Texas Wines: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.Tags: GO TEXAN, wine, winery