Although the State Fair of Texas has been cancelled this year, Texas wine lovers still have a chance to get a taste of Texas wine delivered right to their home.
This summer I was asked to help the State Fair of Texas select the 12 Blue Ribbon wines for 2020. The State Fair of Texas’ Senior Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Schuder convened a panel of Texas wine experts that included Heather Queen, owner/founder at Queen of Grapes, Jason Hisaw, Texas Portfolio Manager at Republic National Distributing Company and Texas Wine Ambassador, and me.
Our goal was to select 12 wines that showcase some of the best wines that Texas has to offer. We wanted to include red, white, and rosé in the case. We were delighted that we even got a sparkling wine selection in the mix! It was also important to us that the wines showcase the diversity that is present in Texas wine. After all, there are over 60 grape varieties planted in Texas vineyards. That’s why you’ll see both blends and single varietal selections in wide range of wine styles.
Blue Ribbon Selections include:
- McPherson Cellars Sparkling Wine NV
- 2019 Fall Creek Vineyards and Winery Sauvignon Blanc
- 2019 The Grower Project Albariño
- 2019 William Chris Vineyards Skeleton Key White Blend
- 2019 Dandy Rosé
- 2019 Lewis Wines Red Blend
- 2019 Reddy Vineyards Grand Vitis Red Blend
- 2017 C.L. Butaud Wines Tempranillo
- 2017 Llano Estacado Winery 1836 Red Blend
- 2017 Duchman Family Winery Montepulciano
- 2017 Pedernales Cellars Texas GSM
- 2017 Bending Branch Winery Texas Tannat
While most of the wines on the list are tried and true Texas favorites, we also included one that’s new to the market. The Reddy Vineyards Grand Vitis is a brand-new blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault.
Many of the selected wines are from larger wineries that are familiar to tourists visiting the Hill Country or the Texas High Plains. However, some are from smaller labels. Winemaker Rae Wilson makes Dandy Rosé, and she collaborates with (Lost Draw Cellars) Andrew Sides on The Grower Project Albariño. C.L. Butaud is another smaller producer. Both Dandy Rosé and C. L. Butaud can be tasted at the Slate Mill Wine Collective in Fredericksburg.
The case of Blue Ribbon selections is $300 and includes one bottle of each wine. Use the code BIGTEX for free shipping. Producer descriptions and ordering information is available through this link: https://www.rootsandwater.wine/the-best-of-texas-12-pack.html
Purchase is NOT REQUIRED to participate in the four virtual tastings with winemakers and winery representatives. The tastings will take place on consecutive Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. starting on September 30. Signup information is available here: https://bigtex.com/blue-ribbon-selection-tasting-series
Rae Wilson, Dandy Rosé
David Kuhlken, Pedernales Cellars
Eric Sigmund, Reddy Vineyards
Susan Auler & Sergio Cuadra, Fall Creek Vineyards
Kim McPherson, McPherson Cellars
Bob Young, Bending Branch Winery
Tony Offill, William Chris Vineyards
Wayne Rogers, Llano Estacado
Order soon so that the wine will arrive in time for the first virtual tasting!
Although nothing can replace the State Fair of Texas wine garden experience, the Fair from Home program is a welcome addition to my fall calendar. It was a pleasure to participate in selecting these fine Texas wines. I hope you will have the opportunity to taste them, share them with friends, and join the virtual tastings.
Visit https://bigtex.com/fair-from-home/ to see all the other Fair from Home offerings including photo challenges, kid’s activities, cheese tastings, cooking school, and more.