Write Off the Vine – Texas Wine News (Harvest 2012 Edition)
The 2012 Texas Wine Harvest is Coming Fast: Both On Vine and Online
Grape harvest time in Texas usually starts on or around July 1st. This year it’s already here; a bit earlier than normal with some gulf-area vineyards with Blanc Du Bois starting around June 20th. If you want to participate in this year’s harvest, you can do it either online or on the vine.
Denise Clark (@DeniseClarkeTX), Jeff Cope (@TXwineLover) and I (@VintageTexas) hope you can join us for the next TXwine Twitter Tuesday at 7 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012. This month we’d like to share tales from Texas Wine Grape Harvests (2012 or in the past) by posting comments and pictures. Join in on Twitter.
If you prefer your harvesting on the vine, check out the upcoming Texas vineyard harvest and grape stomping festivities:
- Haak Winery and Vineyards Harvest Festival (Santa Fe, TX) – July 7th, 2012. Details: http://www.haakwine.com/haak-events/2012/04/july-7th-harvest-festival/
- Paradox House Vineyard Harvest (Industry, TX) – July 8th, 2012. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-435-7227 by July 5 so we will have a headcount (Will be serving BBQ, beans, bread, and drinks; bring a dish to share).
- Messina Hof Winery and Resort (Bryan, TX) – July 20th thru August 19th, 2012. Both Evening and Daytime harvest events and gala. Details: http://www.messinahof.com/events_calendar.php
- Pleasant Hill 11th Annual Crush for Fun (Brenham, TX) – July 21 thru August 12th, 2012. Get purple feet and a special T-shirt (Kids too). Details: http://www.pleasanthillwinery.com/2012-PHW-crush-for-fun.pdf
- Becker Vineyards Grape Stomp Festival (Stonewall, TX) – August 25-26, 2012. Includes I Love Lucy grape stomp costume contest. http://www.beckervineyards.com/
- Fall Creek Vineyards (Tow, TX) – August 18 and 25, 2012. Activities include grape stomping, cooking demos, wine and food pairing specials, and more. http://www.fcv.com/Grapestomp.html
Details for both online and on vine activities are at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=6365. Hope you can join us online on July 10th to share Texas vineyard, harvest, stomping experiences/pictures.
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Texas Wine: CapRock Winery Makes A Comeback
by Jessica Dupuy (Eat My Words/Texas Monthly)
By now we all know that the Napa Valley of Texas is the Hill Country—at least in appearance. The winding roads that bend around ranches and homesteads and lanscapes of live oak mots and cedar-post fences. And every now and then, you come upon rows and rows of vineyard. Of course, it’s on a significantly smaller scale than the vineyards you see in Napa. And if you judge by the amount of wine many of these wineries are selling, you can quickly estimate that there’s no possible way these vineyards are supplying all of the juice these wineries need to fill these bottles….But what if you want to check out where the heart of the Texas Wine agriculture really is? Are there wineries up there that you can visit? Absolutely, though they are few and far between. In fact, three primary spots I’d point you too can be all be visited in a single day and they include: McPherson Cellars, Llano Estacado Winery and CapRock Winery.
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Like That Wine? Try This One: A Guide to Texas Wine Varietals
by Katharine Shilcutt (Eating My Words/HoustonPress)
In last week’s cover story, we discussed the fact that Texas vineyards still stubbornly grow varietals that aren’t suited to the Texan weather or soil — well-known grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay. But they’re doing it for a reason: Too many wine drinkers don’t want to stray from the varietals they know and love.
So here’s a suggestions, Texas wine drinkers: Try a wine that is similar to your preferred grape, but which actually thrives here. You just might discover a new favorite, and you’ll encourage Texas grape growers to diversify their offerings as a result. It’s a win-win all around.
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It’s Now Official: Texas Wine is the Official Wine of the Texas Hamburger!
Super-Size Your Texas Hamburger with a Glass of Texas Wine
Calling all Texas wineries and Texas Hamburger lovers, too.
According to “Hambassador” Rick Vanderpool, “It’s time to name your favorite Texas wine that you think is best-paired with the Texas Hamburger.” Why?
Well, the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association Board of Directors recently voted to adopt the Texas Wine as “The Official Wine of the Texas Hamburger”. They encouraged Texas Wineries to select one of their wines that’s the perfect complement for the Texas Hamburger and market this wine on their winery’s website. TWGGA is also going to update winery members’ information on the association website with the wine chosen to pair with the Texas Hamburger.
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High Plains Vineyards Tour [The Primo Grapegrowing Region in Texas]
By Jeff Cope (TXWineLover)
Dusty Timmons, former viticulture advisor for the past two years for the West Texas region including the High Plains, had offered to give us a tour of the High Plain vineyards whenever we went to the Lubbock area. Since he had to travel to the various vineyards and help with any problems they may have in their vineyard, we could not have asked for a better guide so we gladly accepted his offer.
We met Dusty in Brownfield and jumped into his truck to begin the tour. We learned later it was a great idea to be in a pickup instead of the small car we had rented with the roads we drove on. The biggest concentration of vineyards is just east of Brownfield with around 300 acres in about 6 or 7 square miles. Terry County, where Brownfield is located, has the highest concentration of vineyards anywhere in the state of Texas, and includes the two largest vineyards in the state. Terry County has around 700 acres of grapes in its 30 square miles. Last year the state of Texas produced about 3,100 tons of grapes and this year alone Terry County will produce almost 4,000 tons.
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The Best Wine in Texas? La Cruz de Comal Pétard Blanc Tasting Notes
by Jeremy Parzen (Eating Our Words/HoustonPress)
“Pétard Blanc,” writes La Cruz de Comal owner Lewis Dickson on his winery’s Web site, “is a proprietary name and means ‘white firecracker’ in French. We call it that because of the hallmark natural acidity this wine always has and thus, its explosiveness on the palate.”
If you read our recent cover story on the Texas wine industry, “Texas Wines: Behind the Cellar Door,” you know that attaining healthy acidity in wine is one of the great challenges that Texas winemakers face.
In the case of criminal defense attorney-turned-winemaker and native Houstonian Lewis Dickson, he is able to deliver acidity-driven white wines thanks to the grape that goes into the bottle — Blanc du Bois, a hybrid naturally high in acidity developed by Florida University researchers to combat Pierce’s disease.
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Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant
from Trip Advisor
Chef Ross Burtwell’s wonderful and creative cuisine is paired with Texas wine. He has the largest (and amazingly diverse) Texas wine list in the whole dang universe!
“Delicious food, wonderful atmosphere” – Fabulous food. We ate on the patio complete with water feature.
“Elegant and delicious meal!” – Food and service were fantastic. I had the coconut shrimp with beef tenderloin and my husband had the chicken fried ribeye steak topped with the lobster in a cream sauce. Through the recommendation of the waitress we enjoyed a wonderful wine with our meal. Everything well worth the money!
For more reviews and map, click here. Location: 2805 S State Hwy 16, Fredericksburg, TX 78624