Texas gets only a little vino love on a new roundup of the country’s 101 best wineries. Despite the presence of more than 270, only two Lone Star wineries appear on the list, created by the Daily Meal. McPherson Cellars Winery in Lubbock shows up at No. 87 and Becker Vineyards in Stonewall at No. 93.
Not surprisingly, California wineries dominate the list.
“There are certainly more than two deserving wineries in Texas, but the competition is so strong and varied from California and the Pacific Northwest that it’s difficult to find room in a highly limited listing — a mere 101 out of an estimated 7,000-plus wineries in the U.S. — for any significant representation from Texas or other states producing good wines,” said Daily Meal editorial director Colman Andrews.
Andrews said few of the panelists who picked the wineries on the list have sampled Texas’ wine offerings. He said that’s because the state produces a relatively small amount of wine — more than 3 million gallons in 2012 — and because distribution of Texas wines is “extremely limited” outside the state.
To determine the winners, Daily Meal asked experts in the field — sommeliers, wine writers, chefs and restaurateurs — for their opinions about wineries around the country. After the initial nominations, those experts returned to vote on the wines based on the three values: wine quality, consistency and value.
Although California and the Pacific Northwest rule the winery scene in the United States, Texas does rank as the No. 5 grape and wine producer among the 50 states, according to the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association.
Becker Vineyards produced more than 1.2 million bottles of wine in 2013, making it the third largest producer in the state, according to Time Warner Cable News. Becker Vineyards opened its winery in 1996 along what’s now billed as Wine Road 290 in the Fredericksburg area.
Pat Brennan, owner of Brennan Vineyards in Comanche, Texas, and one of the leaders of a wine promotion group called Texas Fine Wine, said he’s disappointed by the Deal Meal’s list but isn’t surprised. He noted that most Texas wines are consumed in Texas, “so wine enthusiasts don’t get the opportunity to taste our wines unless they visit.”
Brennan also pointed out that there were no Texans among the wine experts, sommeliers or writers who judged the wineries for Daily Meal.
“The good news is our wines are getting more and more national attention, given the number of Texas wines winning awards at prestigious wine competitions,” Brennan said. “The more people taste our wines, we are confident that our wines will keep winning awards, be proudly served at restaurants and be top of mind among wine experts.”