Finally, It's Time for Some Corroboration of My Prognostication on Tex-Med Wines

Finally, It’s Time for Some Corroboration of My Prognostication on Tex-Med Wines

I hate to say I told you so, but going way back to one of my first major articles about Texas wines, I pinned the future of the Texas wine industry on Tex-Med grape varieties; See:

That was nearly a decade ago, but its finally good to see some technical corroboration of my prognostication may be on available soon. Start working on your Mediterranean grape/wine lexicon.

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Texas Tech Research: Mediterranean Grape Varieties May Excel on the Texas High Plains

From – Wine grapes that flourish in certain parts of Europe just might excel in West Texas. Or at least that’s what researchers at Texas Tech University are hoping to find out.

Researchers in Texas Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science are evaluating wine grape varieties from Spain, Portugal and southern regions of Italy and France that are growing at a research vineyard near the Lubbock airport.

“The concept is to try to match grape varieties to the local climate, so we are evaluating varieties that should do well in our hot climate, but mostly have been untested here,” said Ed Hellman, professor of viticulture.  “I say mostly untested because some of our growers on the High Plains, based on our suggestions, have been moving in this direction already.”

Hellman said the hope is to grow grape varieties on the South Plains [Texas High Plains AVA] that can make exceptional wines, which would make the grapes in high demand in other parts of the state. Winemakers throughout Texas commonly purchase grapes from the South Plains where they can obtain large quantities of high-quality fruit to produce many different wine types.

Research on grape variety evaluation is long-term, but the young vines produced their first crop in 2010 so preliminary results should be available in December.

Listed are the grape names and the regions in Europe where these varieties have traditionally been grown and perform well:

Aglianico – southern Italy

Malvasia bianca – southern Italy

Montepulciano -southern Italy

Negro Amaro – Sicily ( Italy )

Nero d’Avola – Sicily ( Italy )

Roussanne – southern France

Marsanne – southern France

Counoise – southern France

Syrah – southern France

Mourvedre – southern France and Spain

Grenache – southern France and Spain

Albarino – Spain and Portugal

Tempranillo – Spain and Portugal

Tinta Cao – Portugal

Touriga Nacional – Portugal

Tinta Madeira – Portugal

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For more from VintageTexas on the New Texas Wine Lexicon; See:

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