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Texas Wines: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

3 November 2010 1,818 views 9 Comments

I love wine and I love supporting local businesses. That’s why I take every opportunity I can to learn about and taste Texas wines. Thanks to Denise Fraser and the Texas Department of Agriculture Go Texan programs to promote Texas wine, I’ve had many opportunities over the past couple years.

Go Texan Wine Bus to Marble Falls

Go Texan Wine Bus to Marble Falls

Recently, I was invited to attend Sunset on the Lake in Marble Falls. This event brought together about 20 Texas wine makers and a dozen local restaurants for an evening of tasting. According to TDA, there are over 180 wineries in Texas. That were only 46 in 2001 so the industry has grown almost 400% in less than ten years!

Spicewood Vineyards Bottle Design, New and Old

Spicewood Vineyards Bottle Design, New and Old

I started the evening with whites — a Messina Hof Gewürztraminer followed by a Brennan Viognier. Denise arranged to serve wine from Texas wineries that were not participating in Sunset on the Lake on the bus ride to Marble Falls, which is 45 miles from Austin.

When we arrived at the event, I sampled wine from a dozen or so of the wineries in attendance. My favorite reds were from Calais Winery, located in the Dallas city limits. Winemaker Benjamin Calais hand selects his grapes from Newsom Vineyards, in West Texas. He released his first wines in 2008 and ages the wine in french oak.

Calais Winery Bottles - Photo Credit, Calais Winery

Calais Winery Bottles - Photo Credit, Calais Winery

Calais is a boutique winery so you can only buy their wines at the winery in Dallas — or order them to be sent to your home. I really enjoyed the Calais Tempranillo, followed by the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Calais Winery in Dallas, Photo Credit Calais Winery

Calais Winery in Dallas, Photo Credit Calais Winery

My favorite whites at the event were the Haak Blanc du Bois table wine — sold at Specs — and the Dry Comal Creek Sparkling wine — sold at Central Market.

Dry Comal Creek Whites

Dry Comal Creek Whites

Politically, Texas is definitely a red state (except for Austin of course!). And the same generally goes for the wines. I always feel safer drinking a Texas red if I don’t have the option of tasting the white first. However, I was impressed with these whites from Haak and Dry Comal Creek — and look forward to tasting more delicious Texas whites as the industry continues to grow.

Haak Blanc du Bois

Haak Blanc du Bois

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  • http://www.fabulousdrinksaustin.com/ Fabulous Drinks Austin

    Jodi,

    Thanks for this post. I am very interested in all things local, but in all honesty have not yet found a Texas wine that I love. Inwood Estates is on the top of my list, have you had it?

  • http://www.fabulousdrinksaustin.com/ Fabulous Drinks Austin

    Jodi,

    Thanks for this post. I am very interested in all things local, but in all honesty have not yet found a Texas wine that I love. Inwood Estates is on the top of my list, have you had it?

  • jodibart

    Hi Nicole – I'm not sure that I have tried Inwood Estates but I have a terrible memory — hence, the blog to remind me what I've actually experienced. Which wine do you like from them? I might have to try some if they are sold at Central Market. I'm heading there soon for their 25% off at least 13 bottles of wine deal!

  • jodibart

    Hi Nicole – I'm not sure that I have tried Inwood Estates but I have a terrible memory — hence, the blog to remind me what I've actually experienced. Which wine do you like from them? I might have to try some if they are sold at Central Market. I'm heading there soon for their 25% off at least 13 bottles of wine deal!

  • http://www.fabulousdrinksaustin.com/ Fabulous Drinks Austin

    oh gosh so glad the memory thing is in common, ha! Don't know exactly which red, but had a few varietals and all were great!

  • http://www.fabulousdrinksaustin.com/ Fabulous Drinks Austin

    oh gosh so glad the memory thing is in common, ha! Don't know exactly which red, but had a few varietals and all were great!

  • Nolan

    Well, were glad everyone is enjoying the wine. The Newsoms

  • Nolan

    Well, were glad everyone is enjoying the wine. The Newsoms

  • Nolan

    Well, were glad everyone is enjoying the wine. The Newsoms