Pedernales Cellars is committed to working with 100% Texas fruit to make 100% Texas wines. As part of this commitment, we only work with grapes that are well-suited to growing in the climate here. Not only does it make sense from a growing perspective, but it also ensures our techniques in the cellar can remain as minimalistic as possible and can honor Texas terrior.
Tempranillo is one of our major grapes and the backbone of much of our wine program. About half of our estate vineyard is dedicated to this early-budding variety which is best known as Spain’s biggest red wine grape. You can find Tempranillo in our red blends, and port-style wines, but also as single varietal wines (both in select shops and our tasting room) which showcase the differences in Texas terrior.
Our main white wine variety which originates from the Rhône Valley of France. 100% of our Viognier comes from the Texas High Plains, where cool nights help maintain the grapes natural acidity. While small portions of our Viognier may contribute to blends, most often we are highlighting this beautifully floral and fruity grape in varietal wines. You can find our Texas Viognier in select stores and restaurants across the state, and our Reserve Viognier (a portion of which sees some oak aging) in our tasting room.
A versatile grape used across our program in both Rosé and red wines. Grenache, or Garnacha, is traditionally grown in the Rhône Valley and Spain. Depending on the age of the vines and yield, Grenache can contribute significantly to a blend in several ways ranging from bright strawberry flavors to body and alcohol. We grow Grenache in our estate vineyard, and also source from the Texas High Plains. You can find Grenache highlighted in our GSM red blend and in our Rosé’s, although we also love it as a standalone varietal wine (both Rosé and Red).
About two acres of our estate vineyard contains Mourvèdre - another variety that is grown widely in the Rhône Valley as well as Spain (known as Monastrell). While we also source from the Texas High Plains, we love this grape in our own vineyard where it grows with ease and yields are good. You can experience Mourvèdre in our GSM red blend and look for it as a varietal wine or as component in our Rosé.
A major white wine variety for us, Albariño is well known in Spain and Portugal. We grow a small portion of Albariño in the Hill Country at our estate and source from Newsom and Bingham Vineyards in the High Plains. It’s a thick-skinned and relatively low yielding grape that does well in the Texas heat. We enjoy playing with it in the cellar both with stainless steel and oak, and you can find it as a varietal wine in our tasting room.
Native to Italy but also grown in parts of Southern France, we have been sourcing Vermentino from Bingham Vineyards of the Texas High Plains for years. This thin-skinned white grape produces light and crisp wines with good acidity. You can enjoy Vermentino as a single varietal white wine in our tasting room.
A high-quality grape from Portugal, we don’t source any Touriga but instead grow all of what we use in our estate vineyard. It is a very low-yielding variety with unique dark, rich fruit flavors, high tannin, and floral notes. Our harvest of Touriga is rarely about 1.5 tons to the acre, as such you’ll only find Touriga in our reserve wines. It’s worth noting that we also grow Tinta Cao and Tinta Amarelawhich also originate from Portugal and are used in the cellar in conjunction with Touriga.
A traditional Rhône Varietal that contributes lovely bright fruit aromas and flavors to red wines, as well as minerality in our Rosé. We source all our Cinsault from the Texas High Plains from Farmhouse Vineyards. In the cellar we are finding increasing uses for this versatile grape. Currently, you can find it in our GSM blend and in Rosés or can experience it as a beautiful single varietal if you are a wine club member.
Although most people think of Argentina when they think of Malbec, this grape originates from Southern France. Here in Texas, we source from the Texas High Plains from growers such as Newsom and Lahey. Most frequently, our Malbec is used in red blends, but as a favorite of one of our winemakers, look for it as a single varietal soon. Other natives of Southern France that we often use in small portions include Syrah and Tannat (both found in our GSM blend).
A small portion of our wine program is dedicated to Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Petite Sirah. We still have some of the original plantings of Cabernet and Merlot in our estate vineyard, which are now over 20 years old. We also source these varietals from the Texas High Plains and while portions are used in blends, one of the best way to sample these Bordeaux grapes is in our Newsom Reserve, available in the tasting room.
Over the years, we have from time to time brought in a small variety of Italian grapes to the cellar, including those from a small 20+ year old planting of Sangiovese in our estate vineyard. If you are familiar with our Valhalla red blend, then you’re also tasting Montepulciano, and Dolcetto from the Texas High Plains. In 2016 we produced a beautiful varietal Dolcetto, which is available to wine club members. Keep an eye out for Teroldego, a grape native to Northern Italy, which has been showing promise here in the cellar and in Texas.