When one thinks of the United States’ wine-producing regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma, and the Willamette Valley might come to mind. But the Texas Hill Country? Absolutely. Especially when it comes to the Texas Heritage Vineyard. I recently had the privilege of participating in an exclusive online tasting event. Sommly’s co-founder, Sara Wagner, and I were introduced to an impressive lineup of wines, reflecting the heart and soul of Texan winemaking.
2022 Viognier, Wildseed Farms Vineyard
The first wine we tasted was the 2022 Viognier white wine. Hailing from Wildseed Farms in the Texas Hill Country AVA, this wine secured a gold at the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition. At 11.7% ABV, the low alcohol content was a pleasant surprise. Priced at $30 per bottle, the Viognier truly punches above its class. Described as “light and crisp with hints of citrus and honeysuckle,” it’s a wine that sings of summer, evoking images of sipping by a pool and pairing perfectly with almond and herb-flavored dishes. With its light body and medium acidity, versatility is this wine’s forte.
2020 Syrah, Gotneaux Creek Vineyard
Next, we sampled the 2020 Gotneaux Creek Vineyard Syrah. A stark contrast to the Viognier, this wine had 13.5% ABV. We were treated to a symphony of spice, plum, and pepper notes on the palette. Grown in London, Texas, this Syrah is another gem from the Texas Hill Country AVA. Among the wines we tasted, this became Sara’s favorite, impressing with its medium tannins, fruity aromas and French style profile.
2019 Alicante Bouschet, Texas Heritage Vineyard
Last, but certainly not least, we delved into the 2019 Estate Alicante Bouschet. This rare grape, scarcely seen in Texas or globally, offered a unique tasting experience. With its deep color and full body, it stood out as a big-bold red. The grippy tannins made a statement, and its accolades, including a Double Gold at the 2021 Harvest Terroir Challenge, were testament to its excellence. As for me, this was the standout of the evening – an impeccable wine to pair with hearty dishes like chili or a burger.
The Legacy of Texas Heritage Vineyard
Behind these exquisite wines lies the inspiring story of Texas Heritage Vineyard. Founded in 2015 by Billy and Susan Johnson, the estate has grown to encompass twelve and a half acres of varietals ranging from Alicante Bouschet and Malbec to Tannat and Viognier. The completion of the winery production facility in 2017 marked another milestone in their journey. At the helm of the winemaking process is Tyler Buddemeyer, whose unique touch has shaped many of the vineyard’s signature wines. The dedication to quality and passion for winemaking has earned Texas Heritage Vineyard the title of “Best Tasting Room” by the Fredericksburg Standard Radio Post several times. Adding to the ambiance, visitors can often enjoy live music, creating an atmosphere that’s both lively and welcoming.
The Texas Heritage Vineyard is not just about wines; it’s about a legacy, passion, and the celebration of Texan terroir. For wine enthusiasts seeking a unique experience, it’s a journey worth taking. Cheers!