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What is Vinester?

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How Does it Work?

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What Texas and French Wines Have in Common

Published on April 26, 2011

Every bottle of French wine has its roots in Texas history... but why?

In the late 19th century, France was hit with a plague that almost destroyed all of their grapevines. This plague is Grape Phylloxera and is caused by pale, sap sucking microscopic insects. They feed on the roots and leaves of grape vines, causing an infection that cuts off the flow of nutrients and water to the vine.

These insects were brought to Europe in the 1850s by a botanist from England who collected vines from North America for medicinal research. They multiplied at an alarming rate and within a few years had quickly destroyed all of the vineyards in Great Britain.

By 1863 the first vines in France began to die. Ten years later, over two thirds of France's vines were destroyed. That equates to millions of gallons of wine on which France relies, gone.

In the late 1870’s a horticulturalist and inventor from Denison, Texas named Thomas V. Munson traveled to France to see what he could do to help. Munson found that the root stocks from North America were resistant to phylloxera, and more importantly, Texas root stock. Munson sent many grape vines from the great state of Texas to France and grafted the root stocks together, thus saving French vines from this plague.

Today, every bottle of French wine has its roots in Texas history and owes its viability to Mr. Munson. In 1883 the French Minister of Agriculture came to Denison, Texas and conferred the Chevalier du Mérite Agricole (the French Legion of Honor) to Munson for his work in saving the wine industry in France. Thomas Edison was the only other American ever to receive this award.

So the next time you have a great glass of Côtes du Rhone, you are consuming a little bit of Texas.

Remember, all great wine is best shared with great company. Happy sipping!

Craig Brazeal
The Rock & Roll Wine Commando

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Example: 1991 Silver Oak

Top 10 Varietals for April, 2019

Pinot Noir is the most popular wine varietal chosen by our visitors this month.

This varies by season so if you're looking for something tasty to drink this spring, Pinot Noir is a great choice. The others are shown below:

1. Pinot Noir
2. Red Bordeaux Blend
3. Syrah
4. Nebbiolo
5. Cabernet Sauvignon
6. Merlot
7. Chardonnay
8. Red Blend
9. Sangiovese
10. Riesling

Top 10 Producers for April, 2019

Wines from Sapphire Hill were selected by our visitors the most this month, making them the most popular choice for consumers.

If you're looking for a wine suggestion, Sapphire Hill might be a great place to start. The others are shown below.

1. Sapphire Hill
2. Phelan Vineyard
3. Stephen Test
4. Ferdinand Pieroth
5. Adelsheim
6. Silver Oak
7. Louis Jadot
8. Viansa
9. Andrew Will
10. Bruno Giacosa