Our cute cute wine chick Lisa (and author of the upcoming book Wine Girl) is back with the final installment on Texas Wine Month. Alas, October is almost over (how did that happen?). Lisa’s got quotes from winemakers and all kinds of good info. It’s been fun. Jump for the whole report.
Well, Dishers, my favorite month of the year is almost over…and you know I’ve already started counting the days ‘til next October! I’ve had so much fun exploring Texas wine with you over the past few weeks (click here to read Part I and Part II), and today we have a special treat to wrap up TWM in style.
I felt that this final post would not be complete without a few words from Bobby Champion, Jr., our State Coordinator for Wine Marketing and one of Texas wine’s biggest fans. I asked him for his thoughts as the month was drawing to a close, and he responded with a beautiful statement:
“Texans lifted their glasses in salute of the state’s wine industry during October, Texas Wine Month. The continuing success of the Texas wine industry is a testament to the hard work and dedication to quality of grape growers and wine makers across the state who refuse to let others define them. Texas wines have arrived, and the world is beginning to notice.”
His words make quite an impact. In fact, they continued to echo through my head long after I read them, as I thought back on my travels this year. I remembered rolling up and down hills, riding through forests and across barren, desert-like terrain on the way to dozens of Texas towns as I worked on my book. Each winery I visited had a personality all its own, and every owner and winemaker had a different story to tell. I have seen only a fraction of the 160+ wineries throughout our state, but so far I’ve had the privilege of speaking with some of the most motivated, knowledgeable and fascinating people you could ever hope to meet.
And so, in keeping with Bobby’s theme, I’d like to share a few words from some of these remarkable individuals. Some are veterans in the industry, while others have just begun their journey in the world of wine. Below are some of my favorite quotes from our conversations. Enjoy!
Flat Creek Estate, Marble Falls
Owner Madelyn Naber on Texas Winemakers: “You’ll find passion everywhere you go. It’s a huge thing to move an industry forward, and it takes people who have vision.”
Rick and Madelyn Naber have created one of the most stunning wineries in the Hill Country at Flat Creek Estate. Food & Wine Magazine named it one of “America’s 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences” in 2006.
Owner and winemaker Caris Turpen, on the “Texas Sensibilities” she learned from her father: “A sense of honor, a sense of duty, a sense of loyalty, a sense of keeping your promises.”
Lightcatcher was featured in my last post here on Side Dish. Check it out to read more about this one-of-a-kind boutique winery. (PHOTO: Caris Turpen, Lightcatcher Winery by Lara Bierner)
Owner and winemaker Jeff Sneed, on moving to Texas from California: “I thought, whenever I go to do my life’s calling, I’m gonna go to Texas.”
In addition to their regular tasting and dining room hours, Jeff and his wife Dana host creative theme dinners at their East Texas winery. On one night each month, music, entertainment and a special menu created by Chef Dana are enjoyed by guests along with LPRV’s wonderful wines. (PHOTO: Jeff and Dana Sneed, Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards by Lara Bierner)
Sister Creek Vineyards, Sisterdale
Tasting room manager David Prejza, on the Texas wine industry: “It’s nice to see an industry that is really on the cusp, things are really changing.”
Sister Creek is housed in a restored cotton gin, dating back to 1885. The winery has been producing classic, European-style wines for the last 20 years.
Alamosa Wine Cellars, Bend
Owner and winemaker Jim Johnson, on Texas wine pioneers: “The people who were doing this, who were making Texas wine when Texas wine wasn’t cool, we owe them a big debt of gratitude. If they hadn’t done what they did when they did it, we wouldn’t be here today.”
Jim graduated from the prestigious Viticulture and Enology program at the University of California, Davis, and applied his training at wineries in Napa and Sonoma before returning to Texas. He founded Alamosa Wine Cellars in 1999 with his wife, Karen.
For more information on these and many other Texas wineries, visit www.gotexanwine.org. I wish you all the best as you continue to explore Texas wine!