Throughout the wine-producing world, natives tend to keep the best for themselves. We as Texans pay premium prices to sample the wares of the finest houses of Barolo, Italy and the finest growers of Burgundy, France. Some collectors claw tooth and nail for the premier vintages of Bordeaux or the cult collectibles of Napa Valley’s fine sub-districts.
Our growers and vintners are as passionate and love our land as much as any in the world. I have visited many myself and am proud to offer 11 selections at Rick’s Chophouse of both white and red that are 100% grown and produced in our great state. With that, I hope to enlighten everyone as to how many elements make a bottle of wine.
Many of our own Texan producers source a majority of grapes from California or Oregon. They may source barrels of concentrate from Italy or France. We sell a chunk of our annual crop to California producers for use in boxed wines. This is not to call out any producer or grower for false advertising. The billion-dollar a year Franzia winery employs thousands and with great benefits at that.
This Sommelier wants to remind everyone of the true greatness that our own home state provides in rare pockets of grape growing climates. One can find some of the world’s finest Tempranillo throughout our high plains. The quality of which can rival Spain’s Rioja DOCa. Syrah as well can flourish here and when nurtured by our own growers can emulate some of France’s prized Cote-Rotie. One of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, Guy Stout, grows beautiful Syrah just outside of Austin. Southern hospitality is what we are famous for as Texans but even our inhospitable climate still provides what a grape such as the Italian native Vermentino needs to show its beautiful, floral aromatics.
To quote Robert Mondavi: “Making wine is a science, making great wine is an art.” I hope each of my wine sipping friends remembers that producers such as our neighbors in Landon Winery, Lone Star, Arche, Brennan and many others have their hands in our native dirt with the intention of keeping that reserve juice for us.
Visit Rick's Chophouse at rickschophouse.com.