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Griffin to Go: Any Locapours Out There?

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Three Texas WinesLast year, when I visited Chile, every wine list was filled entirely with Chilean wines, except for a stray French sparkler or two. A couple of months ago, I visited South Africa where the wine lists were all local, again with the exception of one or two Champagnes. In Portugal, Spain, Germany, Cyprus, and Greece, it was the same way.

Yet in Texas, the few Texas-only wine lists I know of are at brewpubs. Why are we so different from the rest of the world?

Gretchen Neuman of Vino Verve has taken up the issue in her blog (click here). She calls herself a “locapour,” the wine version of the locavore who tries to eat only locally grown food.

As she writes: “Unknown to most people in America, there is a licensed winery in every state in the union. Yet, even the Governor of Kansas in 2007 was unaware that there were 15 wineries in her state. Among those that are aware of the presence of these wineries, many have dismissed them out of hand as producing low quality products. Are they all producing outstanding products? Maybe not. But then again, neither are the wineries in the rest of the country, or indeed the world. Yet local wineries do not seem to enjoy the same kind of encouragement that local breweries have enjoyed for the last 20 years.”

I have enjoyed a number of Texas wines in recent months that are perfect for our climate and our cuisine. McPherson Cellars’ crisp, clean viognier is the perfect antidote to the sweltering heat we have been experiencing. Becker Vineyards Provençal Rosé is made for an afternoon picnic or barbecue. And Llano Estacado’s Signature Mélange, a Rhone-style blend, is a light-bodied yet full-flavored red that won’t seem too heavy this summer.

But I haven’t seen these wines on too many wine lists, even though the viognier copped a gold medal in this year’s San Antonio Wine Festival, and the retail price on the Llano Estacado is a steal at a scant $10 a bottle.

What do you think of this situation? Do you want to see more Texas-only wine lists? Or do you prefer something more diversified? What Texas wines have you enjoyed lately? Post your answers here.

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7 Responses to “Griffin to Go: Any Locapours Out There?”

  1. Kristina says:

    I definitely agree with you about the Becker rose- a lovely wine for these hot days.

    Regarding locapours, perhaps the Pearl’s Farmers Market would consider having a booth of Texas wines. I don’t know the legalities of selling alcohol at a farmers market, but it is definitely within the definition of locally produced.

    A wine flight of Texas wines would be a welcomed addition to our restaurants, but I would be disappointed to have a bar of just Texan wines unless they could get more of the limited run treasures that never find their way out of the tasting room.

  2. Judy Baum says:

    How about an article on our Texas wineries? Going to Vanderpool on FM 337 I got a glimpse of a vineyard, but couldn’t stop to get more info. I was so surprised to see a vineyard in this seemingly isolated area. The name began with a “P”, I think!

  3. Trish Megan says:

    I am always ready for a road trip even a short one, especially if it has to do with wine.


  4. John Weaver says:

    First of all,kudos to Mr Griffin and his associates in putting together an excellent and much needed forum for food/wine in SA!!You can easily hit almost two dozen wineries(assuming you have the stamina for it) with a 2-3 day road trip up 281 and then going over on 290 to Fredericksburg. The staff at all the wineries were helpfull and informative making it a very enjoyable weekend. I’ll leave the wine judging to others, we did come back with a case of mixed bottles from the ten or so wineries we visited. Would I buy those wines again? Probably not with one or two exceptions but I would definately reccomend visiting the wineries.
    The links below point to a discussion on this subject from another website as well as a map of hill country wineries.

  5. Jeff Siegel says:

    John, now is as good a time as any to plug the conference in Dallas Aug. 14-15. Which you will be speaking at.

    Are there poorly made Texas wines? Yep. Just like there are poorly made California wines, French wines, etc. But to assume that all Texas wines are poorly made is as silly as saying that all cars in a parking lot are the same color.

    Texas wines are different, and they should be.

  6. Jeff Pepper says:


    Always a pleasure to read your articles. Always look for them on Wednesday in “Taste”. How have you been? Haven’t seen you since last time I judged wine with you several years ago.

    I’m always looking for great buys, including those I find here in Texas and love to visit wineries. I’ve been to those you pictured (Wine bottles by your title) and enjoyed the Viviana best, due to it’s depth, being a blend of grapes. It’s a little more pricey, but worth it.
    A few years back, at a judging, we gave a wine from Cap Rock a Gold metal for a Texas style Tuscan, a 1999 Toscano Rosso. I called them about availiblity and they told me they hadn’t made it in a while, but promised to soon. Hope they do. Hear anything, let us know!