Extreme climate heralds Texas wine renaissance




Posted on September 7, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 9 at 10:39 AM

GRAPEVINE - Those who have sipped a glass of Texas wine and opted to stick with more premium brands might want to give local vineyards another try.

Jerry Delaney, with Delaney Vineyards & Winery in Grapevine, believes Texas' stretch of warm weather helped produced the best Texas reds yet.

News 8 caught up with Delaney at his vineyard. Every few steps, he would pluck a grape, taste it and smile at the potential, both in taste and in profits.

"I think it is going to be an awesome year," Delaney said.

He claims the perfect mix of rain and intense heat produced the sweetest berries his vineyard has grown in years. He has high hopes for the Cynthiana varietal he plans to bottle and sell.

"This will make an absolute phenomenal wine," Delaney said.

He said when there's less water in the air, there's less in the fruit, which can dilute the flavor.

Delaney said his bumper crop won't lack for flavor.

"This would be the year that you would actually want to hold and store it," he advised the aficionados he hopes will buy his brew.

However Delaney's wine won't be for sale for another 18-to-20 months.

2012 is an exciting time for Texas wineries, according to Delaney. Experienced vintners now focus on wines better suited for Texas' climate and soil, like dessert and red and white table wines.

"Texas wines have come along way in the last 10 years, 15 years," Delaney said.

Barry Lewis, Director of Marketing for Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau, said there are over 150 different Texas wines on the market, and if you've been disappointed in the past, you should sip a glass again.

"Ten years ago, they might have been on the right track, but if they haven't tried it, they need to try it," Lewis said.

Texas now ranks fifth nationally in wine production, boasting over 2,700 acres of vineyard and 232 wineries with a combined economic impact of more than $1.7 billion. It's also home to Grapefest, the largest wine festival in the southwest, which kicks off September 13.

"With a name like Grapevine, we knew it was important to actually bring the grape and the vine back into Grapevine," said a smiling Lewis.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com