When was the last time you had wine from Texas? Each year this emerging region is growing and improving in wine production. If its been a few years since you have tried wine from Texas, now is the time to try again, October is Texas Wine Month!
The first vineyards were established in Texas by Franciscan priests in 1662, making Texas the site of the first established vineyard in North America, a full hundred years older than California or Virginia. The Prohibition years all but ended the Texas wine industry until its rebirth in the 1970’s with the founding of Llano Esctacado in the Texas High Plains Appellation and La Buena Vista winery in Springtown.
Today, Texas has the seventh largest acreage of wine grapes of any state, approximately 5,000 acres, with 400 bonded wineries contributing $1.88 billion in revenue to the state economy. The state of Texas ranks 5th in US wine production.
Texas has eight American Viticultural Areas (AVA) with the majority of its grapes grown in the Texas High Plains AVA and the Texas Hill Country AVA. The Texas High Plains AVA is located in the Panhandle, west of Lubbock. It has a dry climate with longs days of sunshine and cool nights. This region is often compared to Coonawara, Australia, and is responsible for growing over 80% of all Texas wine grapes.
By contrast, the Texas Hill Country, located west of Austin and San Antonio, is more humid and lush. Much of the AVA is difficult for grape growing but there are pockets of success. The Texas Hill Country AVA is the second largest AVA in the US, containing two smaller micro-appellations and encompasses more than nine million acres. The majority of Texas wineries are located in the picturesque Texas Hill Country AVA.
For the first time, the #WinePW group is diving into to explore Texas wines. Their discoveries will be revealed on Saturday, November 9. There will be blog articles sharing Texas wines and food pairings along with a Twitter chat using the hashtags #WinePW and #Texasfinewine on Twitter at 10am CST.
Want to join in the fun? Here are the simple steps to add your blog to the conversation:
- Email Camilla Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know you are in. In your email include blog URL, Twitter handle, and title of article.
- Prepare a meal or three to pair with your wines. Share photos on your social media channels using the hashtags #WinePW and #Texasfinewine in preparation for the event.
- Send your title to Camilla by Tuesday, November 5 to be included in the preview post.
- Publish your article between Friday, November 8 and 8am EDT on Saturday, November 9
- Include titles with html links to other #WinePW participants articles in your article, as well as a description as to what this event is about.
- Clearly mark you post and social media shares as sponsored if you receive wine samples.
As a Texan and proponent of Texas wine, I am thrilled the #WinePW group is spreading the Texas wine love. We want to thank Denise Clarke and the Texas Fine Wine Group of wineries – Bending Branch Winery, Brennan Winery, Pedernales Winery, Duchman Winery, and Spicewood Vineyards for providing samples to many participants.
Please keep in mind if you are interested in tasting Texas wine, most wines are sold direct to consumer. The wineries above along with William Chris Vineyards, Lost Draw Cellars, Hilmy, Calais, The French Connection, Ron Yates Vineyards and Signor Vineyards produce Texas wines from Texas grapes and all ship direct to your doorstep. Grab some friends and share a case.
I spent a weekend in Fredericksburg, the center of Texas Hill Country wine region, with my husband attending a Texas Fine Wine dinner in honor of #TexasWineMonth and visiting some Texas wineries. Fredericksburg reminds me of Sonoma, an easy going farming community with great tasting rooms, fun stores, delicious food, and every one is in bed by 11pm. We love staying at the Cotton Gin Village, dinner at the Cabernet Grill is a must, and the Hye-Way Haus, owned by William Chris Vineyards. The photos above are a glimpse at Texas Hill Country hospitality. If you want all my recommendations for Hill Country fun, read my Forbes article: Now Is The Best Time To Wine and Dine In Fredericksburg