We now have over 1,800 hand planted and nurtured vines in our East Texas vineyards with the latest being 130 new baby Malbecs planted in spring of 2015. Most of our varieties have lineages to the great wine regions of Spain and France allowing us to bring some of the classic ‘old world’ wine characteristics to East Texas with a modern wine making approach.
- Tempranillo – a black grape variety widely grown in its native Spain. Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano, a reference to the fact that it ripens earlier than most grapes. It performs very well in the hot climates of Texas where it produces smooth, medium to full bodied wines with flavors of strawberry, plum, cherry and often hints of tobacco and leather.
- Mourvedre – a hearty dark purple grape that is grown in many regions around the world but is native to Spain where it is known as Monastrell or Mataro. Mourvedre is a late ripening varietal that flourishes in hot summer temperatures and is thus well suited for Texas vineyards where its late bud-break in spring makes it less vulnerable to late frosts and freezes. The vines are ‘well behaved’ for the viticulturalist and produces rich, hearty, spicy wines with flavors of herbs, black pepper and blackberries.
- Syrah – a dark skinned grape which originated in southeastern France and is widely grown around the world and especially in the Rhone River Valley. It has been recently planted here in Texas, including a small vineyard here at Grand Oaks. Syrah has become world famous as one of the primary grapes used to make classic ‘Rhone Style’ reds. In Texas it tends to produce fuller bodied wines with softer tannins and flavors of blackberry, mint and black pepper similar to those of our Mourvedre.
- Malbec – the latest addition to the Grand Oaks Vineyards, these grapes tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins, and are known as one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. Originating in the town of Cahors, France, this variety is increasingly celebrated as an Argentine varietal wine and is now being grown here in Texas. It is deeply colored, spicily rich with an exuberant juiciness and has as a trademark almost velvety texture. We can’t wait for our first harvest!
- Lenoir/ Black Spanish – an American hybrid grape resulting from a cross of the American Vitis aestivalis species of grape with an unknown Vitis vinifera pollen donor. Black Spanish’s hardiness and resistance to disease make it an ideal grape for growing in the Deep South of the United States. The vine is vigorous and produces loose bunches of sweet berries with very dark juice. As a wine it is weighty and quite distinctive for its unusual spice and musk.
- Chenin Blanc – a versatile white-wine grape variety known for its high acidity and aging potential. Most commonly associated with the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc has been cultivated in France for nearly 1300 years. Official French documents first mention Chenin Blanc as early as 845 AD. In the vineyard the variety buds early and ripens late, making it one of our most care intensive vines. It has floral notes but is famous for its ability to be as dry or as sweet as the winemaker desires producing flavors of honey, apple and often quince.
- Blanc du Bois – an American hybrid white grape grown throughout the American South but especially in Texas. It is a particularly vigorous vine, resistant to many diseases prevalent in hot humid climates and produces big, juicy grapes bursting with flavors of peach, pear, apricot, green apple and grapefruit. It is a wonderful grape for blending with classic vinifera to produce crispier, fruitier whites. And many Texas winemakers offer Blanc du Bois as it’s own standalone varietal. We at Grand Oaks Winery use it as that in our wildly popular wine we call G.O.TWEET.