Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Texas WineMonth- Austin Quote

“Nature seemed to have intended Texas for a vineyard to supply America with vines.” Stephen F. Austin. I love this quote. The exact wording and context the Founding Father of Texas said it in is not as important to me as the mindset and experience these words reveal. Mr. Austin and his contemporaries won Texas' independence and were "hacking their living out of the wilderness with their own two hands, burying their children along the way!" (to quote Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans. (Great movie!)) Many of them were new immigrants from the Old World; Germany, France, Spain, Italy and other homelands. Some were from places just as hot and dry as Texas, and they had grown vines and made wine in the Old World! They looked around the Texas landscape and could easily imagine vast vineyards here too. Prior to Prohibition, Texas had almost fifty commercial wineries! This was the beginning of what would have been a great industry for our state. Prohibition closed all but one winery; Val Verde in Del Rio.

In the years immediately after Prohibition the California wine industry grew exponentially. They have done a incredible job; growing grapes, vinifying wine and marketing their wine and state. Today they make ninety percent of the wine in the U.S.A. Most wine drinkers in North America who think about wine are really thinking about California wine. Because of this many think that wine country has to be as cool and as wet like California. This is NOT TRUE, there are other regions in the world hot and dry like Texas and they make world class wines. I encourage you to look for Texas wines that are taking their inspiration from these other regions. You might have to go outside your comfort zone and drink a wine other than Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet or Merlot. But, you will be okay and you might even find a Viognier, Roussanne, Blanc du Bois, Trebbianno, Picpoul Blanc, Syrah, Tempranillo, Malbec, Sangiovese, Lenoir (a.k.a. Black Spanish) or Aglianico grown in Texas that you love even more than those California wines! And, who knows, maybe someday Texas wineries will make enough wine to begin shipping them to the other states in our union and other countries! Achieving that elusive dream that started back when Texas was a brand new state (country.)

Please follow my blog; I will have more to share with you about Texas, wine and the lessons we learn along the way.

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