To assume “Texas” is to conjure cowboys ingesting whiskey and beer and consuming BBQ. But the state can also be the fifth largest wine producer within the United States, and Texas wineries- more than 500 of them– are drawing vacationers and crowds. In reality, wine has been a part of Texas for greater than a century-and the truth is, it arguably saved European wine. These days, the state is producing outstanding wines in a number of the most stunning nation in America.
Texas is big, and you might spend months visiting all its nice vineyards, so we whittled right down to 10 we love. (Read on!)
Texas Vines Saved Euro Wines
In the mid-1800s, Europe was going through a winery disaster. France alone misplaced virtually 80 % of its vines throughout the 1840s to a fungus known as oidium. To combat the fungus, they imported a rootstock from the U.S. that worked-except that it additionally launched phylloxera, a plant louse, into the vineyards, damaging the recovering crops much more.
A person named Thomas Volney Munson was growing a phylloxera-resistant rootstock in a winery in Denison, Texas. French grape growers requested that Munson ship them a number of the rootstocks, and he did, gathering 15 wagons full of stem cuttings to ship to Europe. The ensuing grafted vines saved the European wine trade.
The French didn’t take this present flippantly. The Legion of Honor bestowed upon Munson-an Illinois-born, University of Kentucky-educated horticulturist-a Chevalier du Mérite Agricole (a knighted order of agricultural benefit). There are even statues of Munson in France at this time. (The Southern Foodways Alliance featured the story in an episode of their podcast, Gravy, and it is undoubtedly price a hear.)
The Texas wine trade is a powerhouse. According to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association, the Lone Star State has greater than 4,000 acres of manufacturing vineyards, and the trade contributes greater than $13.1 billion to the Texas financial system.
What’s The Most Popular Wine in Texas?
Texas has 4 huge wine areas, every internet hosting wine trails and high quality bottles for oenophiles to take pleasure in. Texas High Plains, which sprawls 8 million acres, boasts 75 completely different forms of grapes, making up over 80% of the state’s wine grapes in line with Wine Mag. One of the preferred grapes is Viognier, a white grape that originated in Southern France. Fruity, with hints of honeysuckle and mango, this medium-bodied wine pairs nicely with salads, cheese, and roast hen.
Central Texas can also be house to numerous wineries, making it the right getaway for wine lovers. When in Central Texas, seize a glass of albariño, which is shiny and floral. (Its greatest pairings embody fish and fruit.)
No matter your grape of selection, and whether or not you are coming from Austin or Houston, these are 10 of the very best wineries in Texas to go to.
1. McPherson Cellars
With its give attention to all-Texas grapes-in reality, all of them hail from Lubbock or Terry County- and its 450 medals, which they gained over 40 years of constructing Texas wine, McPherson Cellars is certainly a spot you need to go to.
In a nod to early Spanish settlers-Texas was the place Franciscan monks established the primary North American winery round 1662-one of their present wines known as La Herencia or “the heritage.” It’s a Spanish-style purple wine mix made up of Tempranillo, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Carignan.
McPherson’s tasting room is positioned in downtown Lubbock in an outdated Coca-Cola bottling plant. Wine tastings and excursions can be found between 12pm and 7pm, Tuesday-Saturday. (Thursdays, the tasting room closes at 6pm to accommodate a weekly music occasion on the out of doors patio.)
2. Homestead Winery
Until just lately, Homestead Winery was the oldest regularly working vineyard within the Red River Valley of North Texas. Homestead has two areas, which fittingly consists of one in Denison (T.V. Munson’s house). Their Desert Rose is an award-winning Muscat wine, and so they have a 100% Zinfandel on supply. Their two tasting rooms are in Denison and Plano.
3. Lost Oak Winery
Lost Oak Winery is an award-winning vineyard on the banks of Village Creek in Burleson, Texas, simply exterior of Fort Worth. Gene Estes, Lost Oak’s president, was a microbiologist earlier than he grew to become a vintner. Their rosé is especially marvelous. And if you happen to’re getting married within the close to future, the vignettes on the winery surroundings are simply gorgeous. The tasting room is open from 2pm to 8pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, 1pm to 9pm Thursday and Friday, midday to 9pm Saturday, and midday to 7pm Sunday.
4. Brennan Vineyards
Brennan Vineyards began in 2002 with vines of Viognier, Syrah, and Cabernet, and the situation is steeped in Texas historical past. The vineyard is positioned on one of many oldest homesteads in Texas; the tasting room is the historic McCrary House in Comanche. Try the Viognier, one among their award-winning white wines.The tasting room is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon-7pm, Friday and Saturday, Noon to 8pm, and Sunday, midday to 5pm.
5. Pedernales Cellars
Texas Hill Country wineries have a number of the greatest vineyard surroundings round, and it does not get a lot prettier than the view at Pedernales Cellars, which calls their wines “world-class with a Texas accent.” They supply all their grapes from both Texas Hill Country or the Texas High Plains. They have an award-winning Viognier and an impressive Tempranillo.
Their Stonewall tasting room is open Monday – Thursday 10am – 5pm, Friday & Saturday 10 am – 6pm, and Sunday 12pm – 5pm.
6. Becker Vineyards
Becker Vineyards has been making wines for 20 years with a give attention to Texas grapes. They declare to crush extra Texas fruit to make their wine than some other vineyard within the state. If you are a purple wine fan, you undoubtedly need to attempt their Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah, each of which have made Texas Monthly “prime 30 Texas wines” cameos.
They have two tasting rooms, one rural and one downtown. There’s an property winery and a Main Street tasting room 20 minutes away. Main Street hours: Sun -Thu 11am-6pm, Fri-Sat 11-7pm. Estate: Mon-Thurs 10-5, Fri and Sat 10-6, Sun noon-6.
7. Duchman Family Winery
Duchman Family Winery prides itself on utilizing 100% Texas grapes of their wines. Founded in 2004, the vineyard focuses on Italian grape varietals akin to Vermentino, Sangiovese, and Dolcetto. Definitely go for the wine, but additionally plan time to easily be exterior. Bring a picnic and benefit from the stunning Texas Hill Country; HGTV listed this spot as one of many 20 most picturesque wineries within the nation.
The tasting room’s hours are 12-6pm Mon, 12-7pm Tues-Th)u, 12-8pm Friday and Saturday, and 12-7pm Sunday. (Tastings are reservation-only Fri-Sun.)
8. William Chris Vineyards
William Chris Vineyards comes from two veteran winemakers. In 2008, companions Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett created six barrels of their flagship wine, Enchanté (which is why their signal says, in an ideal Texas contact, “Enchanté, y’all”), and the remaining is wine historical past.
All their wines comprise 100-percent Texan grapes. Try their purple mix and their Sangiovese, and plan loads of time to hang around within the tasting room on their historic Hye property. (Their wine membership has the very best identify; if you happen to’re a wine membership member, you are formally “Hye Society.”)
They’re open Sunday to Wednesday, 11am-5pm, and Thursday by way of Saturday, 10am to 6pm. Though they will accommodate some walk-ins on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, they require reservations the remainder of the week-and you possibly can at all times pattern glasses and bottles on their patio.
9. Bending Branch Winery
Bending Branch Winery has been named “Top Texas Winery” by a number of organizations. Their signature wine is a Tannat, an old-world grape that does nicely in Texas floor.
The vineyard combines Old World grapes with New World methods like cryo-maceration and thermoflash fermentation strategies. (And no, you do not have to know what these issues imply to know that their wine tastes nice.)
They’re open midday to 6pm seven days every week. Reservations are beneficial, however not required.
10. Texas Wine Collective
The vineyard previously often known as 4.0 Cellars is a collaboration between three of the superb vineyards already talked about right here: Brennan Vineyards; Lost Oak Winery; McPherson Cellars. With that a lot expertise at play, you recognize these wines are price investigating. Pro tip: They’ve bought a solid live music lineup, from blues to bluegrass, so plan accordingly! Visit from Monday to Saturday, 10am to five:30pm, or Sunday, 11am-5pm.
This article was initially printed November 5, 2021.