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Carl's Corner

Carl Hudson
October 12, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Nero d’Avola Update 2018– A Sicilian Connection

With the recent release of a new bottling of Brennan Vineyards Super Nero 2016, it seemed appropriate to provide an update on the Nero d’Avola grape variety. Nero d’Avola (also known as Calabrese) is an important and widely planted red wine grape variety on the island of Sicily. The name literally means “Black of Avola”, highlighting the grape’s extremely dark color. Although the grape may have originated in the Calabria region of mainland Italy, its strongest presence today is in Sicily. The primary growing areas are located in the countryside near the town of Avola on Sicily’s southeast coast – a key trade region in the Middle Ages. Since that time, and up to the present day, Nero d’Avola has most often been used in blends to add color and body to lesser wines, especially those from mainland Italy.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
September 26, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Flavor Adjustments for Wine

An interesting article about adjusting the flavor profile in wines caught my attention last week. Since the Texas grape harvest is essentially done, and most of the fruit is in the process of being converted into wine, it seems like a good time to discuss various techniques used to adjust flavors in the 2018 vintage wines we will be enjoying in 2019-2020.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
September 14, 2018 | Carl Hudson

What are Tannins in Wine?

Tannins are a subject often mentioned by folks in the wine business, especially in tasting notes and around winery tasting rooms. Because a number of visitors to the 4.0 Cellars tasting room ask about tannins, it seemed appropriate to address these interesting and somewhat mysterious molecules that appear to be important to wine. So, here is my story on “What are Tannins in Wine?”  Continue »

Carl Hudson
August 31, 2018 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars Wine Club Sundays – September, 2018

Something new is happening at 4.0 Cellars. Actually, there are several new things happening. First of all, construction has begun on a new building that will provide indoor event space and extra tasting room space. Most of the back of the property has been fenced off for this construction phase, and several announcements via Facebook and Instagram have been posted. This will have an impact on our Wine Club Sunday events since that back-yard grassy space will not be available. Parking options will also be altered, but don’t worry as additional parking space on a neighboring property has been arranged.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
August 15, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Texas High Plains Vineyards, Aug-2018

Many Texas wine drinkers don’t realize that about 80% of all wine grapes in Texas are grown on the Texas High Plains, mostly west of Lubbock. Folks are generally surprised to learn that the vineyards producing these grapes are located a 4-6 hour drive from where most of the Texas wineries and tasting rooms are located. During harvest season, usually late July through late September, a LOT of trucks and trailers can be seen on Texas highways hauling grapes and grape must to be processed by wineries in the Red River area, Central West Texas, and the Texas Hill Country. After enjoying a wonderful 5-day adventure to the Texas High Plains where the 2018 harvest was just beginning, it seemed a good idea to address this distance gap between Texas grapes and Texas wineries and tasting rooms.  Continue »

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 ( 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 »

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