Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – August 6, 2010
– — – — –
Texas Wine Round-up: Mandola winery changes owners and name; state revamps online grape registry; More
by David Furer
Texas’ Mandola Estate Winery has been re-launched as the Duchman Family Winery. Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman and Trina and Damian Mandola, co-founded Mandola Winery in 2004, but the partners have parted ways and the Duchmans now are sole proprietors of the estate, which produces some 10,000 cases per year. Winemakers Dave Reilly and Mark Penna, who have been making wine there since the first vintage, are staying on.
Located near Austin in Texas Hill Country, the winery sources the majority of its fruit from the Texas High Plains AVA where cooler temperatures, more suitable for Italian winegrape varieties, prevail. The winery continues to experiment with a wide variety of grapes, and remains committed to its original goal of producing wine in central Texas using exclusively Texas-grown fruit.
– — – — –
Texas Wine: Meet the Winemaker – Ed Auler, Fall Creek Vineyards
by Jessica Dupuy
For more than 30 years Ed Auler has been a strong believer in the potential for Texas wines. In fact, he and his wife, Susan, helped pioneer the Texas wine industry with the creation of Fall Creek Vineyards near Lake Buchannan. The Auler’s have played an integral role in the steady growth of Texas wines and, despite enduring some of Texas’ most catastrophic and inconsistent weather patterns, have enjoyed great success with their wine portfolio over the years.
I recently sat down with Ed to get a little background on his story, his favorite wine to make, and where he sees the Texas Wine industry going.
– — – — –
Texas Wine Festival to Run Over Four Days in September
By Paul Vigna
Mentioned recently that Texas isn’t only a state known for its barbeque.
The 24th annual Grapefest will take place in Texas in September.
What’s now the country’s fifth-biggest wine producer [Texas] will hold its 24th annual GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest, from Sept. 16-19. It will be held, appropriately, in downtown Grapevine.
Looks like one of the unique events taking place during GrapeFest is the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, allowing visitors to assess some of Texas’ finest wines in the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation. More than 125 Texas wines will be submitted from approximately 30-plus Texas wineries. Participants will receive a Wine Reference Guide, tasting notes on each wine being served, an official voting ballot and a commemorative wine glass.
– — – — –
Texas Wine: Reviews on Snooth
The Texas wine grape industry has been thriving, on and off, since the 1600’s. In 1650, Father Garcia de San Francisco y Zuniga, the founder of El Paso, planted vineyards for the production of sacramental wine. He planted the Spanish black grape appropriately named ‘Mission’, as did most padres who established missionary outposts on the Texan plains. The Franciscans developed irrigation techniques and the vineyards flourished. Viticulture remained an important industry until the early decades of the 1800’s. Though the post Spanish era increased the population of Texas to around 100,000, for the “gringo” whisky was king. It was not until the late 1960’s and 70’s that a new wine revolution began, and today the Lone Star state is home to over 50 wineries, and ranks fifth in total wine production in the United States.
Reviews are presented on Texas wines online. Some presented aren’t Texas appellation, but you can sort through that and add your own reviews.
– — – — –
Maberry: Texas and Wine are Old Friends
By Mark Maberry
After a recent lunch at Perini Ranch Steakhouse — pairing a wonderful peppered New York strip steak with a Becker Reserve Cabernet — I realized Texas is finally making big-time wines.
The history of wine in Texas dates back to at least 1662, when Spanish missionaries at the Ysleta Mission near El Paso introduced winemaking to the new territory. Later, settlers from Europe brought vinifera vines to the High Plains of Texas, where Llano Estacado is located today, according to the winery’s website.
One of the oldest and best producers of Texas wines is the Llano Estacado winery near Lubbock. The winery began in 1976, led by a group of investors that included a Texas Tech horticulturist and chemist who liked the grape-growing potential of West Texas.
The first wines were released in 1977 and consisted of 1,300 cases. Currently, the winery produces more than 100,000 cases of wine, consisting of many different varietals, and has become one of the leaders of the Texas wine industry. The addition of Greg Bruni as vice president of winemaking in 1993 provided a big boost to the winery. Originally from California, Greg represents the third generation of his family in the wine business. He has greatly improved the quality of the wines and has overseen the expansion of Llano Estacado facilities.
– — – — –
Through the Grapevine: Time to Explore Texas Wineries
By Jennifer McInnis
If you’ve wanted to explore Texas wineries, August is full of opportunities to see winemaking techniques and try samples. Harvest events, including the Harvest Wine Trail with 26 Hill Country wineries participating, run throughout the month.
Tickets are not required, but they include perks at each winery, including complimentary tastes, a discount on purchases and local food pairings. Single tickets cost $35; couples pay $60. They can be purchased at texaswinetrail.com.
Here’s some of the scheduled events; visit texaswinetrail.com for a full schedule.
DRY COMAL CREEK VINEYARDS
When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 7, 8, 14, 15
Where: 1741 Herbelin Road, New Braunfels, (830) 885-4076, www.drycomalcreek.com
Info: Couples — one person stomps, the other collects the juice — are invited to participate in the eighth annual Order of the Purple FootGrape Stomp. Tickets cost $120 and include lunch, two glasses, two drink tickets and two T-shirts.
More events at more Texas wineries: http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food/Through_the_Grapevine_Time_to_explore_Texas_wineries_99784984.html?showFullArticle=y