Texas Fine Wines is a collective of four wineries (Bending Branch, Duchman Family, Pedernales Cellars and Spicewood Vineyards) that produce wines with grapes from different vineyards including some in the Texas High Plains, the Hill Country, Bell Mountain, Escondido Valley and Fort Davis.
Denise Clarke is the director of Texas Fine Wine and says the last two years have proven the grit of Texas grape growers and wineries.
"We had the 2019 Halloween Massacre, an early fall freeze that damaged vines that had just been harvested, followed by the 2020 pandemic that changed winery experiences forever, and then the Snowmageddon, which thankfully ended up not being as damaging as feared," Clarke explained. "This year’s harvest might be lower in quantity, but overall, the quality is exceptional. Some say it could rival the 2017 vintage."
Adapting to uncontrollable circumstances has long been crucial for the Texas wine industry (some farms have netting to protect grapes from hail). When the pandemic hit, many moved their tasting room experiences outdoors and built patios and cabanas. But the pandemic wasn't all bad news for the industry: they found that many wine enthusiasts were eager to join virtual tastings. Also when trips to Napa and Sonoma had to be canceled, many instead explored wineries in their own backyards.
"And they were not disappointed," says Clarke."As they tasted and learned about Texas' exceptional wines that are winning top awards at prestigious wine competitions and are on par with (and often better than) their international counterparts."
For those of us who can't traverse the state and visit different wineries on the weekends from the Panhandle all the way to South Texas, Texas Fine Wines is bringing the winery to you; their holiday wine pack has one bottle from each winery specifically paired for the holiday. And at $125, including shipping, it's not a bad deal at all.
The following bottles are included in the 2021 holiday pack:
Duchman Family Winery 2020 Roussanne, Oswald VineyardPedernales Cellars' tempranillo was recently awarded Double Gold at the San Antonio Rodeo International Wine Competition. The 2018 vintage is a blend of tempranillo from the Texas Hill Country and the Texas High Plains American Viticulture Areas (AVA), blended with Graciano and Touriga Nacional varieties of grapes.
100% Roussanne with notes of ripe pear, lime, stone fruit and minerality
Pedernales Cellars 2018 Tempranillo Reserve
Blend of tempranillo, Touriga Nacional and graciano with notes of black currant, black cherry and vanilla
Spicewood Vineyards 2018 The Independence
Blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot with notes of black plum, black cherries and dark chocolate
Bending Branch Winery 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Newsom Vineyards
100% cabernet sauvignon with notes of black cherry cola, baking spices, clove and vanilla
Bending Branch’s 2018 cabernet won Gold at the 2021 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in the international wine category. Only 326 cases were produced; one bottle sells for $50 through the winery website.
If you want to learn more about the wines, you can hop on a Talk and Taste on Nov. 11; vintners from each of the wineries will discuss the background of each bottle along with pairing notes. They also offer insight into small details that make the wine interesting and interact with each other.
The 2021 Fine Wine Holiday Pack is $125 (plus tax) for four bottles and that includes shipping. Place your order by Nov. 10 to make sure you get them by Thanksgiving. Or Dec. 8 to get by Christmas.