Discovering Texas Wines
Texas Winery Offers Appealing Selection
Ste. Genevieve Wines & Dines Texas Baby-Boomersby Lucas Everidge
The wide open spaces of West Texas inspire images from the film Giant, where oil tycoons and dusty cattle roam the hot desert. Today this area hosts 1,000 acres of the grapevines and bottling facilities of a first class winery, remotely located about 26 miles away from the town of Fort Stockton, Texas.
Texas traditionally seems an inappropriate place for winemaking. In reality the hot climate works well for growing grapes, despite the fact that it is one of the most unlikely areas to possess such a French sounding name. The result is Texas horticulturists combined with the expertise of French winemaking.
A spokesperson for the winery explained that the wine industry moves along a growth curve. Wineries in Texas, which began producing in the 1980's have greatly matured, so "if you tasted Texas wine five or six years ago, try it again." As grape vines mature, they produce better grapes, and, consequently, finer wine.
St. Genevieve Target MarketsAustin attorney and wine aficionado Steve Tompkins explains why Ste. Genevieve wines continue to grow in popularity: "The vineyards have existed long enough to develop distinctive tastes which the vintners have taken advantage of in their production technique."
Although, consumers are attracted to not only the taste, but also the low prices. Kelton Dillard, an accountant living in Austin, explains why he buys Ste. Genevieve: "They're very good wines, and they're cheap." Dillard represents exactly the target market Ste. Genevieve is persuing. They want middle-aged, Baby Boomers, who have grown tired of sugary soft drinks or beer. Instead more are reaching for a bottle of Texas Red.
In order to sell their wines, wineries must overcome the attitude many Americans have towards wine. Wineries are working to dispel the mystique in wine drinking. To overcome objections, Ste. Genevieve wines tend to be priced comparatively low. They simplify consumer choices by marketing wine brands, without a year.
Recent news regarding the health benefits of red wine has helped wineries, including Ste. Genevieve. The winery produces at full capacity, and distributes just in Texas. Their standard red wines include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and a table wine called Texas Red.
Tompkins finds their wines fit all occasions. He explains, "The Ste. Genevieve label provides wines which range from casual table wines to those that can accompany fine meals, all at a good value."
The winery has expanded their line to include other interesting wines. One wine, slightly more difficult to locate, is their Fume Blanc, which tastes like a smoky Sauvignon Blanc. In March, 1997, the winery will add another wine to their portfolio - a Red Zinfandel.
The winery also imports and bottles a French wine named Lorval. It is available as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. and Syrrah.
Tours In March
A spokesperson for the winery surmised that many people purchase their wines because of the price, and don't even realize it is a Texas wine. By successfully reaching out to new consumers, who have never before considered wine as a beverage, Texas wines appear to have a happy future. As their vines continue to mature, Ste. Genevieve is poised to continue satisfying the tastes of the growing market of Texas winedrinkers.
There are many interesting wine tours and festivals happening around the state. See Texas Food & Wine Festivals.
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