Write Off The Vine: Texas Wine News – November 9, 2010
Big Red Fundraiser at Charlie Palmer’s Benefits North Texas Food Bank
by Andrew Chalk (Sidedish)
Charlie Palmer’s at The Joule held a major wine and food fundraiser for the North Texas Food Bank to help correct that situation. The Big Red, was a two-night event. Friday was the opening salvo, Taste of The Big Red, a walk around tasting of wines from 20 Texas wineries and food by an A-list of Dallas restaurants.
2009 Texas Hills Vineyard Toro de Texas, Tempranillo, Newsom Vineyard High Plains AVA . I have never had their wines before but this Tempranillo, made from grapes from the most famous vineyard in Texas, is a solid example. Color: Young wine purplish red. Nose: Characteristic Tempranillo red fruit (raspberry). Some oak in the nose. Soft tannins and forward fruit in the mouth.
2007 Kiepersol Estates, Barrel 33 Texas Wish. Texas. Estate Bottled. A Cabernet-Merlot blend. Dusty nose, Chewy tannins, fruit-oak-tannin mix gives it great character. Medium length finish. Bucking the trend towards forgettable Merlot (everywhere in the state) and Cabernet Sauvignon (everywhere in the state except West Texas) this Tyler-grown blend stands tall as a complex, exciting, New World wine.
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Texas Wine: Meet the Winemaker – Greg Bruni, Llano Estacado Winery
by Jessica Dupuy (Texas Monthly, Eat My Words)
Greg Bruni knows a thing or two about wine. A third generation winemaker from California with a degree from the University of California at Davis, and a diverse career in restoring and building California wineries, Bruni has dedicated both his technical know-how and his finely-tuned palate to the art of making good wine. In 1993, he and his wife decided to leave their life in the Santa Cruz mountains and explore a whole new challenge: Texas Wine. Bruni became the head winemaker for Llano Estacado Winery, an estate that was growing by leaps and bounds and having great success with grapes from the High Plains region of Texas.
Greg Bruni: “We make gorgeous Tempranillo in Texas and beautiful Viongiers. These varieties are very exciting for winemakers here. But at the same time. Llano Estacado and a few other wineries have had a lot of success with more conventional grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, and even Chardonnay.”
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Meet the Fort Worth Doc Behind Brennan Vineyards
by Jenny B. Davis (Fort Worth Star Telegram)
Started from scratch by a retired Fort Worth physician and his wife just five years ago in the small town of Comanche, its varietals and blends have already won international awards. Ten varieties of grapes cover nearly 40 acres, and a trio of buildings buzzes with tastings, tours, wine dinners, concerts and even weddings and corporate meetings.
The Brennans started getting into wine when Pat was a medical resident, and for 40 years, they developed their palates through wine dinners, tastings, classes and trips to vineyards in Napa and Italy. To gain technical knowledge, Pat enrolled in classes at the T.V. Munson Viticulture and Enology Center in Denison.
“Winemaking is like medicine, in that there’s a lot of science and art,” Pat says. “But with winemaking, you can’t just rely on measuring — ultimately, it’s all subjective, how the wine smells and tastes.”
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Texas wine makers crush competition in New York
By Andrew D. Brosig, Killeen Daily Herald (Killeen Daily Herald)
A Central Texas vintner was among the winners last week in the annual Grapes and Gridiron Classic, billed as a fun competition between wine makers in Texas and New York timed to coincide with the recent NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. In the “spirited but friendly competition,” Texas wineries won an 8-3 decision in the blind taste-test.
About 30 wine aficionados, including representatives of both state’s wine industries, tasted 11 pairings of select wines from Texas and New York. Helping to secure the title for Texas this year was Dan Gatlin of Dallas, whose Inwood Estates winery production facility is located on the grounds of The Vineyard at Florence.
“It’s been a long process to discover what works, and what doesn’t work,” Gatlin said. “Now that we’re able to discover some things that are working well, we’ll be able to really get some traction.”
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Raise Your Glass to Texas Wine History
The last few years I had the opportunity to live in both San Francisco and Napa Valley and work in the thriving California wine industry. Overall it was a very enriching experience; I learned a lot about the micro-climates that dictate Northern California’s growing seasons, met some notable winemakers from around the world, and tasted some excellent vino on a regular basis.
During my time there, one thing that always bothered me was that when I’d tell someone I’m originally from Texas, more often than not, they’d respond with something asinine, like, “Texas?! Do they even make wine in Texas?” It’s similar to when I returned to Houston and I’d mention what I’d been up to over the last few years; sometimes I’d hear, “San Francisco?! So you one of them shoeless, pot-smoking hippies?” Human ignorance knows no bounds.
As we’re closing out October, Texas Wine Month, why not take a look back into our state’s rich history in wine? Vino has been produced in the Lone Star State since the 1600s.