Henry Crowson, owner of Crowson Wines, is new to the Hill Country of Texas in Johnson City with his tasting room being open for about 3 months. Henry is quite the dynamic personality with very strong opinions on how he wants to be making Texas wine. He is a proponent of natural fermentations, no use of sulfites, no filtration, and high acid wine-making. He's making some delicious rosé, Malbec aged in oak and concrete, and some dry Malvasia Bianca. Such great conversation about what is possible in Texas!
Jennifer McInnis Fadel, from Bending Branch Winery, and Ron Yates, from Spicewood Vineyards and Ron Yates Winery, come on the show to talk about the start of the 2018 harvest in Texas. They are part of the Texas Fine Wine association and always have great perspectives on the industry. Early ripening grapes are starting to come in for the Hill Country, with the High Planes still a bit further out. Hear all about the regions of Texas, the hot grape varieties, and the madness of Harvest!
Sergio Cuadra, Winemaker of Fall Creek Vineyards, comes on the show to describe the 2018 Texas growing season so far. This episode was broadcast on KOOP Radio on July 3rd, and Sergio describes what is going on during the process of Veraison. Since then, the growing season has progressed, and some wineries are already starting to harvest early ripening grapes. It's always great to have Sergio on the show, he comes from a background of making wine in his home country Chile, and really believes in the potential of Texas to make world class wine.
You can also listen to a previous episode where he describes in detail his research on growing grapes in the Texas climate, CLICK HERE. You can also read Sergio's blog on the growing season so far, HERE.
Messina Hof, founded in 1977, is currently making 90 different wines from 33 varieties, wow! Paul and Karen Bonarigo, second generation owners, come on the podcast to talk about the evolution of Texas wine, the history and future of Messina Hof, and so much more. Check it out!
We're continuing to interview Texas winemakers who are innovating and raising the bar in celebration of October being Texas Wine Month. Doug Lewis of Lewis Wines is certainly positioned in the vanguard and has his finger on the pulse of what is really going both in the Hill Country and the High Plains. I always enjoy chatting with Doug, and I'm sure you're enjoy listening!
Continuing to feature Texas wineries during Texas Wine Month, we welcome on Jennifer McInnis, general manager of Bending Branch Winery. We have a great conversation about some of the varieties that Bending Branch champions, Tannat and Picpoul at the top of the list. They also use some innovative winemaking techniques, such as Cryo-maceration and Flash Detente. Check out what it's all about!
As continued coverage of Texas Wine Month, we catch up with Ben Calais at his winery in the Hill Country. This was a great conversation about this year's harvest, his focus on the Bordeaux varieties, how Ben is coaxing the most flavor out of his grapes, and so much more! Ben has a cool thing going on in his underground cellar, selling only direct to consumer, and cultivating a strong following! Santé!
We kick off our coverage of October as Texas Wine Month with January Wiese, Executive Director of the Hill Country Wineries Association. Then, we hear from Lewis Dickson, and how he is producing some magical 100% Estate wines from his vineyard in Canyon Lake, just west of New Braunfels. Lewis is a staunch proponent of natural or "hands off" winemaking, never adding yeast, sulfites, enzymes, or anything. We learn about the path he's taken to focusing on the two Texas hybrid grapes, Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish, and how wine should be the whole film, not just a snapshot.
Texas Wine Journal Panelists, Jon Gerber, Shawn Croft, and Julia Dixon come on the show to talk about Chardonnay from Texas and around the world. They tasted 6 chardonnay blind and this is their commentary before they knew which was which. You can see the lineup below, but overall, great discussion around the most famous and infamous white grape out there. Plus, I think the consensus was that TX did show strong. Guest appearance from Daniel Kelada at the end to give insight on the producers and regions!
We're in the throws of summer, and the Texas grape harvest is in full swing. We talk with winemakers across the state to get the low down of where the harvest is and where it's going across the state. It's an early harvest, but there's high hopes for the Hill Country and High Plains; "no excuses," says Sergio Cuadra of Fall Creek Vineyards. But the Gulf Coast and other parts of Texas have other difficulties. Check out the podcast for the full story!
In 2006, Randy left Houston to carve out a life with his wife in Napa, with the 10 year plan to come back to TX to make world class wine and push the industry. An internship at Cakebread lead to a job, then to a position at Colgin, then to work under cult winemakers like Mike Hirby and Andy Erickson. All this lead to served as the foundation of his own label, Lightning Wines, focusing on Grenache. In 2014, Randy came back to TX to launch C.L Butaud to push the possibilities of Tempranillo. Check out the podcast to hear Randy tell his story. He's made a splash already!
Regan and Carey Meador come into the KOOP studios to share with us their quest to first produce highly acclaimed wine on the North Fork of Long Island then their transition to Texas. We get all the juicy facts of Long Island wine as well as a strong argument for why we should all be excited about Texas as a growing region! Get the inside scoop, cause they still have some LI wines to sell, extremely interesting Lagrein and Teroldego (yeah, that's right), and everybody's getting excited about their first 2017 Texas vintage!
Grayson is winemaker of Arché Vineyard and Winery in Saint Jo, about an hour North of Dallas. An odd place you might guess for vineyards, but Grayson explains how the conditions are unique and perfect for grapes. Arché was the first to move into the neighborhood, but now there are a number of wineries moving into what the locals are referring to the Red River Valley. Check it out, there's even a guest appearance by Presley Whitehead, vineyard manager of neighboring Blue Ostrich and Grayson's fiancé!
Kyle Johnston talks about his experience in setting up this brand new winery RLV in Coleman Texas. Centered around the Rancho Loma getaway ranch and restaurant, their first vintage is 2016, and the tasting room just opened to the public. He's working with some fantastic vineyards from around the state, and looking forward to their estate vineyard planted to Rhone varietals. They scored several awards in the recent Texsom wine competition.
Sergio is head winemaker at Fall Creek Vineyards and came to TX after a career of making wine in Chile. We talk about the challenges of growing grapes in a warm climate and how the vines adapt to produce wines you wouldn't expect. Sergio talks of his experience of making wine in TX, how the soil and site make all the difference, as well as why the winemaker must stay on his or her toes during harvest.