End of the Year 2018
This will be the last Carl’s Corner for 2018, and I would like to reflect on the topics covered during this fun-filled year. In January there was a post on Wintertime in the Vineyard highlighting the many tasks required of a vineyard manager during this period of vine dormancy. Following a growers’ panel at the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) Grape Camp event in Fredericksburg, Vermentino – Quality White Grape in Texas was posted to describe why Texas growers and winemakers are having such success with this hearty variety. Leading up to the 4.0 Cellars Wine Club Pick-up Events in February, the subject for Carl’s Corner was the wines for the first release of 2018.
In February, Does Wildfire Smoke Damage Wine? addressed the potential damage to grapes and wines due to wildfires in California. It turns out that since most of the grapes had been harvested and most of the wine was either in tank or bottle, very little smoke damage occurred as a result of these tragic fires in fall, 2017. This topic was of interest here because of the potential danger of wildfires in Texas near grape-growing regions. At the suggestion of my good friend, Laurie Ware, my post-event acceptance “remarks” were offered after the wonderful surprise of being presented with TWGGA’s Wine Press Award 2018 at the state-wide meeting held in Frisco.
The first topic in March was a favorite of mine, Fermentation Science-Good Stuff! It was fun to review many of the interesting steps of fermentation that are so important to making good wine. What’s In My Wine – Label Talk, was another topic I felt important to address. Many Texas wine drinkers do not have a good understanding of what needs to be on a label and what many of the points on a label actually mean relative to the wine inside the bottle. It was my goal to help everyone gain a better understanding.
Black Spanish Grapes was a topic in April. This is the hybrid grape variety planted in front of the 4.0 Cellars tasting room. In addition to giving visitors a look at a real vineyard, the grapes from these vines are used to produce a 4.0 Cellars Portejas dessert wine. The next two Carl’s Corner editions, 4.0 Growers & Vineyards – THP and 4.0 Growers & Vineyards – THC highlighted key grape growers for the wines produced by the owner-partners at 4.0 Cellars: Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, Lost Oak Winery in Burleson, and McPherson Cellars in Lubbock. THP refers to the Texas High Plains near Lubbock and Brownfield, and THC refers to the Texas Hill Country.
The last Carl’s Corner in May, Skin Contact for Red Wines, described the need for and processes used to extract color from grape skins to make lightly tinted rose’ wines and darkly colored red wines. This was followed by the Wine Club June-2018 release information. Then, because we were fully engaged with the summer grape growing season, Early Summer Vineyard Tasks highlighted activities required to ensure the vineyard would produce the quality fruit expected at harvest in August-September.
To start July, Customer Service in the Tasting Room was the subject as tasting rooms all over the Lone Star State were experiencing plenty of visitors enjoying their summer vacations. Another grape variety was also a July topic, Dolcetto-Light Red for Texas. This Italian grape grows well in Texas and can be used for rose’ wines and lighter-bodied reds. 4.0 Cellars Wine Club Sundays, Sep-18, was the last Carl’s Corner in August providing information leading to the September Wine Club wine releases and pick-up parties.
Technical topics were addressed in September. What are Tannins in Wine? relates to a question often asked in the tasting room by folks who do not know what these molecules are and what they do for the flavor of wine. Flavor Adjustments in Wine was the second technical topic, noting a number of procedures and additives that are important to wine makers as they focus on producing the best wines possible.
October brought two updates on favorite topics. Nero Update 2018 (Brennan Super Nero 2016) updated background information on the Sicilian variety that produces wonderful Nero d’Avola wines at Brennan Vineyards. The 2016 Super Nero was stellar. Mac & Cheese Update 2018 offered recipes for one of my favorite foods, macaroni and cheese. This dish provides a great opportunity to enjoy delicious Veldhuizen cheeses available at 4.0 Cellars.
Wine Club Nov-2018 was posted in early November, describing wine releases for the last 2018 series of 4.0 Cellars Wine Club Pick-up Parties. Several fun discussions with staff and friends at those Wine Club events hatched the idea for the Crazy Wine Questions post in early December. That was a fun story to write.
So, this has been a good year for Carl’s Corner. It was fun to write the stories and share information with all of you. Thanks for the many kind words of appreciation and support you offered in 2018. Make sure to share good wines with family and friends as you enjoy a wonderful holiday season.