Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – August 24, 2009
Great Grape Stomp Off in New Braunfels, Texas (and Win Free Tickets)
Hosted by the Texas Hill Country Wineries and Vintage Oaks at the Vineyard, this annual event allows couples to test their foot stomping and juice grinding abilities. The event will be open to over 100 teams scheduled to crush over 1,000 pounds of grapes! Bring your own team to stomp, taste and explore! Arrive early to register for the grape stomp competition conducted by Dry Comal Creek Vineyards!
Not up for stomping, then come for the wine featuring award-winning Texas wineries pouring the best they have to offer. Food, games, and live music also make the event festive for all ages. Saturday, September, 12, 2009. 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets available at www.grapestomp.com or at the gate – $25/adult or $10/ages 12 – 21. Children under 11 are free. Every ticket affords you the following:
– Admission to the Grape Stomp event
– $10 Value in Tasting Coupons
– A Charitable Donation to the Comal Education Foundation
The FIRST 400 online adult ticket purchasers will receive a FREE stemless wine glass compliments of The Texas Department of Agriculture! Event to be held at Vintage Oaks at the Vineyard at the Amenity Center, 1110 Vintage Way, New Braunfels, Texas, 78132. www.vintageoakstexas.com.
Win Free Tickets to this event on VintageTexas.com – Send us a short description (up to 150 words) of your favorite vineyard/winery/home grape harvesting experience. The winners will be selected to receive a set of two tickets for the Great Grape Stomp Off event. That is a $50 value – each ticket is worth $25. Two winners will be chosen (two tickets for each winner) and they will receive a winners certificate by email and their tickets will be at ‘will call’ at the event. Post your best grape harvest experience in the comments section of this blog (CLick on blog title or icon in upper right or go to https://vintagetexas.com/?p=1106). Winners will be noftified by Tuesday, September 8, 2009. Email addresses will be held in confidence and not published with comment, and will only be used to notify the winners.
Texas Wine Grape Industry Continues Growth
Aug 19, 2009 10:06 AM, By Cary Blake, from Farm Press Editorial Staff
Twenty-five wineries dotted the Texas landscape in 1900 but were closed in 1919 due to the federal prohibition of alcohol. Wineries reopened in 1933 when prohibition was repealed.
In 2005 the Texas Legislature passed a bill allowing the shipment of Texas wines within the state.
Texas’ modern day commercial wine grape industry took root in the 1970s. The wineries Llano Estacado in Lubbock and Fall Creek in Austin are credited with pioneering today’s wine industry.
Texas’ wine grape industry faces another challenge in bringing the supply and demand of fruit into balance, Hellman says. Texas has 280 commercial wineries with 3,100 acres of vineyards. The acreage represents about 10 percent of the grapes required by the wineries. The other 90 percent is purchased out-of-state, mostly from California.
More at: http://southwestfarmpress.com/news_archive/texas-wine-grapes-0819/
Holy Sh*t! They can make wine in Texas!
Michael Wangbickler on August 22nd, 2009 from Cavemanwines.com
I spent last weekend in Dallas, Texas at the Drink Local Wine Conference and TEXSOM. While the general goal of the DLW Conference was to discuss the topic of local wine, the overall focus was on Texas wine specifically. Afterall, that was where we were.
I have to say that I have tried a few Texas wines in the past and have never been impressed. They were either too tannic and lacking in fruit, or just plain weird. During the conference, we had the opportunity to taste about 50 or so Texas wines. I think my Tweet during the conference sums it up: “Holy Shit! They can make wine in Texas!” I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the wines overall.
More at: http://cavemanwines.com/blog/2009/08/22/holy-sht-they-can-make-wine-in-texas/
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Real Texas Wine Tour
by david on August 17, 2009 from realtexasblog.com
We were in Kerrville earlier in the week and took a drive on over to Fredericksburg. I really like that area of Texas and of course it goes without saying that most of that area is Real Texas and full of Real Texans. I guess it’s the German heritage that appeals to me. I can just see all the old timers there coming to town and staying in their Sunday houses, attending church, visiting, going to the store, and tending to errands they needed to do. Then it was back to work.
While there, we started looking for a birthday gift for a niece. We decided on a bottle of Texas wine and started the search. I’m probably still not …..a Real Texas Wino; Wine is just not my thing. But it is the ‘thing’ for lots of other folks and the manager of D’Vine Wine in Fredericksburg is a very nice young man who can fix you up with a special bottle and a special label to personalize your gift of wine. We called it Copper Dog Farms Wine, in honor of the young Werst’s passion for copper colored dogs and organic gardening.
More at: http://realtexasblog.com/2009/08/17/real-texas-wine-tour/
Planting season 2007 found more than a dozen of us trying to get 500 fledgling grape vines into the ground. Not an unusual scene at Esperanza Vineyard in the Texas Hill Country, but considering it doesn’t typically sleet in April a very chilling experience. We had to plant in shifts to keep our fingers from freezing. The grapes are strong & hardy after their difficult childhood and have grown into beautiful vines, already producing their first harvest.
Thanks for your comments. This is typical of a region that has to understand both warm weather and cold weather issues in grape varietal selection and vineyard practices.
Somewhere (and I can’t remember where, but maybe on an Medittereanean island, or someplace like that), the grape vines are each planted at the bottom of what look like a hole in the ground about 4 feet in diameter to protect them from the wind and to gather any available rain.
Favorite wine stomp memory – invited my family out to the Dry Comal Creek winery in early August- nothing like looking to my left and seeing my tiny 58 year old mother doing the twist in a barrel while my dad was dripping in sweat trying to keep the vent clean laughing hysterically- might have been easier if she’d put her wine glass down. I have a great picture from that day – picture of all the ladies feet – purple!
Wine Story–I have always liked wine since the first moment I tried it, which happened to be out of a bota on a ski trip. Over the years, I have tasted many many wines and toured quite a few wineries in Texas and Sonoma. When I met my husband, he was not the biggest fan of wine, but after being with me a while and touring the hill country, he has acquired a liking to the Sangiovese….which I had never tried till I met him! Shocking! I thought that I had tried most wines. I find that by going to different wineries, you meet fun and interesting people, and hear lots of funny jokes and stories. One memorable person is a gentleman at Dry Comal, who has entertained my friends and me on a couple of occasions. Bottom line, drinking wine is great fun and it always brings happy people together.
Making Wine — Some years ago I was going to make blackberry wine. I planted the vines, nurtured them, and harvested the berries. We would freeze the berries until we had enough to make about 5 gal.s. Well, thawing the berries and fermenting the juice is harder than it sounds. It turned to vinegar. So, next year I did it very carefully and had a yeast starter to pour on the frozen berries as they thawed. It too turned to vinegar! I must have had blackberry vinegar around here for 6-9 years before I finally dumped it. Now, I have learned to appreciate good wine even if it gets expensive.
These days internet dating has out distanced church socials and clubing by a mile. Gruene is the perfect spot to meet a potential love interest and spend the day shopping, walking and talking. Texas Hill Country Winery is the ultimate location to find that ideal bottle of wine, while you are there, for an afternoon picnic. That is if all goes well after that first encounter. I should know. My current gentleman friend and I met for the first time that way. Now, we have a favorite wine that we discovered and purchase there that we return for, for special events and occasions. It always reminds us of the lovely day we first met.
Wine stomping story – For a close friends birthday a few of us decided to go stomp grapes for the first time. Because it was all our first time – and it was to celebrate a birthday my girlfriend and I decided to make t-shirts to honor the birthday girl. The grape stomping event took place in Brenham and was called “Crush for Fun” – so we made shirts that said “Crushin’ 4 Christina” on them. (The birthday girl has the same name as me.) The shirt we made for the honoree said “Just like wine I improve with age”.
We all had a blast. They allowed us to go to the vineyards to pick our our grapes – then we dropped them in a barrel and got to stompin’! It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and quite a memorable experience. And we all still have the t-shirts we made to remember it by!
I’ve posted photos on Flickr of our adventures – please take a look! http://www.flickr.com/photos/42105592@N06/sets/72157622218230590/
One of my goals is to visit every winery in Texas. My husband Dan & I, along with friends, Mary & Ken, plan our weekend excursions toward winery’s. So far we have hit 26. We’ve visited a winery that took us back to the 60’s, and one w/ a one legged dog, two or three that ran us through like cattle, some have a B&B and others have a restaurant, some give tours of their operation and many we actually met the ventnor. We enjoy a sample of wine while sitting in the vineyard or viewing the vineyard from a cliff. My favorite is, listening to the ventnor tell the trials and tribulations of wine making.
Winery story- Our love story started in college. We were college sweethearts. After 10 years of marriage and two beautiful children, we divorced and tried to go on with life. 2 years later we were dating again! Two months after he moved back in, we found out Brian had a 3 cm brain tumor. The tumor was removed a month later. After months of recovery and learning to deal with deafness in one ear and partial facial paralysis, Brian surprised me with a trip to the hill country. He had a limosine pick us up at our bed and breakfast we were staying at. He had arranged for a limo to take us and 2 other couples we were good friends with to go to several wineries in the NB area. Having lived in NB for a couple of years after college, this was the perfect retreat as it is always like going back home! It was a wonderful trip and one I shall never forget!