#WineWednesday: It’s Texas Wine Month, Ya’ll!

by Robin Barr Sussman on October 7, 2020 in Food, Drink, Living Texas,
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The most beautiful time of the year in Texas has arrived and, with it, your chance to support all the wonderful wineries in our own backyard. Here’s our guide to recommended Texas wineries with a pro tip: Study each website for the evolving tasting, virtual classes and buying options. Cheers to October!

TEXAS HILL COUNTRY

Pedernales Cellars

Photo courtesy Pedernales Cellars

Located in Stonewall flanking the Pedernales River, this boutique winery specializes in Rhone and Spanish wines and its award-winning tempranillo and viognier are benchmarks for the Texas varietals. Visit: Relax with a glass on the tree-covered deck with breathtaking views of the Texas Hill country.

Bending Branch

Photo courtesy Bending Branch

This small batch winery located in Comfort near San Antonio is known for intense wines from the Picpoul blanc to the bold and highly regarded Tannat. The winery embraces sustainable growing and winemaking practices and its many kudos include a Double Gold from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fredericksburg

Signor Vineyards

Photo courtesy Signor Vineyards

The still new Signor, owned by two third-generation Texan families, is situated on a vast, lovely property with table service and a lawn with picnic tables. Its tasting menu changes often but usually features tempranillio, sangiovese, pinot gris, and chardonnay. Also in the elegant collection: pinot noir, petite syrah, viognier, tannat and riesling. Visit: $16 for 4 tastes outdoors at picnic tables with a charcuterie box at an additional charge.

Heath Sparkling Wine

Photo courtesy Heath Sparkling Wines

The Heath family of Grape Creek Winery recently expanded with Heath Sparkling Wines in a gorgeous new facility. Its four sparkling wines are brut (dry) except the Euphoria which is more floral with 12 grams of sugar. Visit: $25 tasting of four sparklers with four food pairings on the patio.

Austin Area

Duchman Family Winery

Photo courtesy Duchman Family Winery

This award-winning destination in Driftwood is a slice of Tuscany showcasing 100% Texas-grown Italian varietals by talented winemaker Dave Reilly. You can’t miss with the precisely balanced sangiovese, Montepulciano, Aglianico, Trebbiano and zippy white Vermentino. Visit: Reserve a 6-wine varietal tasting, by the glass or by the bottle. For a more intimate tasting, book the Private Tasting & Tour.

Spicewood Vineyards

One of the first Texas Hill Country wineries (circa 1992), these lip-smacking estate wines are crafted from vineyards located west of Spicewood. Multiple award-winning wines include sauvignon blanc, viognier, tempranillo, syrah, mourvedre and carignan. Visit: Open daily for tastings on the lawn with beautiful vineyard views.

Hye, Texas

William Chris Vineyards

Photo courtesy William Chris Vineyards

Proprietors William Blackmon and Chris Brundrett, who are fueling the rapid expansion of the Texas wine industry with excellent vintages, bottled their first vintage in 2008 utilizing old-world winemaking techniques. Of the 20 plus varietals they craft, mouvèdre is a highlight along with its flagship Mary Ruth white blend. Visit: Tastings at the contemporary tasting room with vineyard views require reservations.

POINTS NORTH

Brennan Vineyards

Located in one of the oldest remaining homesteads in Texas dating back to 1876, Brennan Vineyards was the first Texas winery to receive two double golds for Texas wine at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Don’t miss the interesting varietals including the lush viognier reserve and Nero d’Avola made from Sicily’s grape with notes of tart strawberries, black currant, cedar and vanilla. Visit: Classic Tastings at the Austin House Tasting Room Wed – Sat (6 wines, $10).

Messina Hof Winery

Photo courtesy Messina Hof Winery

This legacy began 40 years ago in Bryan, with an experimental vineyard and 50 varietals of grapes. Thousands of awards later, Messina Hof still remains at the forefront of Texas wine. Find tasting rooms in Bryan, Fredericksburg and Grapevine with Harvest Green Winery & Kitchen in Richmond debuting in January.  Visit: All of its wineries/tasting rooms are open for tastings at limited capacity. Read up on the reservation policies and tasting details for each location.

OTHER MUST-TASTE VINOS

Rose Gold Rosé

Photo courtesy Rose Gold Rosé

Dallas-based proprietor Casey Barber fell in love with rosé wine when visiting Provence, and decided to debut her own brand. Her latest 2019 vintage is crafted in the traditional French method from 50/50 cinsault grapes and grenache grapes and is A.O.P Côtes de Provence, a legal French term designating grapes grown in the Provence region. The dry rosé is truly spectacular with aromas of rich, fresh strawberries, hints of white flowers and mineral. Find it in many Texas restaurants and retail outlets—see the full list here.

C.L.Butaud

This boutique winery has a cult following for owner-winemaker Randy Hester’s impressive wines sourced from High Plains grapes. Think tempranillo, grenache, mourvèdre, a few rosés and the Frenchy series. The wine is sold through C.L. Butaud’s wine club and can be found in retail outlets and dozens of Texas restaurants including outlets like Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. See the full list here.


Cover photo courtesy Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

Robin Barr Sussman (rbs@pdq.net) is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston Modern Luxury Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.

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