When people think American wine their minds almost always go to California and Napa. But last year Texas produced 1.8 million cases of wine last year, making Texas the fifth largest wine producer in the country, and it’s growing. According to a report by the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, the industry generated $1.88 billion in economic activity in the state.
But of course, there’s quantity…and then there’s quality.
Russ Kane writes about wine for Vintage Texas. His latest book is a tour of Texas Hill Country wineries. Kane joined the Standard today to tell us a little about Texas wine, and what makes it so unique.
On what makes Texan wine different from Californian wine:
“Everybody’s had a Napa valley cabernet perhaps – very big, bold wine, lots of fruit. Texas is more like the Mediterranean…dry, minerally like a dusty trail. You get those kind of nuances in the wine besides just the fruit flavors.”
On Texas wine families:
“They are getting notoriety, they have a certain amount of expertise now. But I think our style kind of came from its history here. Most of the modern wine movement came out of the immigrant farmers that came from Europe.”
On the recent uptick in wine tourism:
“Wine making has a certain panache, it has a certain romantic bent to it. It may be just farming, but it really has a different nuance. And that’s where they started to play on the wine tourism aspect – and have trails. I think that’s where Texas has really catapulted itself tremendously.”