Apr 062009
 

Drinking In a Bit of Texas History

Entry 2 – The Texas High Plains Vineyard Planting Tour

Continues from http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=652….

After the dinner blessing, we lined up to load our plates with the delectable delights of our communal feast.  The steaks were piled high; medium, medium-rare, marinated and not marinated. Bobby Cox’s rare steak stood alone, as if it they had just knocked off the horns and rode the critter in especially for him. With my steak taking up more than half of the available area of my plate, I was challenged to find room for the fixin’s – Sautéed mushrooms, a bake potato nearly the size of my foot, salad, cheese rolls and more. You know, food just taste better when the efforts are shared.

Bobby Cox was beaming, bright eyed with an ear-to-ear smile. You could see that this was not just any bottle of wine by the manner he and his wife, Jennifer, cradled it in their arms as they brought it to the table. The bottle was labeled 1982 Pheasant Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon but it obviously contained something much more…. What I came to realize that night was that it had a large dose of Bobby’s personal history and spirit; the blood of the grape comingled with his own blood, sweat and tears.

You see, Pheasant Ridge Winery with its estate vineyard in the Lubbock area was Bobby’s baby. The vineyard he planted in the 1970s is one of the oldest in Texas and now holds sixty acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Semillon. He was a believer in the classic varietals of vitis vinifera from the start, at a time when Texas grape growers felt that they could not be grown in Texas. However, at times, blood, sweat and tears are not enough. A few years of lean harvests led to the need to borrow money to keep the winery operational. In the early 1990s, the bank took over the winery and sold it.

Bobby was challenged by the loss, but decided to stay at the table and play his own brand of Texas Hold’em. He kept working to progress the art and science of Texas viticulture that he loved so much, and decided to put his years of experience to good use as a consultant assisting area growers manage and expand their vineyards, and helping winemakers get the best expression from Texas High Plains grapes.

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The full story from his blog will be published in an upcoming book by Russ Kane. Stay tuned for details as the publications date gets closer.

Continued at: http://vintagetexas.com/blog/?p=674

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