In case you haven’t been keeping track of the fast-paced wine region called The Texas Hill Country AVA, you can easily miss what’s going on and where things are; this particularly includes winery tasting rooms. One of the switches in 2023, has been the move of the Bingham Family Vineyards tasting room previously in Fredericksburg to its new locations in Hye.
No-Brainer Move from Fredericksburg to Hye, Texas
After talking to Betty Bingham, the matriarch of the grape growing and winemaking Bingham family from the Texas High Plains, the move appears to have been a no brainer. They went from a rented space to owning the new one. The new layout includes an on-premise, estate vineyard, too. Bringing their tasting room from Fredericksburg to Hye also makes a taste of Bingham wine about a half hour closer for the hordes of thirsty wine lovers coming in from the east… from Austin, San Antonio, College Station, Houston and other points east.
Drink What and Where you Know
As the Binghams say, “At times, it is hard to know where the wine that you drink was grown and crafted. Our 100% Texas grown grapes assure you that you are exploring and enjoying the true taste of Texas wine and the jewel of the Texas High Plains.” And, now this is even easier with the Bingham Vineyards tasting room in Hye.
The “Double B” Tasting
Now that we’re here, what should be drink? Well, our feature today is a taste of Bingham Family Vineyards 2021 Trebbiano made with 100% Texas High Plains grapes. Other than being the only wine grape with a “Double B” in its name, what else does it have going for you. From my tasting, I noted, “It has crisp yet fruity Meyer lemon with a hint of green apple and a pleasant nuttiness thrown in, as well. It’s clean and fresh, and has invigorated my palate to be point of making me hungry; luckily, I planned ahead for this. I almost forgot to mention, the low 12.3% alcohol in this Trebbiano helps to make it easy to drink and immensely food-friendly, too.
Beating the Summer Heat
This Bingham High Plains Trebbiano has the additional benefit of being spot-on for beating the summer heat that seems to be finally coming on strong this week and will likely be with us non-stop through September.
What is really surprising is Texas Trebbiano often shows much better than most Trebbianos you have likely tasted from its home turf of middle-Italy (think Trebbiano de Soave, the gluggable Italian Bolla wine many of us drank when young).
The Texas sun and high altitude of the Texas High Plains is what brings out the best in Texas Trebbiano. The intense UV-light up at between 3000 and 3700 feet brings deep daytime ripening while the desiccatingly dry air on the high plains brings cool nights and the time for the grapes to cool down, rest and recover during the growing season. This yields the incredible balance between ripe fruit and crisp acid in this wine.
Trebbiano (also known as Ugni Blanc) has a French Connection
Many people (including wine drinkers) don’t know is that Trebbiano is also a French grape, known there by the name Ugni Blanc with nearly silent “g”. In the French vineyards around the city of Cognac, it is cropped large (something that not preferred for making premium wine) but OK there since it is fermented and distilled to make the French alcoholic spirit by the same name – Cognac.
Now For The Eating and Drinking
Back to my hunger… Remember, I said that I had planned ahead. Knowing this admittedly Italian grape also has a French connection, I decided to go all-in on the French side. My pairing for the Bingham Trebbiano is straight from my great memories of a phenomenal lunch I once had in Chamonix in the French Alps: Escargots de Bourgogne Sauvages (Wild Snails). I’m not talking about an appetizer portion, no sir. It was the full Monty of escargot, a full meal portion complete with “Snail butter” with lemon zest, chopped parsley and minced garlic (click here for butter recipe). To make my present-day meal complete, it required one more embellishment… a fresh French baguette, as James Bond might say, “torn not sliced.”
The acidity of the Bingham Trebbiano cut-like-a-knife through the luscious garlicky and buttery sauce that coated my escargot and that permeated and engorged my torn baguette when dipped. This allowed the full wine-food pairing experience to be had, keeping the wine refresh my palate the whole time while I slowly consumed my meal portion of escargot.
It’s time for you to make your way to the Bingham Family Vineyards tasting room in Hye, just a short jaunt up Route 290 west from Johnson City. Click here for map directions. They are open daily from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Reservations encouraged on Saturdays and for groups of 6 or more.