Mar 122013
 

Harvesting Blanc Du Bois in Texas

Texas Grape Growers Committee to host Blanc Du Bois Symposium: May 10, 2013

I’ve had some pretty good comments back (many by direct email rather than comments on the blog) from my recent post about Messina Hof Winery‘s new white wine offering of Blanc Du Bois (click here). It is reflective of how far this grape has come in Texas to the point where Texas is the top producer of wines from Blanc Du Bois with more than 20 wineries making commercial wines, and even a top-rated Texas winery like Messina Hof has accepted it into their portfolio  of wines.

There is still more action to be reported on the Blanc Du Bois front in Texas. I recevied a recent mailing from the Austin County Ag News indicating that the Austin County Grape Growers Committee, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association will be sponsoring a symposium specifically on Blanc Du Bois on Friday, May 10th, at the Cat Spring Agricultural Society Hall (Cat Spring, TX).

This event will feature growers and wine makers from all over the southeastern United States interested in Blanc Du Bois, a hybrid bunch grape that was crossed in 1968 by John Mortensen at the University of Florida. Since its release, Blanc Du Bois hsa found its way into commercial production in southeatern states, but currently Texas is the leader in Blanc Du Bois production with more than 150 acres in production. Austin county alone has over 30 acres planted in this grape.

The morning session on May 10th will involve presentations about growing Blanc Du Bois and will concentrate on the experience in south central Texas with Fritz Westover, Texas Agrilife Extension Program Specialist and Chris Brundrett, Viticultural Consultant, co-owner of William Chris Vineyards, as featured speakers. The afternoon sessions will focus on making wine with Blanc Du Bois and include presentations by Raymond Haak, Owner of Haak Vineyards & Winery in Santa Fe, who has long championed this grape and had his Blanc Du Bois wines medal in international wine competitions; Jim Evans, Enologist (Lost Oak Winery); Genie Burgess, Vice President of Lakeridge Winery in Florida.

Haak Blanc Du Bois

The program is scheduled to begin with registration from 8:30 to 9:00 am and the sessions to begin thereafter and last until about 4 pm. The registration fee is $65 per person that will be charged at the door. This fee will include all handouts, break refreshments and a catered lunchtime meal.

Anyone interested in registration for this program is asked to contact the Texas Agrilife Extension Service office in Austin County at 979-865-2072 or by email at: austin-tx@tamu.edu

Vertical Tasting of Blanc Du Bois

 

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