You might not think it, but Texas is rapidly becoming a well-known wine-producing state. Of course, the industry is very young – no more than 40 years old or so. Despite that newness, Texas currently ranks fourth in the nation regarding wine production and revenue. And, at least partially due to that youth, there are quite a few grape varietals being grown around the state.
Why the Range of Grapes?
Take a look at some of the wine grapes grown in the average vineyard in Texas, and you are just as likely to find unknown names as you are well-known ones like cabernet sauvignon. Part of that is the fact that growers are still trying to determine which grape varietals are best suited to the various growing regions in the state. There are eight different growing areas or AVAs, and each of those has its climate, soil type, sun intensity, wind flow patterns, and other factors that affect grape growth and maturity.
Grapes have been grown for winemaking in Texas since the Spanish first entered the area centuries ago. However, wine production has historically been pretty low, and the focus was largely on well-known varietals that would sell well. That is changing today as more and more growers look for varietals that are best-suited for Texas. So, you are less and less likely to find Burgundy or Merlot varietals, and more and more likely to find lesser-known options like Sangiovese and Tempranillo, that are historically suited to warmer climates.
Some of those gaining the most attention include Rhône varieties, such as Mourvèdre and Tannat, or Carignan and Cinsault.Regarding whites, you’ll find newcomers to the state like Vermentino and Trebbiano Toscano, or Albariño and Chenin Blanc.
A New Focus
As mentioned, the focus in the past was on creating wines that had wide recognition and appeal. That’s changing today as more growers look at flexing their creative muscles by coming up with new blends that are unique to the state of Texas. This is perhaps the best way to truly create a Texas wine.
Want to experience firsthand the what might grow in a vineyard in Texas? Why not visit Bell Springs Winery? From wine tastings to vineyard tours, weekend music and even food trucks, we know you’ll love the experience.