The History of Texas Wine — Post Number 1
I have been working on a book about the history of Texas wine for what seems like an eternity (even longer according to my publisher). There were lots of reasons for the delay: I had a very large project at my day job; we had some family issues that needed tending; and I am working on a small business venture with a couple of tech guys. But the real reason for my trepidation - I was convinced that I did not like Texas wine.
Living in Austin, I am geographically close to some of the major wineries in Texas and over the years I had tasted lots of Texas wine. Some of them were okay, some were even good, but most were early efforts that needed work. Quality aside there was the price. The bottles that were good tended to cost a lot of money. A $40 bottle of wine that is just okay gets left on the shelf when I am shopping and lots of the “good” wines from Texas cost at least that. Given my attitude it was a wonder that I was able to keep going, but then something unexpected happened, I began to find wine that I liked that came from Texas. Not all at once mind you, but here and there. Many of the wines were made from warm weather grapes such as Tannat, Viognier, Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Orange Muscat. I do not remember the order but within the last couple of months there was the Vermentino from Duchman, the Tannat from Bending Branch, a Viognier from Becker, Orange Muscat from Fredericksburg Winery and one from Duchman, and a Sangiovese blend from Alamosa. All of these wines were good and the majority were under $20, most well under. Good solid drinking wine makes a wine industry. Expensive, special occasions are, well, for special occasions but they do not create a wine culture. A wine culture comes from producing good, solid wines that you can drink on Tuesday night without it being a birthday or an anniversary. And now some Texas winemakers are doing just that. Don’t get me wrong there is still a lot of work to be done, but make no mistake about it progress is being made in the Texas wine industry and just in time for me so I can finish my book.
Check out these related posts: