Texas wine
Overview
 
Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 has a long history of wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 production. The sunny and dry climate of the major wine making regions in the state have drawn comparison to Portuguese wines. Some of the earliest recorded Texas wines were produced by Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 missionaries in the 1650s near El Paso
El Paso
El Paso, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, on the border with Mexico.El Paso may also refer to:-Geography:Colombia:* El Paso, CesarSpain:*El Paso, Santa Cruz de TenerifeUnited States:...

. The state is home to over 36 members of the Vitis grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

 vine family with fifteen being native to the state, more than any other region on earth.
Encyclopedia
Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 has a long history of wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 production. The sunny and dry climate of the major wine making regions in the state have drawn comparison to Portuguese wines. Some of the earliest recorded Texas wines were produced by Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 missionaries in the 1650s near El Paso
El Paso
El Paso, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, on the border with Mexico.El Paso may also refer to:-Geography:Colombia:* El Paso, CesarSpain:*El Paso, Santa Cruz de TenerifeUnited States:...

. The state is home to over 36 members of the Vitis grape
Grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

 vine family with fifteen being native to the state, more than any other region on earth. As of 2006, the state had over 3200 acres (1,295 ha) planted with Vitis vinifera
Vitis vinifera
Vitis vinifera is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, and southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran....

. Despite being the largest of conterminous states
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

, this relatively small amount of planted land is dwarfed by the production of even the smallest French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 AOCs
Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée
Appellation d’origine contrôlée , which translates as "controlled designation of origin", is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, all under the auspices of the government bureau Institut National...

 like Sancerre
Sancerre
Sancerre is a medieval hilltop town , commune and canton in the Cher department of central France overlooking the Loire River. It is noted for its wine.-History:...

. The Texan wine industry is continuing its steady pace of expansion and has gained a reputation as an established wine growing region in the United States.

History

Texas is one of the oldest wine growing states in the US, with vines planted here more than a hundred years before they were planted in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 or Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. In the 1650s, Franciscan
Franciscan
Most Franciscans are members of Roman Catholic religious orders founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. Besides Roman Catholic communities, there are also Old Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, ecumenical and Non-denominational Franciscan communities....

 priests planted Mission
Mission (grape)
Mission grapes are a variety of Vitis vinifera introduced from Spain to the western coasts of North and South America in the 16th century by Catholic New World missionaries for use in making sacramental, table, and fortified wines.-History:...

 vines in West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

, near modern day El Paso. The vines were a necessity in the production of sacramental wine
Sacramental wine
Sacramental wine, Communion wine or altar wine is wine obtained from grapes and intended for use in celebration of the Eucharist...

 used in the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

. The horticulturist Thomas Munson used Texas vines to create hundreds of hybrid grapes and conducted significant research in finding root stock immune to the Phylloxera
Phylloxera
Grape phylloxera ; originally described in France as Phylloxera vastatrix; equated to the previously described Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, Phylloxera vitifoliae; commonly just called phylloxera is a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America...

 epidemic, which saved the French wine industry from total ruin. The advent of Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

 virtually eliminated Texas' wine industry, which didn't experience a revival until the 1970's, beginning with the founding of Llano Estacado and Pheasant Ridge wineries in the Texas High Plains appellation
Texas High Plains AVA
The Texas High Plains AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the Texas panhandle. The appellation is the second largest American Viticultural Area in Texas, and covers an area of over . Most of the vineyards are on flat terrain at elevations between and above sea level...

 near Lubbock
Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock is a city in and the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas, United States. The city is located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically as the Llano Estacado, and the home of Texas Tech University and Lubbock Christian University...

 and the La Buena Vida winery in Springtown
Springtown, Texas
Springtown is a city in Parker County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,062 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Springtown is located at ....

. The Texas wine industry still feels the effects of Prohibition today with a quarter of Texas' 254 counties still having dry laws on the books.

Geography and climate

Texas is divided into three main wine growing regions with a vast range of diversity and microclimates that allows many different types of grapevines to grow in the state. The North-Central Region spans the northern third of the state from the border of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 across the Texas Panhandle
Texas Panhandle
The Texas Panhandle is a region of the U.S. state of Texas consisting of the northernmost 26 counties in the state. The panhandle is a rectangular area bordered by New Mexico to the west and Oklahoma to the north and east...

 and towards Dallas. This includes the Texas High Plains AVA which has the highest concentration of grape growers in the state. The eastern third of the state makes up the South-Eastern Region which encompasses the area around Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

, San Antonio, and Houston. In recent years this area's wine industry has been hard hit by Pierce's Disease. The high humidity around the northern end of this area makes it difficult to grow vinifera grapes, while vines in the Muscadine
Muscadine
Muscadines are a grapevine species native to the present-day southeastern United States that has been extensively cultivated since the 16th Century. It differs from Vitis spp. in its number of chromosomes and its morphology...

 family flourish. To the south and center of the area is the Texas Hill Country AVA where vinifera is grown. At the far south end of this region, along the Mexico–United States border is the state's oldest winery, Val Verde, which has been in operation for over a century, making sweet fortified wines. The central-western third of the state is known as the Trans-Pecos Regions which produces about 40 percent of the state's grape in the highest altitude
Altitude
Altitude or height is defined based on the context in which it is used . As a general definition, altitude is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference datum and a point or object. The reference datum also often varies according to the context...

 vineyards of the area. More than two thirds of all the wine produced in Texas comes from this area.

The calcareous
Calcareous
Calcareous is an adjective meaning mostly or partly composed of calcium carbonate, in other words, containing lime or being chalky. The term is used in a wide variety of scientific disciplines.-In zoology:...

 soil in the Texas High Plains is characterized as red sandy loam (tiera roja) over caliche (limestone) with moderate low fertility, a terroir
Terroir
Terroir comes from the word terre "land". It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestowed upon particular varieties...

 similar to that found in Coonawarra
Coonawarra
Coonawarra is a wine region, on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, that is known for the Cabernet Sauvignon wines produced on its "terra rossa" soil. Coonawarra is an Aboriginal word meaning "Honeysuckle". It is about 380 km southeast of Adelaide, close to the border with...

 in Australia. The vines are exposed to long days of sunshine and cool nights due to an elevation of over 3500 feet. Cold temperatures during the winter gives the vines opportunity to shut down and go dormant before the growing season. The Ogallala Aquifer
Ogallala Aquifer
The Ogallala Aquifer, also known as the High Plains Aquifer, is a vast yet shallow underground water table aquifer located beneath the Great Plains in the United States...

 provides water resources for irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 and serves as a tempering effects on the high summer temperatures and extreme winter hazards such as freezing temperatures and hail
Hail
Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

. The effects of constant wind over the flat terrain serves as a buffer against viticultural diseases such as oidium
Oidium
This article is about a type of fungal spore. For the ascomycete genus, see Oidium . For the fungus that causes powdery mildew on grapes, see Uncinula necator....

 and powdery mildew
Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants. Powdery mildew diseases are caused by many different species of fungi in the order Erysiphales. It is one of the easier diseases to spot, as its symptoms are quite distinctive. Infected plants display white powdery spots on the...

.

Harvest time in Texas is normally around the end of July, two months earlier than in California and three months earlier than most of the wine regions in France.

Appellations

Texas is home to eight American Viticultural Area
American Viticultural Area
An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau , United States Department of the Treasury....

s.
  • Mesilla Valley AVA
    Mesilla Valley AVA
    The Mesilla Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located primarily in the state of New Mexico with a small area in the state Texas. Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate arrived in the area in 1598 and named a Native American village in the valley Trenquel de la Mesilla, from which the valley...

     (1985) - West Texas
    West Texas
    West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

    . Texas' first AVA though primarily located in New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

     with only small parts extending into Texas.
  • Bell Mountain AVA
    Bell Mountain AVA
    The Bell Mountain AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Gillespie County, Texas. It was the first designated wine area located entirely in the state of Texas, and covers an area of over . The appellation is entirely contained within the Texas Hill Country AVA, which was established...

     (1986)- Central Texas. First AVA completely within the state of Texas. Known for its distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon
    Cabernet Sauvignon
    Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley...

     grown in northern Gillespie County
    Gillespie County, Texas
    Gillespie County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. In 2010, its population was 24,837. It is located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Gillespie is named for Robert Addison Gillespie, who came to Texas in 1837. He was a Texas Ranger, an Indian fighter, a...

    .
  • Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA
    Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA
    The Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA is an American Viticultural Area surrounding the town of Fredericksburg, Texas in the Texas Hill Country. Fredericksburg and the surrounding area were settled by German immigrants in the nineteenth century. These settlers were the first to...

     (1989) - Central Texas. Known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay
    Chardonnay
    Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It is originated from the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand...

    .
  • Texas Hill Country AVA
    Texas Hill Country AVA
    The Texas Hill Country AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio and west of Austin, Texas. The appellation is the second largest American Viticultural Area, and covers an area of over...

     (1991)- Central Texas. Located just west of Austin
    Austin, Texas
    Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

    . With over 9000000 acres (3,642,174 ha), it is the second-largest AVA in the United States though less than 800 acres (323.7 ha) are planted in grape vines.
  • Escondido Valley AVA
    Escondido Valley AVA
    The Escondido Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Pecos County, Texas. It was the fifth designated wine area in the state of Texas, and covers an area of over . There are no wineries located in the Escondido Valley AVA. One winery that makes Escondido Valley AVA designated...

     (1992)- West Texas. About 32000 acres (12,950 ha) along the Pecos River
    Pecos River
    The headwaters of the Pecos River are located north of Pecos, New Mexico, United States, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in Mora County. The river flows for through the eastern portion of that state and neighboring Texas before it...

     in Pecos County
    Pecos County, Texas
    Pecos County is a county located in Texas which is named for the Pecos River. It is one of the nine counties that comprise the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. In 2000, its population was 16,809. The county seat is Fort Stockton....

    .
  • Texas High Plains AVA
    Texas High Plains AVA
    The Texas High Plains AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the Texas panhandle. The appellation is the second largest American Viticultural Area in Texas, and covers an area of over . Most of the vineyards are on flat terrain at elevations between and above sea level...

     (1993) - North Texas
    North Texas
    North Texas is a distinct cultural and geographic area forming the central-northeastern section of the U.S. state of Texas. North Texas is generally considered to include the area south of Oklahoma, east of Abilene, and north of Waco...

    . The Texas Hill country is considered the most promising up and coming AVA, specializing in the production of Cabernet Sauvignon. Covering an area of over 8000000 acres (3,237,488 ha), 3500 acres (1,416.4 ha) are planted with 20 wineries currently producing wine.
  • Texas Davis Mountains AVA
    Texas Davis Mountains AVA
    The Texas Davis Mountains AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the Trans-Pecos region of West Texas. Surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert, the appellation takes advantage of cooler elevation and lower annual rainfall in the Davis Mountains. The land within the boundaries of the AVA...

     (1998) - West Texas. Only one winery in existence when granted AVA status in 1998. Specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc
    Sauvignon blanc
    Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape most likely gets its name from the French word sauvage and blanc due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France., a possible descendant of savagnin...

    .
  • Texoma AVA
    Texoma AVA
    The Texoma AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in north central Texas, on the south side of Lake Texoma and the Red River that forms the border with the state of Oklahoma...

     (2005) - North Texas. The Texoma region is where 19th century viticulturist Thomas Volney Munson
    Thomas Volney Munson
    Thomas Volney Munson often referred to simply as T.V. Munson, was a horticulturist and breeder of grapes in Texas.-Background:...

     discovered the cure for France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    's phylloxera
    Phylloxera
    Grape phylloxera ; originally described in France as Phylloxera vastatrix; equated to the previously described Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, Phylloxera vitifoliae; commonly just called phylloxera is a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America...

     epidemic.

Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay have the highest number of plantings in the state, followed by Chenin blanc
Chenin Blanc
Chenin blanc , is a white wine grape variety from the Loire valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make everything from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines, although it can produce very bland, neutral wines if the vine's natural vigor is not controlled...

 and Sauvignon blanc as leading variety in tonnage
Tonnage
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo carrying capacity of a ship. The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns or casks of wine, and was later used in reference to the weight of a ship's cargo; however, in modern maritime usage, "tonnage" specifically refers to a calculation of the volume...

 produced. Texas is also home to Syrah, Tempranillo
Tempranillo
Tempranillo is a variety of black grape widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's "noble grape". Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano , a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks...

, Sangiovese
Sangiovese
Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety whose name derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove"...

, Viognier
Viognier
Viognier is a white wine grape. It is the only permitted grape for the French wine Condrieu in the Rhone valley.-History:The origin of the Viognier grape is unknown. Viognier is presumed to be an ancient grape, possibly originating in Dalmatia and then brought to Rhône by the Romans. One legend...

 and Pinot Gris
Pinot Gris
Pinot gris is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot noir grape, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name but the grape can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance...

 plantings. The Texas Department of Agriculture
Texas Department of Agriculture
The Texas Department of Agriculture is a state agency within the state of Texas, which is responsible for matters pertaining to agriculture, rural community affairs, and related matters.TDA was established by the 13th Texas Legislature in 1907...

 lists twenty-one wine varieties grown in Texas.

Wineries

There are more than 200 wineries in Texas, producing around 4,100 tons of wine, making it the third-largest wine producing state in the nation. The University of Texas System
University of Texas System
The University of Texas System encompasses 15 educational institutions in Texas, of which nine are academic universities and six are health institutions. The system is headquartered in Austin and has a total enrollment of over 190,000 students...

 is the largest wine producer in the state with over 1000 acres (404.7 ha) planted near Fort Stockton in West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

. First established as an experimental vineyard in 1987, the university leases the land to a group of Bordeaux wine
Bordeaux wine
A Bordeaux wine is any wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France. Average vintages produce over 700 million bottles of Bordeaux wine, ranging from large quantities of everyday table wine, to some of the most expensive and prestigious wines in the world...

 makers who produce two labels-Ste. Genevieve and Escondido Valley. The second largest winery is Llano Estacado Winery
Llano Estacado Winery
Llano Estacado Winery is a winery located in Lubbock, Texas. Llano Estacado planted its first vineyard in 1978....

.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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