Cenizo Journal Winter 2021 | Page 24

Artisanal Wine

Background photo : Green Tempranillo grapes have several more weeks to go before ripe .

by Shawna Graves from Big Bend grapes

Chateau Wright took a bronze medal in the 2019 Texas Sustainable winegrowing Competition as well as a Gold medal from the 2020 Texas International Wine Competition .
Chateau Wright co-owner and vintner Adam White savors a glass of red after a day of field work . Chateau Wright Winery offers a variety of options for tasting .
Chateau Wright Winery and Vineyard is putting the Big Bend on the map as a wine tasting destination in Texas . The vineyard , planted about eight years ago on the outskirts of Fort Davis , just opened an accompanying winery this year , making big waves .
It ’ s a small batch operation , producing about 50 standard oak barrels a year , and it ’ s the only vineyard with a winery open for tastings in the Tri-County area of Big Bend , encompassing Presidio , Brewster , and Jeff Davis Counties .
Chateau Wright sits on 40 acres with over 17,000 vines , creating a beautiful scene at the foothills of the Davis Mountains . It ’ s a joint venture between San Antonio business partners Jack Wright and Adam White . Onsite varietals include Tempranillo , Viognier , Grenache , Mourvédre , and others . All vines were planted with native rootstock rather than grafted , giving the plants a hardier disposition for cold winters .
It takes about four years for newly planted vines to mature and produce a crop . Chateau Wright sold their first crops to other wineries , but soon realized their business plan would have to include making their own wine if they wanted to be profitable .
Not long after that decision , they produced Jack Rabbit Red 2017 , a 70 % Grenache , 30 % Mourvédre blend , that took a gold medal in the 2020 Texas International Wine Competition . It ’ s a reproducible wine they intend to continue with future vintages .
“ Our wines are more Old World Style ,” explained viticulturist , vintner , and co-owner Adam . The reds are lighter bodied , with desert herb , mineral , and floral components . “ And we do everything the hard way ,” he added .
No additives are used to cheat the natural process — it ’ s just the basics , including an old-

24 Cenizo Winter 2021