July 25, 2024 6:00 pm - July 25, 2024 7:30 pm

From Missionaries to Visionaries: The Historical Story of Texas Wines

Dell City Vineyards in West Texas with the Guadalupe Mountains in the background. Photo courtesy of Spicewood Vineyards.

Texas has a wine culture as old as can be found in the United States. Its grapes grow in soils made from ancient sea deposits from 100 million years ago just like the grape growing regions of Europe. Texas wine culture arrived on horseback in the 1600s with Spanish missionaries who settled and planted vineyards in El Paso del Norte. In the 1800s, hearing the call from Texas Land Empresario Stephen F. Austin, German and Italian immigrant farmers came to Texas; they considered wine a staple of everyday life. What is now America’s 5th largest wine producing state, Texas wine started from these roots.

It may surprise some that Texas wineries now number in the several hundreds and Texas wines are being awarded top accolades in national and international wine competitions the world over, even in the state that taught us all about wine experiences decades ago—California. This presentation will address Texas wine as one of our state’s major agricultural products and how it evolved into something to behold, savored, and appreciated. Join us and hear the story of Texas wines that come with a great historical legacy and pioneering spirit founded by visionary people in the true Texas tradition.

Presenter: Dr. Russell Kane aka “Doc Russ Texas Wineslinger”Headshot of Russ Kane. He wears a blue button down shirt and holds a glass of wine. He is smiling.

Dr. Russell Kane is an award-winning Texas writer, author and wine aficionado with articles, tasting notes and quotes that have appeared in local, regional and national publications over the past 20 years. His bestselling book The Wineslinger Chronicles: Texas on the Vine was released by Texas Tech Press in 2012. His second book, Texas Hill Country Wineries – a wine trail guide and pictorial history of the Texas Hill Country Wineries, was released in 2015 by Arcadia Publications.

Dr. Kane who has shared his time between Houston and the Texas Hill Country has served as the executive director of the Wine Society of Texas, as a board member of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA), and a member of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Wine Industry Development Advisory Committee. He is a two-time awardee of the TWGGA Press Award for media coverage of the Texas wine industry. He has contributed articles for Edible Austin, Edible Houston, Edible Dallas/Ft. Worth, and for many years was a member of the Houston Chronicle tasting panel and provided Texas wine recommendations in the Houston Chronicle. He blogs at: www.vintagetexas.com.

Dr. Kane is the creator and instructor for two Specialist of Texas Wine Certification Courses offered through the Texas Wine School. They are taught live statewide via Zoom with wines provided to students for remote guided tastings during classes. He is also a Ph.D. and an experienced and awarded technical researcher and writer with over 300 technical publication.