June 5, 2020


Texas wines continue to earn accolades even during the pandemic. The Concours International de Lyon (translated from French to English is International Competition of Lyon which is in France) held the competition in highly regulated quarters away from the typical crowds normally associated with this event. This event is centered around beers, wines, and spirits and is one of the more prestigious international wine events with teams of judges tasting over 6,000 samples. After several days of judging, medals were awarded with only nine medals awarded to wines from the United States of America. Perhaps those finicky wine judges could sense American wines. Out of the nine medals awarded to American wineries, FIVE medals went to Kuhlman Cellars in the Texas Hill County AVA. In other words, Texas wines earned more than half of the medals that went to American wineries. Kuhlman Cellars was founded by Chris and Jennifer Cobb on 15.5 acres in the Texas Hill Country between Fredericksburg and Johnson City off Highway 290. The winery opened to the public six years ago. The Kuhlman Cellars winning wines included:
• 2018 Estate Kuhlmanation White – Gold Medal
• 2018 Texas High Plains Viognier – Gold Medal
• 2016 Reserve Merlot – Silver Medal
• 2017 Marl – Silver Medal
• 2017 Texas High Plains (Newsom Vineyards ) Sangiovese – Silver Medal
Kuhlman Cellars’ winemaker is Benedicte Rhyne who came from France to Texas many years ago and was one of the early Texas wine pioneers. She is one of WINE WALK’s Winery Women of distinction. She said, “In 2018, the stars aligned with a beautiful growing season allowing us to harvest this (Viognier) finicky varietal at prime maturity, high Brix of 26. Our cellar crew then carefully handled the grapes to produce this magnificent vintage. What an honor to be recognized by our peers, the French sommeliers and winemakers from Lyon who know best what a great Viognier should taste like.”
This outstanding story is one of many about Texas winemakers using Texas-grown grapes. Texas wines deserve to be recognized as outstanding, with such amazing stories happening consistently over the last several years.
Texas Wineries are Gradually Opening
Texas wineries have been opening under restrained guidelines put forth under Governor Abbot since just before Memorial. Wineries in other parts of the country are just starting to peek through their closures. It is important to know the Rules about visiting Texas wineries such as:
1. Call the winery you wish to visit to make a Reservation. These Reservations are just like reservations at a deluxe restaurant except there are no waiting areas. You MUST have a Reservation to enter the winery grounds. This restricts the number of visitors.
2. You must be seated at a table in parties of six or less. Each table is spaced with at least six-feet of clearance. Wines are normally pre-poured in plastic cups. You are welcome to bring your glassware if you wish. You must remain seated and be waited on by winery staff.
3. Some wineries will lead you through a formal seated tasting.
4. No food is served at wineries so it is fine to bring your own food.
5. Some wineries host concerts with seating limited to tables. In some cases, seating is free with a minimum of a one bottle of wine purchase.
6. It is fine to tip the winery staff.
Times have certainly changed from last Summer. It’s better to be safe than to suffer through this virus. I hope you have wonderful Summer winery experiences!

Leave your comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter comment.