Write Off the Vine – Texas Wine News: Sommeliers, Droughts, Wineries, Blanc Du Bois and More

2011 Blanc Du Bois Harvest at Saddlehown Winery

Write Off the Vine – Texas Wine News: Sommeliers, Droughts, Wineries, Blanc Du Bois and More

By Kim Pierce (Eats Blog / Dallas Morning News

File this under “who knew he had such a hidden talent?” Bill Elsey, director of sales at Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood (the winery that gave us the incredible Vermentino) was named Texsom’s 2011 Texas Best Sommelier last night at the Grand Tasting and Awards Reception at the Four Seasons Resort & Club in Las Colinas.

First runner-up was Nathan Prater, wine specialist at Good2Go in Austin. Second runner-up was David Keck from Prestige Wine Cellars in Houston. All the winners get various scholarships to the Court of Master Sommeliers to continue their studies toward becoming master sommeliers.

What a great year for Texsom, the Texas Sommelier Conference.

More: http://eatsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/08/duchman-winery-sales-guy-named.html

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Texas Wine: The Road to Sommelier

by Jessica Dupuy (Eat My Words/Texas Monthly)

In assessing the wine in front me, I see this wine is clear and bright, with a medium intensity. It is ruby-to-garnet in color with little rim variation and a medium-plus viscosity. The nose is clean with a medium-plus intensity and an aged aroma with baked black cherry, plum, and cinnamon as well as damp tobacco, purple flowers, pepper and dried herbs. On the palate, the wine is bone dry, full, and confirms the dark fruit and earth on the nose. Tannins, alcohol, acidity, complexity, and length are all medium-high to high.

Based on this my initial conclusion is that this is an Old World wine from a warm climate. It is a granache grape variety from the Southern Rhone region of France, probably from Chateauneuf du Pape, 2006 vintage.

This is an example of a four-part analysis required of me and 98 fellow classmates for the Level 1 course for the Court of Master Sommeliers, a two-day intensive overview of wine history, theory, and tasting analysis.

More: http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/eatmywords/?p=3611

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Texas Vintage: Drought But Not Out

By Jane Firstenfeld

Despite record heat and diminished funding, wine industry.

Almost a year of drought, more than a month of triple-digit heat, and reduced state funding for viticulture and enology extension are not enough to discourage the Texas wine industry. Following a record grape harvest last year that left wineries full, “I’m still amazed. Despite the economy, our industry continues to grow,” said Ed Hellman, professor of viticulture and extension specialist at Texas Tech University and Texas A & M. Although he doesn’t expect 2011’s sweltering summer to produce another bumper crop, “I don’t think it’s going to be a hardship or limiting factor,” Hellman told Wines & Vines. According to WinesVines, Texas now has 191 licensed wineries (bonded and virtual); six of these have been added since March 1. Although the Lone Star State ranks fifth in U.S. wine production, Texas wines are not well known outside state borders: “Easily 90%-95% are sold within the state,” Hellman said.

More: http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=news&content=91316

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The Jeremy & Alfonso Show at TexSom – Words of Wisdom for Wine Bloggers

By Russ Kane (VintageTexas) on Wine Bloggers Unit!

Why do people blog? This is philosophical question same as why is there air? People blog because they do.

Looking for a deeper reason…well, they are driven by passion, a passion to tell a story, their story, a wine’s story, someone else’s story.

All I know is I blog because I want to tell a story. The story is about the Texas wine experience. It’s a topic that seldom gets coverage in the national wine media. Why, is the topic of Texas wine not covered, well it not because good wine isn’t being made here. It is because, most of Texas wine is consumed right here….Not in NYC, Chicago or London. There are no national advertising contracts that motivate the major wine mags to come taste Texas wines.

More: http://winebloggersunite.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/the-jeremy-alfonso-show-at-texsom-words-of-wisdom-for-wine-bloggers/

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Best Place to Taste Wine in Texas: Flat Creek

By Santa Fe Gal

I’ll admit, I had never even heard of Flat Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery until my sister suggested it as the location for a party I was planning. In my defense, I’m not alone in my ignorance. No one on my guest list had heard of it either. My sister, however, had seen a brochure that showed it as a picturesque collection of stone buildings and vineyard sitting on the north shore of Lake Travis, just a short, scenic drive from Austin. The location and the setting sounded intriguing, but frankly, I was skeptical. Yes, I love good wine and enjoy winery tours, but a winery tour as a party to mark a significant event? [Jump]

Everyone had such a great time, we’re already planning our next trip. It’s well worth the scenic drive to the north shore of Lake Travis, whether you’re stopping in for a quick tasting as part of your day, or planning it to be your day. Pack a basket for a picnic lunch in the vineyard. Take a date or group of friends for diva tasting in the bustling wine bar. Relax with a glass of wine and cheese tray on the breezy porch while you soak up the views.

More: http://santafegal.hubpages.com/hub/flat-creek-vinyard-and-winery-tours

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Texas white wine 101: Blanc du Bois: Southern belle of world winemaking

By Abby Wine (Southwest Wine Travel Examiner)

Winemakers began laying groundwork for this unique varietal in Tallahassee in about 1560 when French religious expatriates settled in the area of the Mision San Luis.  The first wine was made from wild local muscadine grapes.  Even with the heat and humidity, winemaking in the French tradition was abundant in Florida with the help of this local varietal and a highly capable, though subjugated, labor force which included indigenous workers and African-American slaves.  The local muscadine, it has since been discovered, has a natural resistance to the plant bacteria that flourish in the climate of the southeast and make it very difficult to grow European varietals.

Blanc du bois is a true child of Dixie, though any similarity to the breathless, smoldering iconic southern belle from Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche Du Bois, is purely coincidental.  The white grape is named for French winemaker Emile Dubois who owned and developed Tallahasee’s old San Luis Vineyard into a preeminent industry in the late 1800s, and was involved in the early development of heartier wine varietals for the Gulf states.

More: http://www.examiner.com/wine-travel-in-tucson/texas-white-wine-101-blanc-du-bois-southern-belle-of-world-winemaking#ixzz1VU3QVtNv

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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.

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