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Happenings at 4.0 Cellars

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 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
 
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
 
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 »

Carl Hudson
 
February 14, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Does Wildfire Smoke Damage Wines

In October, 2017, significant portions of California Wine Country were besieged by wildfires that damaged or destroyed many homes, some wineries, and a few vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Butte, and Solano Counties. Most of us stared in disbelief at the TV news stories, and somewhere in the back of our minds was the question, “How will these wildfires and the smoke they produced impact the California wines that I know and enjoy?” This post covers some of the key issues and points-of-fact involved in this unfortunate, and sometimes tragic situation.  Continue »

Carl Hudson
 
January 5, 2018 | Carl Hudson

Wintertime in the Vineyard

Several times during the holidays I was asked about what goes on in the vineyard during wintertime. After the fruit harvest, the vines slow down their growth and begin to prepare themselves for fall and winter. Winter is basically a quiet time for the vineyard manager and vineyard workers, however there are several tasks that require attention while the vines essentially go dormant for a period.  Continue »

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