Ultimate Guide to Texas Wine Country

Texas Wines

Because there are so many different microclimates and soil types in Texas, there really is no way to generalize about the taste of Texan wines. A tempranillo produced in the North Central region, with its high elevations, low precipitation and cool nights, might as well come from a different country as a muscat from the hot, low-lying Southeast.

Texas wineries often buy grapes from one another and from other states. Since merlot and other classic European grapes don't grow well in the humid coastal areas of the state, if a winery near Houston wants to produce a merlot, it might get grapes from a vineyard in the Texas Panhandle -- or Napa, Calif.

Consequently, things can get a little confusing with all the grape-buying. If a vineyard is listed on a given wine's label, it must have grown 100 percent of the grapes used to make the wine in the bottle. For a winery to list an American Viticultural Area (AVA) on a label, at least 85 percent of the grapes must have been grown in the area listed. To be labeled as a Texas wine, 75 percent of the grapes must have been grown in Texas. Wines labeled as For Sale in Texas Only must be composed of 25 percent to 74.9 percent Texas grapes.

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