Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wiki Wine Site and Future C&D Plans






Just in: a wiki site for your perusal: Encyclowine. Express your deep geek need to tell the world the facts by writing for or editing posts. This site was put together by a fellow Austinite, so I just gotsta spread the news. Check 'er out!

I've been thinking about what to do next. There must be more to blogging than review after review, or biz talk, which bores the crap out of me...and then it hit me. I have yet to cover the very wine country on my own back porch. Well, that just won't do. So next up, I'll hit my local people.

"Aw, but who gives a crapola about Texas wine?" I do. The Texas wine industry is a great conundrum. We have some great areas for growing, but still the industry flails. Why why why??? I wanna know. Why do many Texas wines come out so thin and flawed? Why don't more winemakers grow varieties that would do better in the heat? What's it going to take to make the Texas Wine Industry flourish? Money? Talent? A change in the dry county laws?

Well, I'll do my best to find out. Stay tuned.

Clinkies.

20 Comments:

Blogger Vincent Fritzsche said...

The Cork and Demon kicks ass. Definitely keep it going. I'm an Oregonian with Hill Country in-laws. I think the limestone is special, but I'd love to read more about why Texas grape growers don't or won't plant more varieties that would fit the climate a little better. I don't think it's an easy place to grow much of anything wine wise, but surely grenache would be more interesting than merlot. Right?

12:14 PM  
Blogger taj said...

Grenache, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, a number of Italian white grapes...the wine I tasted from High Plains Grenache and Mourvedre was a perfectly lovely wine for the price (Woodrose 'La Cigale'). It can be done. We just need to lay off planting Cab and Merlot all over the place and take a look at new varieties.

Thanks for reading!

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Dixie said...

That'd be great if you covered Texas wineries. I'd like to know about good quality wines that use grapes grown here in Texas. So far I've had wines from two Texas wineries: Ste. Genevieve and Llano Estacado. Ste. Genevieve was okay as a "starter" wine, but now that I've been exposed to more complex (and more expensive) wines, I don't care for it much anymore. I've had the Llano Blush and Shiraz, and both were much too sweet for my taste. Then the manager of one of the wine shops I go to told me that Llano uses grapes grown in California! So that to me seems like a misrepresentation (if it's true).

11:39 AM  
Blogger taj said...

Many Texas wineries source fruit from different states, including California, Arizona, and New Mexico. Ste. Genevieve, which is owned by a French company, even gets some of its bulk grapes from France.
This isn't supposed to be a misrepresentation (although it really is) but just companies compensating for the lack of fruit grown in Texas. It is one of the many questions I hope to find out during the course of my Texas inquiries.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Lenn said...

Hey Taj...can you recommend some Texas wines for my 50 States-50 Wineries project over at Wine Sediments?

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Lenn said...

Some good Syrah in your neck of the woods? Zinfandel even?

1:42 PM  
Blogger taj said...

Yeah, Lenn--I'll email you...

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Bobby Cox said...

Vincent,

Hang on we are on the way! The following is the quote of the day on Winegrapes.tamu.edu

Viticulture Quote of the Day

“Selection of the correct varieties, both for environmental conditions and end-use, is fundamental for the success of any viticultural enterprise.”
- Coombe and Dry, 1988

Please be kind to Merlot there are hundreds of thousands of acres in Texas where Merlot can make delightful wine, think north, think west. There are currently 17 acres of Merot planted in this area.

Folks are planting vines where they are rather than where those vines will make good wine. I love Grenache and am growing 2.7 acres of it. This is a truely wonderful place to grow wine and people who seek out the best terroirs can find them if they are willing to grow wines where they grow best.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Christian said...

There are more Texas wineries selling out of state fruit than we could mention here. Some are perfectly open about it, labeling the wine as "American", rather than Texas, some don't label it with an appellation at all, some are much more dishonest. And Texas law allows for the dishonesty.

Under FEDERAL wine labeling law, if the wine is labeled as Texas, at least 75% of the fruit had to come from Texas. Texas law is not so demanding, allowing a much lower percentage of native fruit, and then allowing the wine to be marked "For Sale in Texas Only" to keep the label from triggereing federal law. It's a pretty dirt little trick.

Furthermore, some Texas wineries use their brand identification to simply bottle wines without telling you anything about fruit origin. The current Llano Pinot Grigio has NO appellation listed. Wanna bet it's not from Texas? Customers should ABSOLUTELY be able to assume that wine from a Texas winery is actually FROM TEXAS. Unfortunately, both Texas and Federal labeling law provide many loopholes to fool the customer.

Same thing with a "California" wine, the 2004 Mark West Pinot Noir was cleverly from Corsica, that's Corsica, France. Said it right there on the front label, on the shelf, in the California Pinot Noir section. But because people thought of Mark West as a California brand, most people never thought to check whether the wine was actually from California.

Just read the labels folks. If it's from Texas it will say Texas, or Texas Hill Country, or Texas High Plains, or Lubbock County, or some identifiable geographical Lone Star locale.

BUT, If it says "For Sale in Texas Only", all bets are off. It's undocumented alien wine, might be from Mars.

9:24 PM  
Blogger taj said...

Well said, sir!

3:01 PM  
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