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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

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 »

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 »

Carl Hudson
 
June 5, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Alicante Bouschet - A Really Red Grape

Alicante Bouschet (“alla kahn tay boo shea”) is one of only a very few varieties of teinturier grapes of the Vitis vinifera species that have both red flesh and red skin. The dark color of Alicante Bouschet provides winemakers with some advantages which can be important here in Texas.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 22, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Wine Club June, 2019

Rain, Rain, Rain! It seems like we have experienced more than our share of rain in May, even though it is historically the wettest month in the Texas Hill Country. This moisture and high humidity is keeping the grape growers busy as vines are growing at a rapid rate and fungal disease pressure seems to increase with each rainy spell. As we often say, Texas weather is weird. Temperatures are climbing and soon it will routinely hit the 90 degree mark which, to me, is a signal to chill, open and drink some delicious Texas white wines. The next 4.0 Wine Club Release parties are scheduled for Sundays, 2-Jun, 9-Jun, & 16-Jun. If you, as a Wine Club Member, 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, and remember that you can enjoy the 30% discount on wine purchases on-site on Club Sundays or online during the week-days in between.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
May 8, 2019 | Carl Hudson

What does Reserve mean on a wine label?

When a wine is offered for tasting at 4.0 Cellars that includes the word “Reserve” on the label, customers and tasters typically recognize the designation and are curious as to what it means. In the United States, and several other key wine countries (Australia, New Zealand, Chile), the term Reserve has little or no meaning, at least that which is defined. The following explores this issue and will hopefully inform the reader about the term Reserve on a U.S., especially a Texas, wine label.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
April 24, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Aging Wine on the Lees

Recently the question was asked of me, “What are lees, and why do winemakers age wine on the lees?” First of all, lees are essentially dead yeast cells that have already done their job of fermenting sugar in grape juice into alcohol in wine. Once the fermentation process is completed, these dead yeast cells, let’s call them lees from this point on, begin to settle to the bottom of tank or barrel, allowing cloudy wine to become clear over time. Discussed below are several options that the winemaker now has regarding handling lees, and some technical descriptions of what lees actually do for and to a wine.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
April 10, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Pink Wines – Hot in Texas (Update 2019)

Warm weather is the time to enjoy pink wines, and Texas is now producing some of the best available. These pink wines can be dry, off-dry (slightly sweet) or medium-dry (even sweeter) to provide great warm-weather enjoyment for picnics, deck-sitting or lazing about the pool area. And, don’t forget, they can take the place of white wines and many lighter reds at the mealtime table.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
March 28, 2019 | Carl Hudson

4.0 Cellars Wine Club Release – Apr-2019

It is time for another Wine Club Allocation release of delicious 4.0 Cellars wines. Texas springtime weather, as expected, has been weird! We in the Hill Country barely dodged a very damaging cold snap recently that would have damaged a lot of the peach and grape production for 2019. However, reports from growers indicate that damage was minimal. Now we just have to worry about any other bad weather, freezes or hail, over the next month or two.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
March 13, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Frost Protection for Texas Grapes – 2019 Update

In April, 2017, following a trip to the Texas High Plains, Carl’s Corner addressed the topic of protection for grapes from spring frosts and methods available to mitigate freeze damage to young vine tissue and grapes. Texas in general, especially the High Plains, is noted for turbulent and unpredictable weather that often brings frigid temperatures soon after bud break when grapevines are most susceptible to frost damage. Just in the past week or so we have experienced overnight temperatures in the low twenty-degree range here in the Texas Hill Country. This has raised serious concerns for not only grapevines but peach trees, too. Posts on Facebook and Instagram have highlighted these concerns, and just in the past few days limited information has become available about the damage that was or was not observed. More on this part later.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
February 27, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Mourvèdre – Warm Weather Wonder

Mourvèdre (moor-ved), also known as Mataró or Monastrell, is an important grape in the warm, arid regions of Texas. It was back in 2016 when this grape was last discussed on these pages, so it’s time for an update. Mourvèdre is also grown throughout warm weather areas of Europe, especially along the Mediterranean Coast of Spain and France. There are plantings in Australia and other parts of the U.S., but the biggest current impact from Mourvèdre is here in the Lone Star State. Many styles of wine are made from Mourvèdre, ranging from rosés to lighter reds, and from dark, full-bodied reds to port-style wines.  Continue »

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