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home > food & wine dictionary > Texas

Food and Wine Dictionary

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In the last 20 years, this state has gone from one winery to over twenty-five, even though growth slowed during the economic trials of the late 1980s. The history of Texas grape growing goes back at least to the 1660s, when Franciscan monks planted MISSION grapes adjacent to their missions. In the 1880s a Texan by the name of Thomas Volney Munson became a hero to the French when he shipped thousands of ROOTSTOCKS to European vineyards after they'd been attacked by PHYLLOXERA. Texan vineyards initially used native American varieties and HYBRIDS like CHANCELLOR, CHAMBOURCIN, and VIDAL BLANC. In the late 1970s, however, wineries began to move toward European varieties. Today a majority of Texan vineyards grow VITIS VINIFERA grapes including CABERNET FRANC, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CHARDONNAY, CHENIN BLANC, COLOMBARD, GEWÜRZTRAMINER, MERLOT, MUSCAT, PINOT NOIR, RIESLING, RUBY CABERNET, SAUVIGNON BLANC, and SÉMILLON. Wineries are scattered throughout the state, but the biggest concentrations are around the city of Lubbock in northwest Texas and west of Austin in central Texas. There are also wineries near Fort Stockton in west Texas and some north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Texas now has a number of AVAs including Bell Mountain, Escondido Valley, Mesilla Valley, Fredericksberg, and Texas Hill Country. Among the Texas wineries are Bell Mountain, Cordier (formerly Ste. Genevieve), Fall Creek Vineyard, Llano Estacado, Messina Hof Wine Cellars, Moyer Champagne, Pheasant Hill, and Teysha.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

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