Texas Terroir

Wine in the Lone Star state? You bet.



When you think about Texas, there are at least a dozen or so things that come to mind: barbecue, boots, broncos, and Bushes, for starters. But wine? It’s probably not even on your radar—or not yet, anyway. 

Texans don’t do small. Holding true to that reputation, the state department recently pumped $4.5 million into the wine industry indicating they’re ready to expand production (and maybe even export more frequently outside state borders).

Their back story isn’t so unlike California’s and includes a veritable viticultural hero. The first vines were planted in the 16th century by Spanish missionaries near present day El Paso. By the late 1800s, Texas horticulturist T.V. Munson grafted phylloxera-inflicted vitis vinifera from Europe to the pest-resistant native Texan rootstock saving the world from one of the most devastating vineyard epidemics in history. It wasn’t until the early 70’s, though, that pioneering land-owners like Susan and Ed Auler of Fall Creek Vineyards (Hill Country) saw the potential of the land and helped bring Texas wine to the table.

Today, the state has eight AVA’s, but it’s the granitic soils of the Hill Country and sandy loam and limestone influences in the High Plains of the Central Region that are most conducive to high-quality wines. And while you’ll certainly find producers growing Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, its Rhone grapes like Viognier, Grenache, and Syrah, Italy’s Sangiovese and Vermentino and Spain’s workhouse Tempranillo that are showing what Texas terroir can produce. “The focus is not to try to make wines that taste like they’re from Napa or the Medoc or anywhere else for that matter,” says Ed Auler, “but to make our wine at its own best.”

Some Texan wineries and the varieties they’re known for

Becker Vineyards: Viognier and Rhone blends like “Prairie Rotie” (Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan)

Duchmans  Winery (Ed Note: Duchmans was heretofore known as Mandola): Vermentino, Moscato, Montepulciano

Pedernales Cellars: Tempranillo

Also see,  three "peach perfect" recipes hailing from Fredericksburg, Texas.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Related Articles

James Beard Foundation Announces Award Semi-Finalists

Plus Jim Beam faces lawsuit, and other news and notes in the world of wine, beer and spirits.

Cab Reigns King at the Record-Breaking Premiere Napa Valley Auction

The prestigious event raised $6 million from 225 lots.

40 Top-Rated Wines Under $40

These recently rated and diverse bottlings are guilt-free indulgences that don't hurt your wallet.

California's Best Syrahs

These five regions of the Central Coast are doing the Northern Rhône’s star variety right.
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Edit Module
Edit Module

Shop

Edit Module
>
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module

Related Web Articles