Hello Texas wine lovers!
Welcome to the Hill Country Grapevine! We are an educational and informational platform dedicated to the celebration and promotion of Texas wine. Many of you may not even be aware that Texas produces wine, but we are currently the fifth largest wine producing state in the United States and the Texas Hill Country is actually the largest of eight officially recognized Agricultural Viticultural Areas in the state and has become the second most popular wine country destination after Napa and Sonoma.
We offer an attractive rugged landscape of gentle rolling hills, deep caves and carved rivers, embellished with oaks, mesquites and cedar trees, along with an abundance of bluebonnets and other varied, colorful wild flowers. Warm and friendly southern hospitality greets you at the door of each winery which feature a variety of award winning whites, reds and rosés, but something is still missing.
Much like an adolescent teenager, the Lone Star State has struggled with it’s own identity in this new fledgling industry. Forget the clichés of cowboy hats and cowboy boots as horses and cattle have nothing to do with this endeavor of growing grapes, but developing a suitable Texas brand to identify our wine is as important as the famous cattle brands of Texas which have identified our beef.
While Texas May grow numerous grape varieties, deciding which grapes are most suitable for our soil compositions and environmental conditions has proven to be the challenge. Which grapes will truly reflect our unique terroir and provide that distinguishing signature brand, characterizing the pride of Texas?
In the early years, we thought we had to be and, in fact, sought to be like our older brothers Napa and Sonoma, mimicking and optimistically planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. And while the initial worldwide “shock” of recognition and success of American wine was historically a California Chardonnay in 1976, dramatized in the popular film Bottle Shock, the California model of success has not proven to be the Texas model of success.
What we need is a strategy which reflects the same rugged and fiercely independent attitude which has historically defined this state in the past such as those exhibited in the Texas Revolution when we fought for our independence from Mexico in 1836. It started with the Battle of Gonzales and resulted in the historic slogan, “Come and take it!” This is the spirit of independence for which we are known.
Fortunately, several notable Texas wine makers with this same rugged and fiercely independent attitude have dared to establish a new standard and propose a new identity for the Lone Star State. Advocating a new Texas slogan, they boldly declare, “100% Texas Grape!” and challenge others to join them in the quest for an independent Texas brand. While there are many wineries in Texas, there are truly only a few Texas wineries which are committed to using 100% Texas grape. This will be the future of Texas wine and the Texas wine industry and soon, the world will acknowledge and recognize the quickly approaching and inevitable success of the Texas Bottle Shock.