Texas has been an up and coming wine producing state for many years. Currently it ranks in 6th place for total number of wineries compared to all US states. One of its wine producing areas, the Texas Hill Country was also recently chosen the number one “hidden gem” for US wine regions by a travel website. As the US wine industry has continued to grow this means wine consumers are able to cast a much wider net in their searches for new wines to try. In gaining positive press such as from this travel website, Texas will be able to continue with its fast winery growth rate.
There are currently approxiamately 200 wineries in Texas. Their numbers increased over 62% in just the past 5 years according to industry tracking sources. So it may then come as no surprize that it is also gaining regular positive press from wine consumers and those who keep them informed.
The Texas Hill Country, which was named the number one “hidden gem” US wine region by the Away.com travel site also happens to be a designated grape growing region, or AVA. (American Viticultural Area) Texas currently has 8 AVAs. The Texas Hill Country, appropriately so for Texas standards is a very large one at 9.6 million acres. Just for reference, it could hold almost 43 Napa Valley-sized AVAs.
There are currently almost 30 wineries in the AVA and the tourist visits have been steadily increasing in recent years to match this growth. Texas wineries produce many of the same varietals familiar to long time wine drinkers such as cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot. It appears also to be very common to find many labels simply stating “red wine” or “white wine”. In these cases the winery has created a blend of several varietals, which when it comes time to create a label for it the use of a single varietal name is not an option due to federal labeling standards. This points also to the flair that Texas winemakers are putting into their final product, in blending a wider mix of types of wine which in the process creates something different for their customers to try.
Texas wine labels are also a very entertaining twist from the flood of the market of California wines. Their labels have a fun, local flair to them which shows off well for the overall trademark flavor of the state itself. For a closer look at some of these I recommend the Texas Wine & Grapegrowers Association website: http://www.txwines.org.
It will be interesting to continue to follow the growth of upcoming wine producing states such as Texas. Though it does mean that many more choices for wine consumers they may just have to stretch their wine options by taking a trip to these newer regions to get the full background experience and discover their own hidden gems.