Want a Real Texas Wine and Wine Country Experience? Try the Gulf Coast
In 2010, the total producing acres of grape vines in the Texas Gulf Coast region reached 44 for Blanc du Bois (white wine grape) and 49 for Black Spanish (red wine grape). Newly planted acreage is somewhat in favor of Blanc du Bois, with 24 acres of non-producing vines reported, compared to 14 new acres of Black Spanish. Favorite was the third most widely planted vinifera hybrid grape. Muscadine grapes (e.g. Noble, Carlos, Cowart) make up a small fraction of Gulf Coast production, but recent planting in the eastern part of the region has brought the total to just over 10 acres. Total planted acres of the top three Pierce’s Disease tolerant varieties are shown in the chart below, compared to total acreage of muscadine grapes.
Acreage of European winegrape varieties (Vitis Vinifera) in the region is up by about 18 acres, bringing the total to 29 acres. The planting of grape varieties susceptible to Pierce’s Disease (PD) (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Viognier) still remains a risky endeavor in the Gulf Coast region of Texas. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service will continue to educate new growers about the challenges associated with these varieties, while exploring the potential for new PD-tolerant varieties. For more information about PD visit:
Source: Fritz Westover, Texas Gulf Coast Vineyard Update (December 2010)
Discover a Real Texas Wine and Wine Country Experience
VintageTexas Note: If you haven’t tried Texas wines made from Blanc Du Bois or Black Spanish (Lenoir), it’s high time. There has been real progress made over the past ten years in terms of determining optimal harvest and fermentation parameters for these two varietals that now allow the making a quality wines that you’d be proud to serve on any table or at any occasion.
The good news for consumers is that wines from Blanc Du Bois come in a range of styles from dry, off-dry, semi-sweet, sweet, unoaked and oak aged. In these different styles, Blanc Du Bois has characteristics that range from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Riesling. Black Spanish has been mainly used to make sweet and Port-style wines, but progress has also been made using it as a base for red table wines and blends.
Furthermore, if your a Texan and looking for a true Texas wine experience, Blanc Du Bois and Black Spanish offer the real deal. There are more acres of these two varietals in Texas than anywhere else. Blanc Du Bois found its home in Texas within the past decade moving from Florida where it was bred and given life. However, Black Spanish has been here since the Texas pioneer days and was the basis for the fledgling Texas wine industry of the 1800s utilized by many immigrant Texas farmers for their winemaking endeavors.
For links to wineries in the southeastern and gulf coast regions of Texas:
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Snowbirds and other travelers…Come on down to Texas and experience great winter weather, wonderful birding, and a great glass of Texas wine.