Spirits

‘But I Don’t Like Texas Wine’, Ever Heard This?

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How many times have you heard that statement from someone who enjoys wine? I have heard it more than once, but when that person learns more about Texas wine and actually tries some, their opinion is quickly changed.

That statement may come from a couple reasons. One reason may be that person just didn’t try good Texas wine. Yes, it happens. Just like not all California wine is good. This is true for every wine producing country and state (did you know all 50 states have at least one winery?).

Another reason could be the wine tasted is not necessarily the best wine for Texas. I do not have to tell you that it is hot in the Texas Hill Country. That limits the varieties of grapes that grow well here. Other parts of Texas, like the Texas High Plains near Lubbock, do have more of a temperature variance during the day called a diurnal temperature variation. It may be hot during the day in the High Plains, but it gets cooler at night, and that’s what grapes love. It does not get that cool during the summer in the Hill Country and that explains why a lot of the Vitis vinifera grapes—grapes like Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir—grow best in the High Plains. There are some vineyards in the Hill Country that do grow vinifera grapes and do it well though.

When you compare a wine like Cabernet Sauvignon from California and one from Texas, you will most likely see there is a different taste. A lot of that has to do with the grapes. California has excellent grape growing temperatures and that is why some wine like Cabernet Sauvignon may taste better from California. Other types of wine that follow this same pattern are Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Riesling for example. It does not mean Texas cannot grow and make a good Chardonnay, but there are fewer wineries attempting to do so.

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