[Reproduced with permission] Texas Wine: the Conundrum for Media and Sommeliers Introduction After growing grapes for 34 years (in 8 vineyards with 43 varieties), one of the things I find most difficult to accept as I become a cranky old man is reading wine blogs that propagate blatantly non-factual information. One can say about me, and/or my work, whatever you please (and there’s certainly no shortage of opinions out there), but I am, nevertheless, a walking treasure trove of hard [Read More...]
An opportunity came up this past week when Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was interested in spending time with Texas wine and grape industry leaders. Plans quickly moved to create an event to be hosted at Becker Vineyards on Saturday, July 12, with participants from Texas wineries and vineyards. Senator Cruz first toured Becker Vineyards and then participated in a 45 minute round table discussion with the attendees. Representatives from the Texas wine industry present were: Debbie Reynolds, Executive [Read More...]
http://www.pellelegna.com Pelle Legna Vineyards and Winery is located in Tyler and is owned by Dawn and Harry Leatherwood. The name of the winery, Pelle Legna, is Italian for “leather wood,” their last name. Pelle Legna is pronounced (pèl-le lé-nah). Dawn decided to use the Italian theme for all their wines too. On their 1,500 acre cattle ranch, Rio Neches Ranch, Dawn first planted eight acres of vineyard in 2007. With later plantings, there are now 9.5 acres of vines and [Read More...]
http://www.gowinerymineola.com Grand Oaks Vineyards and Winery is located in Mineola and is owned by Carroll and Martha McHenry. Carroll is also the winemaker. The winery had their grand opening in May 2014. In 2007, a vineyard was planted to see how they could do with growing grapes. Today they grow 2.5 acres of Black Spanish, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo, Blanc du Bois, and Chenin Blanc.
Penny Adams is the winemaker at Wedding Oak Winery located in San Saba. In the two years Wedding Oak Winery has been opened, they have been racking up medals for their wine at wine competitions. Penny answered our questions about her background and winemaking. What did you do before becoming a winemaker (if anything)? I’ve been in and around the Texas wine business since 1979 when I planted my first commercial vineyard in Blanco County. As a junior Horticulture Sciences major [Read More...]
When I was asked to be a judge at the latest Lone Star International Wine Competition, that meant a drive to Grapevine for the Monday and Tuesday competition. If I was going to drive that far from Houston, I decided to take advantage of the weekend to visit wineries in that area which I have not been to yet and also return to some favorites. It turned out I had the Friday before off too, so that gave me almost [Read More...]
http://www.graysonhillswinery.com Grayson Hills Winery is located in Whitewright and is owned by Rick and Connie Magers. They planted a vineyard from 1999 to 2001 and when the dry county changed in 2002, they started planning on a winery which opened in 2006. During that time Rick made the only estate bottled wine in Texoma County which was a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. It ended up winning a Bronze medal at the 2007 Lone Star International Wine Competition.
While updating the most up-to-date listing of Texas wineries on the web early last year, I came across a winery which was going to be called BarnHaus Vineyards and Winery. After checking into the winery, I discovered right now it is BarnHaus Vineyards with a winery planned in the near future. I was sent photos of the vineyard and location which looked very impressive. Coincidentally this year at Newsom Grape Day, I sat next to David Straley who does viticulture [Read More...]
http://www.weinhofwinery.com Weinhof Winery has two locations with the winery in Forestburg and a tasting room in Muenster. Weinhof Winery is owned by Larry and Brenda Thompson. Brenda is also the winemaker. The Forestburg winery opened in February 2007, and the Muenster tasting room opened in 2010. Since my friend Dave Potter and I would be stopping at both locations, we decided to wait until we got to the tasting room in Muenster for a tasting of their wines.
http://www.markercellars.com Marker Cellars is located in Alvord and is owned by Mark and Becky Rogers. The winery opened November, 2012. Mark is also the winemaker. My friend Dave Potter made the trip to Marker Cellars with me. He had been there before and since tastings are by appointment only, he arranged as we got closer to the winery to have Mark waiting for us when we arrived.