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Carl's Corner

Carl Hudson
 
July 18, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Dolcetto – Light Red for Texas

Dolcetto is becoming a regular participant in the Texas Wine Industry, featured in red blends, as an easy drinking varietal wine, and as all or part of a rose’ bottling. This grape is widely grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. The name literally translates as “little sweet one,” but that does not mean that the grape reaches high sugar levels at ripeness, or that it is generally used to make sweet wines. Dolcetto is relatively tolerant to drought conditions and produces fruity wines with moderate tannins and acidity. Dolcetto wines are typically meant to be drunk young, especially if made as a varietal or rose’.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 7, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Customer Service in the Tasting Room

One of the best sessions at the Texas Hill Country Wineries (THCW) Symposium, held 11,12-Jan-2018 at Horseshoe Bay Resort, was a guided panel discussion on Customer Service in the Winery Tasting Room. I have been in this business long enough to understand how important customer service is to an enjoyable wine country experience. And, it is one of the three key parts of a great winery/tasting room experience that includes a first-class location with an inviting and comfortable tasting room, top-quality wines, and great customer service.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 20, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Early Summer Vineyard Tasks

It is definitely summertime here in Texas as temperatures soar into the 90+ degree range and sometimes violent thunderstorms appear without much warning. At this point in the grape growing season, many tasks are required of the vineyard manager. Vines are showing vigorous, bushy green growth, and, unfortunately, so are the weeds under the vines. The buds from early spring have bloomed into flowers only to be replaced by grape clusters of pea-sized, hard green berries. By now most of the pests that can harm vines and grapes, like fungal diseases and insects, have made an initial appearance in the vineyard. Diligent effort is required to manage these issues to assure good development of fruit for this year’s harvest.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 6, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Wine Club June, 2018

It is definitely summertime here in Texas as temperatures soar into the 90+ degree range and sometimes violent thunderstorms appear without much warning. And, it is time for another 4.0 Cellars Wine Club Release. The Wine Club Pickup Parties are scheduled on Sundays: 3-Jun & 10-Jun. If you would like to join the party and share time with lots of other club members, check the website (www.fourpointwine.com) and make your reservations. We would love to share your company. Remember that you can enjoy a 30% discount on wine purchases, on-site for Club Sundays or online during the week in between.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 23, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Grape Skins Key to Red Wines

Making red wines differs in several ways from white wines, the most important difference being skin contact with the grape juice. The grape comprises 3 basic parts, the skin, the pulp, and the seeds. For most grapes, all color is in the skin as the pulp containing most of the water and sugar is essentially colorless. So, if you want to make a red wine from red, black, or purple grapes, it is essential that the skins spend time soaking in the grape juice to extract the color (anthocyanins), flavors and tannins, resulting in a red wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 9, 2018 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars Growers and Vineyards: North Central Texas Region

Last blog post was about the growers and vineyards in the Texas High Plains, this post is a compilation of the growers and vineyards in the North Central Texas Region (NCT) that produce a significant portion of the grapes used in 4.0 Cellars wines. A similar survey of vineyards in the Texas High Plains AVA is posted separately. Although not nearly so many grapes are grown in NCT as in the Texas High Plains AVA (American Viticultural Area), the number of vineyards and wineries are increasing and making an impact on the Texas Wine Industry (certainly on 4.0 Cellars). For this discussion, the NCT Region includes the area west of I-35 between Waco and Ft. Worth, south of I-20 between Ft. Worth and Abilene, and north of the established Texas High Plains AVA.This large area includes about 20 Texas counties.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
April 25, 2018 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars Growers and Vineyards: Texas High Plains AVA

As a special project for 4.0 Cellars general manager, Jesse Barter, this post is a compilation of the Texas High Plains (THP) vineyards and growers that produce a significant portion of the grapes used in 4.0 Cellars wines. This is certainly appropriate since about 85% of Texas’ wine grapes are grown in the Texas High Plains AVA (American Viticultural Area). The THP AVA covers a large area (over 8M acres) of mostly agricultural land, including all or parts of 24 counties. Although the AVA boundaries extend well north, and even somewhat northeast of Lubbock, most of the vineyards are located west, mostly southwest, of Lubbock (see map of Texas below).  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
April 12, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Black Spanish Grapes in Texas

Black Spanish grapes are common to southern states that tend to have hot growing seasons with higher humidity. Here in Texas, Black Spanish has been planted extensively from the Hill Country eastward to the Louisiana border, and southward to the Gulf of Mexico. The grape, also known as Lenoir and Jacquez, is relatively hardy and disease resistant, making it popular in areas where more traditional vinifera grapes are difficult to grow. Since this is the grape growing in the small 4.0 Cellars Vineyard, it seems a good time for an update.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
March 28, 2018 | Carl Hudson

What’s In My Wine – Label Talk

The question is often asked, “What is in this wine? Is it all Texas fruit? Is it organic, natural, etc.?” This can often lead to a rather lengthy answer and discussion, depending on the actual interest of the questioner. So, I decided to offer in this Carl’s Corner some of the answers and a bit of discussion about what a wine label does, and does not, tell the consumer.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
March 14, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Fermentation Science – Good Stuff!

We all enjoy the benefits of fermentation science, but do we really know very much about the subject? Fermentation is the key to creating alcoholic beverages, and many other consumables. For wine (beer, liquors, etc.), fermentation is the biological process by which sugar molecules are converted to ethyl alcohol plus carbon dioxide and heat. There are other by-products created during fermentation that add subtle nuances of flavor and texture to wines. Since this is so important to creating our favorite beverage, it seems an appropriate subject for Carl’s Corner.  Continue »

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