October is Texas Wine Month! And, as Texans we have a lot to celebrate this month wine wise as our state boasts one of the largest and most rapidly growing wine industries in the country. According to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association Texas ranks 5th in wine producing states in the country with 420 growers on 4400 acres of land in 8 AVAs across the state, with 273 bonded wineries from here to El Paso and everywhere in between. All together the Texas wine industry contributes $1.83 Billion of Economic Value to the state…and it only continues to grow with wine related tourism hitting almost 1.5 million visitors in 2011.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) Why the growth and popularity? Because our Texas wines have made tremendous strides in the past decade in production techniques, vineyard and variety management and overall taste to evolve into the product we have today. Wineries that once planted trendy, popular varieties, but unfortunately didn’t survive through our hot Texas summers, turned instead to varieties that thrive in the heat and beg for difficult growing conditions with little water and infertile soils, ideal for growing some of the best Old World varieties in the world. In the same sense that early producers in Oregon had to figure out what was best to plant in the volcanic Dundee soils of Willamette, many experimenting early on with Cabernet Sauvignon that could never get ripe, many Texas growers had to work through what they thought might grow to find what will grow – mainly Italian and Spanish red and white varieties, along with some Portuguese reds and Rhone style whites in areas. Hearty varieties like Tempranillo and Sangiovese, fresh, floral and acid rich Vermentino and Viognier, dense Alicante Bouschet and Aglianico.
Cabernet Shiraz India Here are a few of my favorites from Texas to enjoy this month. A few selections were sent for editorial consideration.
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Chenin Blanc In 2011, the New Orleans-born sommelier Michelle Gueydan got a call from Steve and Jean Case, the former AOL executives. She wasn't surprised to hear from them. Gueydan had worked at Virginia's famed The Inn at Little at Washington and handled the wines for many of the Cases' private dinners.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine) The Cases had bought a Virginia winery 30 miles north of Charlottesville that they named Early Mountain . They wanted Gueydan to come work for them. At first, she wasn't all that enthusiastic.
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The owners of Black Birch Vineyard in Southampton are growing their own grapes to create local wines.
Sauvignon Blanc Congratulations! Your weather is set to . You can change the location at any time.
Chenin Blanc Ed Hamel.JPG Black Birch Vineyard co-owner Ed Hamel shows grapes grown at their Southampton vineyard that will be used to make wine.
Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (dessert Wine)
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Rosé Finger Lakes wines head to Europe Three winemakers have formed a Luxembourg-based company with an European partner.
Sauvignon Blanc Finger Lakes winery owners, from left, John Martini, Chris Missick and Scott Osborn, and partner Christian Claessens will first sell in Belgium.
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Rosé Candice Bandy prunes hundreds of plants by hand, a task she finds relaxing and rewarding. Bandy and her husband, Craig, run WineTree Vineyards in Vienna.
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