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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

Carl Hudson
 
August 15, 2019 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars Grape Harvest 2019

Those of you who have visited or even driven by 4.0 Cellars probably noticed grape vines growing near Hwy 290, in front of the three Logo tanks at the entrance to the tasting room and patio area. These are Black Spanish, or Lenoir, vines, a hybrid grape that grows well in the hot, more humid climates of Texas. The vines were planted in 2013 by folks from Lost Oak Winery, one of our partner/owners, and were intended to be a “show” vineyard, a garden really, so that visitors could see and appreciate grapevines.  Continue »

4.0 Insider
 
August 7, 2019 | 4.0 Insider

Summer's End at the Cellar

While August is a busy time for many, you might be surprised to learn that it’s a relatively calm time in our tasting room. But really, it’s the calm before the storm…also known as fall here in the Texas wine country, our busiest time of year.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 31, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Black Spanish Grapes – Update Aug-2019

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. This is the grape variety growing in the small 4.0 Cellars Vineyard, that will soon be harvested and used to produce a Portejas.  Continue »

4.0 Insider
 
July 24, 2019 | 4.0 Insider

Never a Glass Unpolished

While most of our customers picture us standing behind a bar, there’s a place in the tasting room where we each spend a good amount of our 4.0 time: the polishing place. This is where we make sure that the glasses we hand to our customers are streak and spot free. And we have a whole system in place to ensure clean glasses.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 17, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Dirt Can Make Wine Better

After spending time in the vineyard these past two weeks, irrigating, spraying, clearing weeds, and watching the grapes begin to turn from vivid green to soft pink and purple colors (veraison), I began to once again think about the upcoming harvest and the many tasks that will be required to convert these 2019 grapes into a wine and put that wine into a bottle. It is certainly true that the dirt in which the vines are planted plays a role in generating the quantity and quality of the fruit, but there is another type of “dirt” that plays a role in making quality wine. That dirt is an activated clay material (a special kind of dirt) known as bentonite. Bentonite is used in winemaking to clarify wine by attaching to particulate materials and to protein molecules that come from grapes. Bentonite has myriad other uses, including: moisture absorbent in cat litter, thickening agent in drilling muds, binder material in metal casting, water-barrier sealant layers for ponds and landfills, and, with its powerful absorbing properties, a purification & decolorizing agent for numerous liquids, like vegetable oils, dirty water and many beverages.  Continue »

4.0 Insider
 
July 10, 2019 | 4.0 Insider

Our People Get Out and About in the Community, Too

In my last post, I wrote about the ways that 4.0 Cellars supports the community and my surprise at how far that support extends beyond the Hill Country. As I wrote that post, I wondered about my colleagues’ work in their own communities. So, I asked them. Turns out that our 4.0 staff is involved in our communities in some pretty amazing ways.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 3, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Wine Yeast Selection Criteria

One of the most intriguing issues facing a winemaker is the choice of a yeast strain to convert the sugars in sweet grape juice into wine. Simplistically, there are two basic choices – natural or native yeast that is present on the grapes themselves when harvested, or a designed commercial yeast strain. Both types of yeast will convert sugar to alcohol, but the choice of yeast can, and usually does, impact the aroma, flavor, and texture of a wine, as well as the conditions & rate of fermentation.  Continue »

4.0 Insider
 
June 26, 2019 | 4.0 Insider

4.0 in Our Community…and Beyond!

The first time I set foot on the 4.0 property was back in July 2014. A friend invited my husband and me to attend a party at the Cellars. It turned out that the party was actually a fundraiser. After a lengthy battle with cancer, the wife of local musician (and 4.0 regular) Lonnie Lett had passed away, and 4.0 was hosting a benefit to raise money to help Lonnie cover her medical expenses. It was a warm day, and I recall enjoying a selection of white wines. The place was packed. A couple of weeks later I called 4.0 GM Jesse Barter and asked if I could interview for a position in the tasting room. The rest is history (for me, anyway).  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
June 20, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Summer in the Vineyard - 2019

This has been an unusual spring and early summer for the Texas Hill Country. The much greater than normal amount of rainfall has certainly been different, and made for one of the most abundant, colorful, and longest lasting wildflower displays folks can remember. The temperatures have also been moderate, typically below 90 degrees until just this past week. The rain and moderately warm temperatures not only inspired the Texas wildflowers as Hill Country vineyards have also seen a burst of growth, not only on the vines, but with the weeds, insects, and fungal diseases that tend to plague grapevines during humid conditions. The grapevines have flowered, set the fruit, and are now showing clusters of hard green grapes that will race forward to veraison (color change) in just a few weeks. It is an exciting time in the vineyard, but also one filled with lots of work.  Continue »

4.0 Insider
 
June 12, 2019 | 4.0 Insider

We’re Happiest When We’re Fed

Working weekends at 4.0 can mean some long days. Many of us arrive at 9:30, and we’re often there until 7:00 or even later. And while we’re there, we’re on the move, serving customers, stocking wines and other merchandise, and generally running from one place to another. All of this activity means that we can get quite hungry while we're here.  Continue »

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