Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – November 12, 2009

Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – November 12, 2009

TWGGA Grape Camp
By Wes Marshall – Austin Chronicle

Ask almost any of them, and they’ll tell you that, as nascent winemakers and grape growers, the single most helpful thing they did was go to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) Grape Camp (www.txwines.org).

Gene Estes, current president of TWGGA and president of Lone Oak Winery (www.loneoakwinery.com), is a perfect example. “Grape Camp was a great first step for me,” he said. “They break it down into a beginner’s day [Sunday, Nov. 15] and a more technical day [Monday, Nov. 16]. The best part for the new folks is that they get to meet a lot of real professionals as well as viticulture and enology teachers. They tell you the real nuts-and-bolts stuff, like how much it costs per acre, how to set up your irrigation, and which grapevines and rootstocks to use.”

That’s what happens during the day, but some of the best learning happens Sunday night at the barbecue. It’s bring-your-own-wine, and historically, many of Texas’ best winemakers got their first public exposure by showing up as amateurs and pouring samples of their wines for the gathered professionals.

More at: http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid:908170

Five Rules: Go Local for Thanksgiving

Source a Local Meal for Turkey Day with our Top Expert Tips

Two weeks from today, we’ll all be sitting down to a very special annual meal.

These days, Thanksgiving means many things to many people – great football, all-you-can-eat pie and gearing up for Black Friday shopping, just to name a few.  But as we all know, this holiday is truly a celebration of community.

On the first Thanksgiving, a shared meal represented friendship and the promise of many fruitful harvests to come.  Going local for your family’s feast is a wonderful way to get back to the roots of this tradition. 

To that end, we’ve compiled a handy expert tip sheet to help you source everything from main dish to sides to dessert.  Read on for the delicious details.

Rule 4 – Pour a Texas wine
Merrill Bonarrigo of Messina Hof Winery & Resort in Bryan offers this advice on choosing a wine for your holiday meal:  “The first rule is to serve whatever wine you like with whatever kind of food you like. Some people think the ‘wine police’ are out there watching you but, trust me, they’re not.”  Smart lady!  Messina Hof wines are widely available in the Metroplex at grocery and liquor stores.  More specifically, Tina Marken of Brennan Vineyards (www.brennanvineyards.com) in Comanche recommends Viognier with turkey and cornbread dressing.  Ask for Texas versions of this floral white from Brennan and Becker Vineyards (www.beckervineyards.com).

Four more rules for a great Thanksgiving Day feast at: http://www.nbcdfw.com/around-town/food-drink/Five-Rules-Go-Local-for-Thanksgiving-69837397.html

Winery Owner Flies Parlayed Hobby into Second Career
Erik Onstott – The Orange Leader

When one thinks of wine-producing regions int he United States, Texas might not usually come to mind. However, there are over 150 wineries spread across the Lone Star State, with one being located right here in Orange.

Alfred Flies, the owner of Piney Woods Country Wines (www.pineywoodswines.com), has been making and selling wine for nearly a quarter of a century; initially licensed downtown in 1985, Flies’ winery has been at its current location just northeast of Interstate 10 and Martin Luther King Drive since 1987. Flies got the idea to start the winery when he was getting ready to retire in the early 1980s; he said he has been making his own wine as a hobby while still operating ‘Alfreds Interiors,’ which he owned and operated for over 29 years. Piney Woods Country Wines is one of the pioneer wineries in Texas.

“We now have a distributor that sells to our 18 Texas tasting rooms as well as Spec’s,” Flies said, referring to the South Texas chain of wine, spirit and cigar stores, “which has increased our business considerably. The winery has been thriving despite drought as well as muscadine crops being short since the destruction of most of our producing vines during Hurricane Rita.” Flies pointed out that unlike many vintners, he grows all of his own grapes; what fruit he can’t grow, Flies buys from other growers.

More at: http://www.orangeleader.com/local/local_story_313082346.html

Messina Hof Winery and Resort Named Official 2009 Texas Bowl Sponsor

Messina Hof, the fastest growing award-winning winery and resort in Texas, has been named as an official sponsor of the 2009 Texas Bowl, announced Messina Hof Co-founders Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo.

Houston, TX (PRWEB) November 11, 2009 — Messina Hof, the fastest growing award-winning winery and resort in Texas, has been named as an official sponsor of the 2009 Texas Bowl, announced Messina Hof Co-founders Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo.

The 2009 Texas Bowl will be held on December 31, 2009 at Reliant Stadium and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

“We are proud to be chosen as a sponsor of this national sporting event for the third consecutive year,” said Paul Bonarrigo. “Messina Hof takes great pride in partnering with the Texas Bowl in raising money for DePelchin Children’s Center, one of Houston’s greatest charities. It is our hope that through this partnership we are truly able to help DePelchin fulfill its mission to make a difference in the lives of children and families in Houston.”

More at: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/messina-hof-winery-and-resort,1039363.shtml

Chocolate Festival of Texas
By Lauren McKechnie – HoustonPress.com

This Saturday at the Chocolate Festival of Texas, Eating Our Words set out to see just how much chocolate and wine $25 will buy you at a Sheraton near IAH.

The answer is about five half-glasses with no obligation to pour any out, and enough chocolate to make you consider trashing all remaining Halloween candy. There were chocolates and there were wines, but the most notable finds fell into the “both” category.

A chocolate wine: Landon Winery (www.landonwinery.com) from McKinney boasts a limited-production “Chocolate Finale” red dessert wine, which has to be one of the more tolerable dessert wines I’ve had–it’s not syrupy and overdone but chocolately in a dark way that blends flavors well.

More at: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2009/11/chocolate_festival_of_texas.php

Dallas Wine Trail – Drink Dallas at Dallas Wine Trail’s First event: November 21st 2009 @ 4 Dallas Wineries

The third event of the Dallas Wine Trail is about to commence involving four
wineries located in Dallas, TX:
• CALAIS Winery
• FUQUA Winery
• Inwood Estates
• Times Ten Cellars

For this event, to be held Saturday, November 21st 2009, each winery will be pouring three of their wines and paring some light food with them. The event will be from 11 am to 5 pm.

Each participant will receive a gift bag including:
A bottle of wine of one of the participating wineries
A beautiful 19oz Dallas Wine Trail glass
12 samples of wine (3 at each winery)
Food pairing at each winery

Personnel from each winery will be present and available to explain the winery’s
philosophy, wine profiles and production method used for each wine.

All the wines poured will also be available for sale to drink onsite or offsite.

Tickets are available online on preorder at http://www.dallaswinetrail.com/ for $39 and at $45 at the door.

CALAIS Winery: 3000 Commerce St
FUQUA Winery: 3737 Atwell St, Suite #103
Inwood Estates: 1350 Manufacturing St, Suite #209
Times Ten Cellars: 6324 Prospect Avenue

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