McPherson Cellars “Brothers Blend”

McPherson - outside

The current controversy in the Texas wine industry over the use of For Sale In Texas Only (FSITO) and the GO TEXAN program has affected even those wineries who do not use the GO TEXAN logo and use FSITO as a last resort. When the 2013 harvest produced few white grapes due to the late freezes, McPherson Cellars was faced with three hard choices:

  • Produce a very limited amount of their three major white wines, which was not practical
  • Label the wines as American, which meant they couldn’t have a vintage date and would incorrectly imply they didn’t contain any Texas grapes at all. McPherson Cellars said, “We believe vintage is crucial for McPherson wines and we didn’t want anyone to think we had forsaken Texas grapes.”
  • Use FSITO as the best of a bad lot

McPherson Cellars found what they think is an approach which adds a unique twist to FSITO and highlights the effort they make to be true to Texas wine. Kim McPherson’s younger brother Jon McPherson is an award-winning winemaker in California and Kim called on him to help with a solution. By working together and combining grapes sourced by Jon with the Texas grapes Kim had available, they created three wines with the quality their customers expect from McPherson Cellars. The wines are called “Brothers Blend.”

The three white wines – Viognier, Roussanne, and Les Copains (a white Rhone varietal blend) – are all labeled on the front with the varietal or proprietary name and Brothers Blend just below. The back label with FSITO tells the story of the grape loss in 2013 due to the freezes, how Kim and Jon worked together to make the wine, and that they hope to have TEXAS proudly back on the front label next year where it belongs. All of McPherson Cellars other current and new releases are TEXAS appellation.

McPherson Cellars summarized, “We hope you will support our decision and feel, as do we, that this was an honest way to address a difficult issue. McPherson Cellars is proud to be a part of the Texas wine industry and we believe the best is yet to come.”


Comments

  1. marc matier says:

    Exceptional.the McPherson process is the reality of all who have taken the hit of 2013. If the winery uses grapes from new mexico or where to make great wine-so be it. Like bending branch california tanat, and beckers.i support small businesses-and that is texas wineries. Let us enjoy the fine wine.

  2. Sometimes one must do what they must do.

  3. Gail Day says:

    Hooray for clear labeling! Hopefully the Texas wine consumer will actually READ the label and discover the challenges of growing wine in Texas. Educated consumers are the wine industry’s friend!

  4. Another great article on this topic. Thank you Jeff for continuing to enlighten the public! We use all Texas honey, apart from one variety, in our meads; but when the 2011 drought left everyone in the state honey-less we had to look elsewhere too to stay in business….hard choices. I applaud McPherson for they authenticity.

    • Thanks Wendy. Just delivering the facts when they come out. We knew 2013 was going to be a tough year for most wineries and solutions would be needed.

      • John Bratcher says:

        Hi, Jeff. This is John with McPherson. A question came up as to why the McPherson Sparkling was labeled as American and it’s a simple answer. Kim made the cuvee from 100% Texas grapes and sent it in a stainless tank to his brother Jon in Temecula to finish because he has the equipment. Since it was bottled in CA it had to be labeled as American, no choice on that one. We appreciate all the positive support we’re getting on the Brothers Blend labeling approach.

  5. Jeff,

    You can now vintage date American wines.

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