” style, being much more similar to European products, especially Spanish, French and Italian wines than West Coast wines.  Like our European counterparts, our high-calcium soils yield earthier wines that develop their complexity over time, and we will never be known for the fat, round, fruit-bomb styles of the “New World” that typify California and Australia.  Similarly, our wines are rich in anti-oxidant material which affects the aging process by extending each step from barrel cellaring to bottle aging.

More at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=1488

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VintageTexas 2009 Texas Best Wines

During the past year, I had the chance to taste a number of Texas wines. This included two wine competitions, a twitter taste-off and on the wine trail on the Texas High Plains, Hill Country, North Texas and Gulf Coast. The good news to report is that the vast majority of these wines I would consider to be of high quality and competitive in the global marketplace.

The hard part was narrowing this down to just a few wines to include in the VintageTexas list of Texas’ Best Wines for 2009. I realize that I have not tasted all of the wines in Texas and therefore may have omitted some serious contenders. For this, I apologize.

The one thing that I noticed (and you should too) in this years list is that there are interesting and innovative things that Texas winemakers are doing with white wines. I do not know if this says that Texas white wines are getting better overall or that recent vintages of red wines have suffered a bit more from the weather than the white wines. Perhaps, I just tended to taste more white wines than red wines this year due to the ungodly heat we experienced this year in Texas.

Inwood Estate Vineyards, Tempranillo-Cabernet 2005 (www.inwoodwines.com)

This wine continues to impress all that taste it with its opaque, purple color and rich dark berry flavors carrying vanilla and smoke. A marriage of Texas High Plains legacy (Cabernet) and future (Tempranillo).

Times Ten Cellars, (Red Blend) Cathedral Mountain Vino de Tierra Alta 2007 (www.timestencellars.com)

This newcomer pleases with an unfathomable broth of savory cherry, vanilla, clove and coffee characteristics integrating Texas Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

More selections at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=1337

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A Meet-Up on the Texas Wine Trail and Visit to Vineyards in Alpine, Texas

Over the past year, I have read many historical accounts from travelers on horseback or stagecoach moving through Texas. Some of these descriptions were from over a hundred and fifty years ago when Texas had even more wide-open space that it has today. If Texas is one thing, it is big, and I am amazed how people would meet-up on the long, dusty trails in this state without the aid of cell phones, wi-fi, or other modern electronic devices. Well, I had one such experience yesterday while staying in Marathon, Texas.

When we reached the Cathedral Mountain Vineyard site, its name was apparent as off in the distance to the west was the appropriately-named Cathedral Mountain towering over the countryside. The vineyard consisted of two blocks totaling about 8 acres planted in wine grapes.  The top block was a large stand of Tempranillo and smaller grouping of Grenache budded out vivaciously with large green leaves and tendrils and buckshot-sized berries ready to be engaged in the process of winegrowing. I reckoned that the lower block was younger and a bit less vigorous than the upper block of vines and consisted of rows of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Mourvedre as it proceeded down hill a bit further.

More at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=1660

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