Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – July 8, 2010
The Best Place to Drink Texas Wine
From Gray Market Report (7/1/2010)
Recently I visited Texas wine country, about which I wrote this column for Wine Review Online.
Texas may be the 5th largest wine-producing state in the US, but it’s not easy to find Texas wines on a wine list. Many fine-dining establishments in Dallas carry only a token Becker Vineyards wine or two.
Thus I was delighted to discover Fredericksburg’s Cabernet Grill, which has an all-Texas wine list. Chef Ross Burtwell is originally from Detroit, but he’s a believer in the locavore movement. He had about 50% Texas wines until a couple years ago, when he decided to go all Texas, all the time.
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More on Texas Wines on Restaurant Wine Lists….
Texas Wine: Coming to a Wine List Near You
by Jessica Dupuy Eat My Words 7/2/2010
These days most chef/owner restaurants worth their gourmet salt are touting the bounty of locally-sourced foods on their menus. With national pioneers such as Alice Waters from Chez Panisse championing the local foods trend from as far back as the 1970s, “farm to table” is hardly a new concept—though with the haphazard way the phrase has been tossed about in the past couple of years you’d think it was.
In Texas, local sourcing is starting to refer to wine as often as it is to the food. Many of our favorite dining establishments, from Houston’s T’afia, Haven, and Mark’s, to Dallas’ Pappas Bros. Steakhouse and Canary Café, are making space on their wine lists for Texas wines.
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Texas Wines are a Best Kept Secret
By Kim Morgan, Ultimate Conroe – 7/6/2010
“The Texas wine industry is the best kept secret in the world,” said Billy Cox, who sits on the board of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. “The more wineries we have, the more consumption we have. The more consumption we have, the more production we have.”
Cox, owner and wine-maker at Retreat Hill Winery and Vineyard in Navasota, said it takes 800 grapes to make one bottle of wine. He said white-grape picking season is just around the corner, typically mid to late July in Texas.
This August, Cox is gearing up to open Retreat Hills Cellar in Montgomery.
“We’ll do our production in Navasota, which means crushing grapes, fermenting them into grape juice and making wine,” Cox said. “Then we’ll transfer it to the Montgomery facility, barrel it, age it, and bottle it.”
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The Stout Report: Texas Wine and Grape Growing – Part 1
By Guy Stout, The Blend – 7/2/2010
What is the single largest challenge to grape growing in the Texas Hill Country?
I was recently asked that question by a local restaurant director who is writing an article on Texas wine and grape growing.
It is hard to identify any one single greatest challenge, it’s a string of events that culminate with what you hope is a crop.
It starts in the spring with the late freeze which is almost always after bud break, killing the tender young shoots. Then comes the high winds during flowering to prevent consistent fruit set, followed by tornadic hail conditions.
We discovered a little moth a few years ago that has spread thru the USA wine regions called the grape berry moth, or GBM….
The mood is one of optimism. I attended a grower’s work shop at Flat Creek Winery up on Lake Travis last month and everyone has their fingers crossed. You can feel the excitement among the other growers, not just grape growers, peach, strawberry, corn and pecan growers. This is the best crop of peaches since 05 or 06 for most of the growers. Vogel peaches in Stonewall in the Hill Country picked some of the finest white peaches I have ever tasted. I just needed a bottle of Prosecco to put it over the top.
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Our Chardonnay was a success!
D. Potter, Home made Wine, Texas Wine – 7/6/2010
Well, tonight we had our grand tasting of our Chardonnay-style table wine. As we were making this wine we sampled a little bit at a time just about each step of the way. As we have learned with the help of other wine makers tasting the wine you make along the way gives you a better understanding of the wine making process. The pungent aromas and flavors progressed evenly from the earthy mineral infant stage to the crisp and clean finish when we bottled.
The day we bottled, we chilled a bottle via the express freezer and toasted to the fruits of our labors. Well, ‘fruits’ isn’t quite accurate, but it was definitely palatable. Suffice it to say, it was not exciting in taste but drinkable none the less. The rest of the 24 bottles were stored in the cool kitchen cupboard on their side within wine carrying boxes and no light interaction.
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Texas Wine and Song Festival
The Texas Wine & Song Festival, presented by Regions Bank, returns for a second year to downtown Austin on Sunday, October 19th, from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. This year’s event, located in and around the Copper Tank Events Center, corner of 5th and Trinity streets, features local favorites The Gourds, Carolyn Wonderland and Suzanna Choffel, more than six Texas wineries and local restaurants, plus opportunities to learn more about wine and cocktail mixology through a series of seminars throughout the event.
The festival will again raise funds for the SIMS Foundation, a local non-profit that provides financial support and access to mental health services for Austin area musicians and their families, and Texas Wine & Song Foundation, a newly-formed non-profit that will provide scholarships and grants for the study and development of Texas enology and viticulture.