Last weekend was Kerrville. This weekend is Grapefest. To paraphrase my pal the Italian Wine Guy, the more time I spend away, the more I appreciate getting back.
The blog, all those years ago, was about Texas wine more often than not. These days, it’s rarely about Texas wine – my audience is all over the world, so I don’t write about something most of the visitors can’t get. But that doesn’t mean that Texas wine isn’t important to me.
I am reminded of that every year when I go to Kerrville. This year was no different – a smart, knowledgeable audience that asked intelligent questions and wanted to learn more about what was going on in Texas. More importantly, the quality of the wine we tasted was among the best in the six years I’ve been doing the festival.
And, as Tom Fikes of Duchman Family Winery noted more than once during the discussion of wines from Los Pinos, McPherson, William Chris, and Duchman, what we tasted were part of the next generation of Texas winemaking – wine made with grapes better suited for Texas’ climate and terroir, and wines made with grapes grown in Texas. As I’ve noted before, these are the two most important trends in Texas, and they are reshaping the business.
This is the fifth year that I’ll be speaking at Grapefest, which is best known for the People’s Choice Awards, a wine competition that is exactly what it sounds like. Almost 40 Texas wineries pour wine, and consumers taste and vote. Who needs wine experts anyway?
I’ll be speaking at 5:30 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, and noon on Sunday -- and indoors, for all you who want to come but don't want to endure our 100-degree fall weather. The subject will be about Texas wine and cheap wine, and I may even plug The Cheap Wine Book, which should be available in e-book form later this week.