Texas Vineyard Scenes – Splendor in the Vines
Texas Hill Country AVA View, Central Texas: The Vineyard at Florence (www.thevineyardatflorence.com)
“The southwest wine traveler reaps the benefits, not just of the natural beauty of the area, but of a local industry with vintners and other professionals who are world-savvy, educated, and widely experienced, but who are also dedicated to supporting their local economies, keeping their wines natural and ecologically sustainable, and providing a personal touch for visitors.”
More at: www.examiner.com/x-16812-Southwest-Wine-Travel-Examiner~y2009m7d17-Southwest-Wine-Travel-101–giant-Napa-without-the-attitude
Flat Creek Estate Winery near Marble Falls, Texas (www.flatcreekestate.com)
“Flat Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery captures the romance and charm one would anticipate when visiting any renowned wine region in the world. The 80-acre estate is located in the Texas Hill Country just outside of Austin.”
Messina Hof Vineyard on the Brazos (www.messinahof.com)
“Bryan / College Station has great weather. We get enough heat in the summer to ripen the fruit. It’s mild enough in the winter that we don’t get problems with winter kill. And the grape that we grow here is called Lenoir, otherwise known as Black Spanish, and it makes the most incredible port.”
More at: www.lifeinthebrazos.com/articles/paul_bonarrigo_on_the_brazos_valley
Texas Vineyard in the Summer
“In the hill country of Central Texas, there are several local owned vineyards that dot this part of Texas.”
More at: www.pbase.com/jstpeter/image/81521112
Texas Hills Vineyard Near Johnson City, Texas (www.texashillsvineyard.com)
“Texas has a long history of wine production. The sunny and dry climate of the major wine making regions in the state have drawn comparison to Portuguese wines. Some of the earliest recorded Texas wines were produced by Spanish missionaries in the 1650s near El Paso. The state is home to over 36 members of the Vitis grape vine family with fifteen being native to the state, more than any other region on earth.”
More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_wine
Droughts Help Vineyard says Texas Winemaker Haak in Galveston County, Texas (www.haakwine.com)
“The heat is good also because it keeps the humidity down. There’s no condensation in the vines and it hastens the repening. It speeds up the ripening of the wine grape.”
Even though drought is good for the vineyard, the sunlight is not as great. “You don’t want to have your grape clusters exposed to the sun directly, becasue they can get sunburned and that can effect the quality of the skin and part of the juice,” he explained.
More at: www.farmplusfinancial.com/blog/?page_id=216
Napa Valley Style in the Texas Hill County: Sold!
“24 acres of wine country heaven. This gorgeous property features a 4 bedroom 3 bath custom built home that sits upon a ridge overlooking the vineyard below. Producing Sangiovese and Cabernet grapes this beautiful estate offers a little bit of Napa for a fraction of the price. Just down the road from the world famous Salt Lick BBQ and vineyard/winery and the Mandola Estate Winery and restaurant, this property offers total privacy, hill country views and room to relax and unwind. With the huge, 2 zone air conditioned barn this property can be modified to accommodate horses and/or goats for milking and cheese making. You decide what to do to make this property your very own. Endless opportunity awaits you. This Vineyard offers first class amenities just minutes from the live music capital of the world and the hippest city in Texas, Austin. SOLD – $879,000.”
More at: http://www.vinesmart.com/real_estate/listings/united_states/texas/hill_country/hill_country_vineyards_for_sale.html
Texas High Plains Tierra Roja
“Surely the best way of easing the carbon footprint is to grow grapes closer to the markets which want the wine. If Texas can produce wines as fine as Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin and perhaps Coonawarra (see articles below), then why shouldn’t Texas be producing such fruit for the US market? Coonawarra’s terra rossa over limestone: Half of Texas is like this, given the lone star’s propensity to plunge at one boom after another, can it learn to avoid Australia’s huge mistakes? Is cabernet really the answer to anything, without the other, more difficult to grow blending varieties used by France to temper, flesh and spice Cabernet since the beginning?”
More from this Australian blogger at: http://drinkster.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html
We are a west Texas winery and trying to find land for our vineyards. If anyone knows any land or farmers in El Paso that would be interested in planting and growing under contract for us, we want to talk.
Posted by Joe Hamburger
I’ve had several Texas wines, and while some are good, most seem to be overpriced for their level of quality. Are there grape varieties that could shine in Texas that would not be the major popular varieties grown in California and would not compete with them?
Lesser known varieties might need a marketing push behind them, but it’s hard to compete with Cabernets, Merlots, Chardonnays, etc.
Price point is an issue mainly because of the following two points:
1. We are an extreme deficit of Texas grapes due to the rapid growth in wineries and their demand for Texas fruit to sustain them.
2. Texas only has a very few large wineries (>50,000 cases) which on the scale of CA and WA and other regions are actually small. Texas wineries generally have not reached the point where they get the benefit of scale.
Right now, the two generally accepted best varietals for Texas are Tempranillo (red) and Viogner(white). Others up and coming are Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Sangiovese. But, there are good looking new plantings of Roussanne, Vermentino for whites, and especially Tannat for red.
I hope this helps. Larry thanks for your comments.
Why El Paso? There could be grapes and furures contracts up here in the High Plains AVA.
Good point Bobby….
In Texas, wine growers up on the High Plain near Lubbock have been producing quality grapes that go to wineries arouind the state from Fredericksburg to Galveston to DFW.
Perhaps, he would like to keep his growers close at hand or has the desire to develop the local terroir around El Paso or just has not thought about accessing the great quality of the Texas High Plains AVA.