October is Texas Wine Month. Yes, the Texas wine industry has gotten a whole month (not just a day or two) to celebrate the grape that contributes more than $1.8 billion to our overall state economy. Texas is the 5th largest wine producing state in the country. And, it is right up there with one of highest percentages of wine purchased in the country as well, with more and more consumers in the state looking to purchase Texas wines made from 100% Texas grapes.
This morning I had a chance to visit the 11am News on KXAS/NBC in Dallas to talk a little bit about this industry I love, and highlight a few favorite wines.
Some notes on the wines featured are below. Most can be found easily throughout Dallas & Fort Worth at Spec’s stores.
Duchman Family Winery – I talk about this winery a lot, because I truly am a fan. Started by two Houston based doctors who wanted to celebrate great Italian varieties, making 100% Texas wine from Texas fruit for Texans. I adore these wines both for their balance and approachability, and overall great taste. Vermentino is fresh, balanced and inviting with lots of citrus and orchard fruit. Montepulciano is filled with ripe and dried black and red fruit with inviting tobacco and spice.
Fall Creek Winery and Vineyards – From one of our favorite Dallas Dames, Susan Auler, Fall Creek wines in the Texas Hill Country was started in 1975 by Susan and her husband Ed, with the goal to make Bordeaux style wine in Texas. About 2 years ago, after better understanding what will thrive in Texas soils, they brought on winemaker Sergio Cuadra, a winemaker from Chile with a global perspective (previously working with the likes of Paul Hobbs and others). Sergio has helped the winery in crafting benchmark wines at Fall Creek Vineyards from their Texas Terroir. Their Vintners Selection Sauvignon Blanc is lively and expressive on the palate with citrus, herbal and gooseberry aromas laced with floral notes. Their Terroir Selection GSM (Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre) blend from Salt Lick Vineyards in Driftwood highlights blackberry and blueberry notes with smoky, meaty, pepper notes with luscious, velvety texture.
Pedernales Cellars – The Kulken family founded their Stonewall, TX winery, that is today run by brother/sister Dave and Julie and their spouses. The winery does an incredible job celebrating great Tempranillo and Rhone blends. Floral and stone fruit filled white Viognier from the Rhone, and earthy, vanilla, espresso and dark chocolate filled Tempranillo Reserve filled with both black and red fruit from a blend of Texas High Plains and Texas Hill Country fruit are just a few of their stellar offerings..
Bending Branch – Bending Branch winery has made the Tannat variety their signature fruit. This is good news for anyone drinking wine for the health benefits is great as Tannat is one of the highest tannin filled varieties, so the hearty healthy resveratrol is quite high in Tannat. Their Tannat is filled with black cherries, tobacco and smoky finish from the Texas High Plains.