We received the product for review and all opinions are our own.
Russell D. Kane wrote a very popular book in 2012 called The Wineslinger Chronicles – Texas on the Vine in which he detailed the history of Texas wine. Kane is back again with a new book, this time featuring the history and wineries from the Texas Hill Country appropriately titled Texas Hill Country Wineries. The new book is different from his first book as it is primarily a photo book with detailed captions.
The beginning of the book explains the history of wines in Texas in photos, a subject that Kane is obviously very familiar with. It is interesting seeing photos from the 1800’s of wine being made and the wineries which existed long ago. All photos have very detailed captions and with the photos, the book makes for a very quick read.
He then explores the modern pioneers of the Texas wine industry and then moves into the current wineries based in the Hill Country. Since I have visited all the modern wineries, it was interesting seeing some of the current owners and winemakers back when they were a little younger along with the current wineries and owners. Even newly opened wineries are featured in the book making the book a pack it in your car book for when you make that road trip.
I was at the recent Gulf Coast Grape Grower Field Day conference in Cat Spring and met Kane who was offering his new book for sale to those in attendance. I was able to grab some quick time from him for a couple questions.
TWL: You wrote about Texas wine history before. What made you choose the Texas Hill Country area to write about this time?
Kane: The Texas Hill Country area is the latest and greatest internationally recognized place for Texas. It’s being recognized and getting international awards. It’s a continuation of the legacy of wine growing and winemaking that has swelled up from all over the state in the Texas Hill Country.
TWL: Why did you choose the Cat Spring conference to sell your book?
Kane: The thing that most people don’t realize is that the Hill Country wineries didn’t develop in a vacuum. Actually, Fredericksburg was settled by Germans. A lot of them came in from Galveston and their first stop was here in Cat Spring. If I go back to the late 1800’s, there were several of them that stayed here and planted grapes, made wine, and had wineries that operated up until Prohibition. Some of them continued on to San Marcos and ended up in Fredericksburg, and pre-Prohibition and post-Prohibition were some of the first modern wineries that Texas had. That was the start of the Hill Country wineries.
The book was published by Arcadia Publishing and is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers, and even Kane’s personal website wineslinger.net.