What’s with Wines from Ste. Genevieve: They’re Enjoyable, Inexpensive, Medal Winning and Good with Summertime Fare

What’s with Wines from Ste. Genevieve: They’re Enjoyable, Inexpensive, Medal Winning and Good with Summertime Fare

Wine people give lots of play to finding the absolute best wine possible. However, I recently read a series of consumer comments on a major wine website on the wines from Ste. Genevieve Winery in Fort Stockton, Texas….

“Even though I am from Pennsylvania, I am in ‘love’ with Texas, especially San Antonio. Expect to eventually relocate there. I found St. Genevieve wines in a local San Antonio WalMart and really enjoyed several of the wines. I brought back several bottles each trip to San Antonio. Just recently I found the wine in my local Pennsylvania State Store, much to my surprise and delight. Now I can have a little bit of Texas here in Pennsylvania.”

The first surprise was that these wines were available outside of Texas in far-flung Pennsylvania.  At nearly the same time, I was a judge in the Lone Star International Wine Competition and got an early look at the list of the top medal winners. I was surprised to see in the list the following:

Ste. Genevieve, Peregrine Hill Winery: Gold – Brix Sweet Shiraz; Silver – Cabernet Sauvignon, Brix Sweet Pinot Grigio

It made me think that I needed to give the wines from Ste. Genevieve another try. So, I went to my local wine market in Houston and browsed the isles until I found them. I came home with a boatload and still had money left in my pocket. I bought five bottles and I only paid about $28 dollars. This came to an average bottle price only slightly above $5.00.

Three of the most notable wines that I sampled were:  Ste. Genevieve Sweet Muscato (I think that it cost be about $4 for a 750 ml bottle), and Peregrine Hill (Ste. Gen’s premium label at about $8 per 750 ml bottle) Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. These latter two wines were both Texas Appellation, to boot.

The Muscato was a real surprise being sweet and crisp making it a great summertime quaff. It was light, aromatic and floral, a nose that wines three times the price would die for! The Muscato was taken to an even greater level of enjoyment when I served it over sliced Fredericksburg peaches.

The Peregrine Hill Pinot Noir brought an interesting, if not somewhat oxymoronic flare: A Texas Pinot. This tasting brought back a memory of a wine panel that I attended at the Aspen Food and Wine Festival chaired by Joshua Wesson that was titled, “Warm Weather Pinots”. Admittedly, they had different qualities than their classic brethrens from cool growing regions. However, as was the case in my recent tasting of the Peregrine Hill Pinot Noir from Texas, warm weather Pinots have a darker berry character driven by an enjoyable rustic quality, something more akin to a medium bodied red Zinfandel. This was admittedly not the classic Pinot character, but definitely not bad, not bad, at all.

The normal smoky Pinot quality was still there, overlaid on a dark berry substrate. Whether you like this wine or not, is probably more aligned with your personal preference and how much your interest and taste buds perk up at a well made, yet inexpensive value wine from Texas that can be purchased for less than $10 a bottle. This wine with its medium body makes a great summertime sip when served with a 20-minute chill in the refrigerator or cooler.

At an even higher point of enjoyment was the Peregrine Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (Texas Appellation). This is the wine that came home with a Silver Medal in the Lone Star Wine Competition. It gave aromas and tastes of blackberries with a punchy note of American oak. The wine had a good tannic structure and feel on the palate, and ended with a smooth, clean finish…again all for less than $10 a bottle. If this wine was served to me in a restaurant as their house wine, with the label not known to me, I would be pleased with the experience.

These wines from Ste. Genevieve were fun wines. They are made, not to be geeked to death with nuance, but enjoyed over friendly conversation and summertime outdoor fare: Grilled hamburgers and steaks, a sausage or two, perhaps a little slow-cooked Texas barbeque and homemade potato salad, and finished with a Texas-grown fruit salad of peaches, blueberries, cantaloupe and/or watermelon.

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  1. Ste. Genevieve used to make a Texas Red that I really liked. I think they stopped producing it several years back. It seems that Ste. Genevieve does not carry the Texas appellation anymore and they use Peregrine for their Texas wine category am I right about this?
    Its really quite odd how these guys are the largest producers of wine in the state yet no one really knows much about them. Of Course it doesn’t help that they are WAY OUT there in Ft Stockton. I was told that you can not visit the winery/production facility.
    I also think that they are getting it right with the price points and getting the Texas Name out there and not doing a bad representation of Us.
    Are they also the largest vineyard in the state. The GoTexanwine.org site says they have a 1,000 acre vineyard. Pretty Impressive!

    Thumbs Up Russ for not getting on the “Pinot Noir should not grow in Texas” band wagon.
    I too have tried several Texas Pinot’s and while they do not taste like Oregon or the Russian River, they are still great wines! Try finding a bottle of Pheasant Ridge 2006 Pinot Noir Its no where to be found…. but its probably the best Texas Pinot around!

  2. They stopped making Texas Red and Texas White when they stopped making it Texas Appellation. Now they are just called simply Red and White.

    If you ever get the chance to see the place, it is not your typical walk-in hospitality winery and not much to look at from the outside of the building. It is like going to an autoparts warehouse, but with a winery in the middle of it and a 600+ acre vineyard behind it. Outside looks can be deceiving. They have the largest tank capacity in Texas and make and bottle some surprising brands including L’Orval, Brix and others with juice or wine coming in from France, Spain, Australia and others.

    The most impressive part is seeing the green, green vineyard out back surrounded by landscape that looks like the backside of the moon. Just add water and presto…..got grapes.


    It is a big time winery and definitely corporate, not you typical ma-and-pop-run winery.

  3. I wondered about the loss of the Texas name on the bottle too, then someone suggested, perhaps not all the grapes are from Texas now. . . I still enjoy them very much. They’re my “house wine”.

    • It was impossible to keep the Texas Appellation on the Ste. Genevieve bottle and keep the $6 for a 1.5 Liter bottle price tag. It was due to the storage of Texas grapes that pushed prices up and quantities down, and the supply of inexpensive grapes from outside the state.

  4. I am a new wine drinker, i do not know much about wine , how to taste them , smell for taste etc so if you could help me out in any, I am trying the sweet red now ite good and I like the taste. thanks Edward

  5. I loved this as my “house wine” for years until recently (past 6 months or so) when every other bottle was fizzy, fermented, and smelled and tasted awful. Corking problem, maybe? I have 5 bottles in my garage I’m having to dump out and recycle…what a waste. Ste. Genevive, please work on corking your wines properly!

  6. Make sure that you let both the retail outlet and the winery know about the problem. Contact Ste. Gen at:

    P.O. Box 130, Fort Stockton, TX 79735
    Tele: (432) 395-2417
    Fax: (432) 395-2431
    Mesa Vineyards LP; Patrick Prendergast, President

    Please call!

  7. I had Ste Genevieve Pinot Noir at a wedding reception, and because I enjoyed it so much, was given a bottle to take home. I enjoyed the wine as much as any Pinot Noir I have ever drank. Upon reading the lable I noted the following: 1. It is a blend, no vintage date.
    2, It is botteled and cellared by Ste Genevieve, Ft Stockton, Texas, which makes it clear that the grapes were not grown nor was the wine made in Texas.

    Please understand, I do not care who made or blended the win, I am looking for more of it, I know that blends are not always consistant, but if I can find this wine under 10.00 a 1.5 bottle, after verifiying it tast the same, I will buy atleast 10 cases of it.

    As a side note, if a winnery in Texas wants to market a Pinot Noir, they should by the grapes or wine somewhere else. It is a tough grape to grow and needs altitude and cool weather. The only worse place to grow Pinot Noir grapes than Texas, is my home state of Florida,

  8. I don’t claim to be any type of expert but a couple of observations:

    — Ste G. is apparently aware of the ‘fizzy’ batch and will replace if you contact them with batch info. (…from other web sites)

    — I, too, missed the Texas Red when it disappeared and I didn’t/don’t think the surviving Red is quite the same; however, a bit of Sweet Red mixed in with the Red seems to get me more or less what the Texas Red gave me. (personal taste, of course)

  9. While visiting Texas I got hooked on ste Genevieve sweet red. I live on CA and can’t find it anywhere. I’ve looked local and online. Do u have a suggestion?

  10. I bought the sweet moscato price was right,so I bought 2 bottles very disappointed.TO ME IT WAS MORE LIKE A RESSLING.FIRST & last time to buy it.

  11. Love St. Genevieve! No web site, no tours and no gift shop. Too, bad, as I like both beer and wine in texas I also like to have a connection with the brewery or winery.
    I have discovered a nice red wine from Fall Creek Vinyards called Ed’s Smooth Red. Get on thier emailig list and you get invites.
    SG along time ago(early 90’s) had a red wine called Red Table Wine, a great full bodied red, I wish the would resurect that one.
    My favorite for along time now is thier Cabernet Sauvignon, my “house wine”.

  12. Absolutely love Ste Gen’s Sweet Red. Sometimes I end up in desperate situations where I need wine just to unwind from the day. I end up having to experiment, of course I do not like it & only want my Sweet Red. Awesome price, large bottle lasts the week!!!! Thank you!!!!

    • YOu can either stop fermentation before the sugar is all used up in the process of making alcohol or you can add sugar to the final wine to increase the sweetness of the wine. Usually, to make the wine taste better it also requires some adjustments to the acidity of the wine using tartaric acid.

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