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Julie Kuhlken
October 2, 2023 | Blog, In the News, Wine Lifestyle, Winemaking | Julie Kuhlken

Seriously. Texas Wine.

Kuhlken family in estate vineyard

What to Know about Texas Wine

Texas wines are making a name for themselves on the national and international stage, and there's no better time to explore the best wineries in the Texas Hill Country than in the vibrant month of October. But how much do you know about the burgeoning Texas wine scene? In celebration of Texas Wine Month, we’re sharing the must know facts about Texas wine. Pour a glass and settle in!

Poppies and four bottles of wine

Texas has 8 distinct AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) 

In Texas – you guessed it – everything is bigger. That's why even our AVAs have AVAs within them! An AVA is a designated grape-growing region with distinguishing features, a name, and a delimited boundary. Texas has 8 distinct AVAs and the Texas Hill Country AVA is the third largest in America with over 9 million acres in the sprawling center of the state. 

Two distinct microclimates are designated within this AVA: Bell Mountain AVA just north of Fredericksburg where our Kuhlken Estate Vineyard is located, and Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country AVA, a limestone rich area best known for Chardonnay and Viogner. 

In addition to the grapes we grow here in the Texas Hill Country AVA, Pedernales Cellars sources 100 percent Texas grapes from family vineyards in the Texas High Plains AVA and West Texas.

Texas Terroir is Distinct, but Diverse 

Terroir is the natural environment in which a wine is produced, including the soil, topography and climate. The terroir imparts distinct flavors and aromas to wines. Limestone and granite are the dominant soils throughout the Texas Hill Country and are the backbone of its terroir, which is often compared to Rioja, Spain and the Rhone Valley in France. Of course, since Texas is so large, soil types can vary from vineyard to vineyard and the diversity of the region lends itself to a wide range of grapes, including Tempranillo and Viogner. 

Many Grape Varietals Thrive in Texas 

Speaking of grapes: warm days and cool nights are a part of the charm of a Texas Hill Country winery getaway, and certain European grapes really enjoy this climate too. Particularly, Tempranillo, Viogner and Grenache thrive with the shining sun and the cool breeze that flows down from the hills. In fact, Texas was among the first regions in the country to have significant plantings of European grape varieties, dating all the way back to the early 19th century in the El Paso area. Take that, California!  Across Texas, more than 80 types of grapes are grown, mostly in the High Plains AVA.

Couple in swing on estate

You can sip your way through the best of Texas wines via the Texas Hill Country Winery Association and its Texas Wine Month passport event

The Texas Hill Country, with its rolling landscapes and charming small towns like Fredericksburg, is home to some of the best wineries in Texas. Along the Texas Wine Trail, there are more than 60 wineries to enjoy! As you head along the trail, picture-perfect vineyards stretch across the hills making for a scenic day trip from major cities like Austin, San Antonio and Houston. During Texas Wine Month in October, you can enjoy a self-guided tour of Texas Hill Country wineries, including our tasting room here at Pedernales Cellars. We look forward to hosting you and raising our glasses to the beauty of Texas wines. Cheers!


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