BBQ, Cactus and Texas Wine? It’s a Thing and People Dig It

Young adults love Texas wine.

You probably don’t think of Texas when you ponder which states produce great wine. Beef and BBQ, sure, but not wine. Well, if you ask a gaggle of Texas-based young adults if they’d like to try a bottle of Texas wine, they’d say, “hell yes, and bring me another.”

Believe it or not, Texas is beginning to grow unconventional varietals. And, surprise: Texas is now the fifth largest wine-grape-growing state. In fact, in 2013, “wine and grape production created nearly $2 billion in economic activity for the state,” reports CBS. West Texas has a high altitude, deep sandy soil, and a dry climate, which is optimal for wine production.

Recently, CBS reported on the Texas wine trend. The story featured a few notable wine makers in Texas. One of the wine-grape growers was Neal Newsom, owner of Newsom Farms. According to CBS, Newsom began planting almost 30 years ago. Currently, his West Texas farm is 144 acres. He sells 12 different varieties of grapes, sold to 12 different wineries.

The other wine producing family the CBS story focused on was the McPherson family. The McPherson family has been bottling their wines for over 40 years. Currently, the family is well known for their unique wine varietals, which are popular with Millennials, reports CBS:

“They are not drinking what their parents drink. The mom and dad might be drinking Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot. And they really don’t want to drink that. You give them a weird wine like Carignon or Mourvèdre or Cinsault or Viognier, they’re going, ‘Oh, we like that. We love this,’ McPherson said.”

In addition to Texas’ grapes popularity, the vines also take less water than cotton plants.

And speaking of water saving and sustainability: As wine production “booms” in Texas, some vineyards are creating sustainable and organic wines:

Bending Branch Winery: This winery resides near Comfort, Texas. It features “sustainable practices” and has an “organically focused operation.” It sits on 20 acres and carries 16 varietals.

Pedernales Cellars: This estate has quite a few vineyards, but the Kuhlken family runs the Cellars’ Kuhlken Vineyards. Kuhlken Vineyards keeps its operation sustainable by using “ecologically sound agricultural practices that minimize the impact on {the} landscape.” The estate is 17 acres and is in the Texas, Bell Mountain AVA (American Viticultural Area). This estate grows:

– Tempranillo
– Touriga Nacional
– Albarino
– Mourvedre
– Grenache
– Small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot

Related on EcoSalon

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Learning About Types of Wine: What is Natural Wine?

Image: John Tornow

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.