Weekend Wine: A Top Texas Rosé

Texas Heritage Vineyard’a Lizzie Rosé

The Austin Chronicle was among the first newspapers in Texas to give regular coverage to Texas wines. We were on the story 23 years ago when the entire state had less than 30 wineries.

Since then, the Texas wine business has boomed to a degree that no one could have predicted. The Texas Hill Country alone now has more 50 wineries. At least a dozen of those make age-worthy, high-quality wines, and just about all of them make at least a few very good wines. So it is understandable that I get the occasional note from a reader asking why I don’t review a high-quality offering like Duchman Vementino or Spicewood Tempranillo or one of the other world-class wines from Texas. Here’s the answer.

As a native Texan, I want to see the Texas wine business survive and thrive. In order to do that, my opinion is that you should be able to stop at Twin Liquors or the Austin Wine Merchant or any of the other great retailers in Austin, find several different bottles of Texas wine, and then price them out against similar quality wines from the west coast of the U.S., or Europe, or South America, or Australia, and not suffer sticker shock. Several of Texas’ largest wineries have solved this problem, but many Texas wineries still expect you to get yourself to their winery and then pay agritourism prices for the opportunity to buy their wines. Agritourism pricing is one that includes the entertainment value of a day at the vineyards. I visit the winery, drink enough samples to experience a modicum of social lubrication, and suddenly I don’t mind spending more for the total fun experience of the afternoon.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love having a sober driver cart several friends out on a wine trail to visit wineries, tasting through their product line and meeting the owners and winemakers. The whole process is a delightful way to spend a weekend, getting to know your neighbors and meeting other folks who love good wine and good food. And I understand that setting up a winery costs a lot of money and those costs have to be amortized. Still, I wish that during the week I could stop on the way home from work and pick up a Texas wine that was priced to compete with an equal value wine from outside the state.

This past week, I had the chance to try a Texas Heritage Vineyard 2021 Lizzie Rosé ($30). The wine was made from Malbec grown at the winery’s own vineyard. It was crisp and refreshing and would pair perfectly with a grilled burger or best of all with classic Shrimp and Grits. From a quality standpoint, I would be proud to serve this Texas rosé in a head-to-head competition with 95% of the world’s rosés. Only you can decide how much you are willing to spend to support our Texas neighbors, many of whom have invested a substantial portion of their life savings in order to bring you that joyous weekend experience. Additionally, money invested in Texas wines helps to save a family farm, a problem in today’s Texas that deserves all of our attention. Finally, there is a chicken/egg situation here. The more we support Texas wineries, the more they learn how to produce delicious wines in quantities that can reach every corner of the state and at prices that all of us can afford.

Texas Heritage Vineyard only made 133 cases of this wine, which means its neighbors in Fredericksburg could buy their entire production this weekend. Many of the best rosés on earth cost far less than $30. Only you can decide whether or not the many benefits of buying local are worth bumping your credit card a little harder. What I can tell you for sure is that this is really good wine and anyone tasting it will love it.

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