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Carl's Corner

Carl Hudson
 
January 3, 2019 | Carl Hudson

Fortified Port-style Dessert Wines

Those of you who have visited or even driven by 4.0 Cellars probably noticed grape vines growing along 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 owner/partners, and were intended to be a “show” vineyard, a garden really, so that visitors could see and appreciate grapevines.  Continue »

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
 
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
 
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
 
January 17, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Vermentino – Quality White Grape in Texas

More and more, Italian grape varietals are showing up in wines at Texas wineries and tasting rooms. Probably the key reason for this is that these grapes prosper in hot, arid, sunny areas of Texas that are similar in climate to important Italian growing regions that are hilly, if not downright mountainous, limited in rainfall, and blessed with maritime influenced, rock-strewn, sandy, calcium-rich soils.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
December 6, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Sparkling Wines –Holiday Treats

With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, this seemed like a good time to highlight sparkling wines. Sparkling wines can be produced by a number of different methods, from essentially any grape, be white, rosé or red, and range from sweet to totally dry. And, they usually conjure up visions of celebrations and special occasions.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
October 11, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Piquepoul Blanc – A Rising Texas Star?

White grapes indigenous to the Rhône Valley in France were the subject of a previous Carl’s Corner in May-2017. Because these Rhône white grapes originate in hot, arid climates, such as the southern regions of France near the Mediterranean Sea coast, Texas grape growers and wine makers are having success in growing and vinifying them. The best-known of these include Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne. But, that previous post focused on lesser-known varieties of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino (Rolle) and Piquepoul Blanc. Piquepoul Blanc, a grape with much potential in Texas, will be highlighted in this post.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 27, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Muscat – A Lot of Options for Texas

Varieties of Muscat represent some of the oldest and most widely planted grapes in the world. It is estimated that over 200 different grapes claim the name, or at least a heritage related to the primary members of the Muscat family. Only a few of these grapes are widely used for wine production in the world’s major wine regions, primarily Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, Muscat of Alexandria, Muscat Fleur d’Oranger, Moscato Giallo, Muscato di Scanzo, Muscat of Hamburg and Muscat Ottonel.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
September 13, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Montepulciano vs. Montepulciano

Recently, while hosting cheese and wine pairings, I have had several guests at 4.0 Cellars get excited when served a Montepulciano wine because they, at some point in the past, visited the village of Montepulciano in Tuscany, Italy. However, the Montepulciano grape that makes the wine is quite different from, and not connected to Montepulciano, the place. Read on to understand this interesting point of confusion in the wine world.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
July 5, 2017 | Carl Hudson

Nero d’Avola – A Sicilian Connection

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 »

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