On the Northern Fringes of the Texas Wine World: BarZ Winery
After four trips to the Texas vineyards and wineries in the Texas High Plains AVA, I finally found an afternoon to break free from the Lubbock-Brownfield-Plains “Metroplex” to explore the northern fringes of the Texas wine world and visit Monty Dixon at his BarZ Winery in Canyon, TX.
As I drove, the extreme flatness of my surrounding was playing with my visual acuity to the point that I had to asked myself, “Can I actually see the curvature of the Earth here?” Then, a bit later I spotted a strange looking animal at road’s edge and my mind went further causing me a ask, “Was this northern fringe of the Texas wine world a bit like the places on the edges of the old cartographers’ maps of yore where they depicted sea monsters, dragons and such. But alas, it was only a lone coyote or perhaps just a skinny dog.
When I entered Monty’s neo-Quonset high plains wine retreat on the edge of Palo Duro Canyon, I snapped back to reality. We greeted, sat, sipped and talked wines, Monty-style. His wines are not the common tasting room fare; they are aged, mature and soft and made to ponder. At one point, I believed that Monty was determined to give me a taste of nearly every wine in the place. We started with wine from bottles and then moved to tanks. Finally, Monty climbed and thiefed wine from oak barrels stacked to the rafters nearly two stories up. We did, however, stop for dinner with friends on the winery’s patio at canyon’s edge at the last glint of orange-yelow sunlight and eventually ended under the veil of darkness punctuated with the brilliance of west Texas stars.
See more about my fringe-of-the-Texas-wine-frontier tasting experience and discussion with Monty Dixon at BarZ Winery in my Lubbock Avalanche Journal column (click here).
I’m sorry that it took me so long to get there, because the wines were complex, interesting and tasty. I highly encourage you to not wait as long as I did. Monty has four new wines that take you to new horizons in tasting: Sassy S, a Sangiovese blend; Enigmatic, a Tempranillo blend; Quattro, a Rhone blend; and Lil’ Hoss, a Cabernet blend. Monty’s got all the basis covered. Check out the BarZ 2012 harvest slide show on Amarillo.com (click here).
The tasting room is now open and they will ship FedEx to your doorstep. Their goal is to produce wines with character and complexity from 100% Texas High Plains AVA grapes. All wines are extended barrel-aged without excessive filtration or fining agents.