Many people, when asked to associate a region with fine wines, would respond Champagne, or Sonoma Valley or another region that popular media often links to fine wines. I am not sure how many people associate Texas with great wines, and that, my friends, is a shame. This article will introduce you to one of the finest wine-growing regions there is – Texas.
First, a little history. Texas wine has a long history that began in the 17th century. Spanish missionaries began making wine way back then, and the state’s oldest winery is still going strong. If you ever have a chance to, you can visit Del Rio’s Val Verde Winery in El Paso, which first began making wine in 1833.
Now, a few facts. The next time someone you know sneers at Texas wine, remind them that in the 19th century it was a Texas resident who saved all of Europe’s wine. That’s right, Thomas Munson, a Texan viticulturist, developed the phylloxera resistant grapevine that saved the European wine industry. GoTexanWine.org even notes that there are several statues of our Mr. Munson decorating France’s countryside in France.
Other interesting facts of note include these:
Texas is America’s number five wine producer and number seven winegrape producer.It was estimated that almost one million tourists visited Texas wineries in 2007.
La Bodega Winery, located at the Dallas-Fort-Worth International Airport, is the only airport-based winery in America.
Alphonse Dotson, the former NFL defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders, is now a popular and successful Texas grape-grower.
Wineries and Vineyards. One of the things that makes Texas wines so interesting is the size of Texas itself. Texas has a variety of climates that lead to being able to produce a variety of wines. In future articles I intend to provide you with more in depth reviews of certain Texas wineries, vineyards and wines, but here are a few of some of the best as a preview:
Haak Vineyard & Winery in El Paso, Texas. Haak Vineyard produces red wines, white wines, and rose blush wines. In business since 1969, this winery produces some of the finest wines you’ll ever sample. Click here for more information.
St. Rose Vineyard and Winery in Pittsburgh, Texas. This East Texas winery was formerly known as Guerra Vineyards and Winery. They specialize in fruit wines and muscadine, and are home to the “Foxy Wines” – Foxy Cherry, Foxy Blue, you get the picture. Unfortunately for you non-Texans, they only ship their wines in Texas. Click here for more information.
The Blue Armadillo Winery in Greenville, Texas. The Blue Armadillo carries many fine Texas wines, including both Homestead and Wales Manor. This is a relative new winery, having opened in 2008, but their wine selection and atmosphere are wonderful. Click here for more information.
Now, go sample some Texas wines and get back to me!