The Lone Star State of Rosé

If Texas has a state wine, could it be rosé? It’s true, the exceedingly popular pink vino may not seem like the ideal dance partner for our leathery and larger-than-life Texas swagger, but this dry, crisp wine keeps up every step of the way with its versatility, big flavor and body that’s light enough to tame our oppressive heat.

Fortunately for us, the grapes used to make rosé in Mediterranean climates are the same grapes that thrive in Texas. Grapes such as Mourvèdre, cinsault, carignan, tempranillo and aglianico may not be as familiar to wine lovers as cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and chardonnay, but in the hands of talented Texas winemakers, they shine bright and pair perfectly with everything from spring greens to a backyard barbecue.

Texas rosés range in color from a light salmon-pink to a pale ruby, with aromas that range from strawberry to watermelon. And unlike the sweet rosés that used to be very popular, Texas winemakers have opted for a drier style that’s a bit lower in alcohol content than their deeper-red cousins. Many Texas rosés are made from a blend of red grapes, but there are also several single-varietal rosés, often from Mourvèdre or cinsault.

In addition to the outstanding still rosés being made around the state, William Chris Vineyards offers a sparkling Petillant Naturel rosé. This blend of cinsault, malbec, Mourvèdre and petit verdot is made using the Methode Ancestrale—a process used before the method for making Champagne was created. No extra yeast or sugars are added to the wine before being bottled for fermentation, and the result is a lightly bubbly, slightly cloudy rosé that’s worthy of any Texas celebration.

To further quench the thirst of rosé-loving Texans, Chris Brundrett, one of the co-founders of William Chris Vineyards, joined forces with Andrew Sides, co-founder of Lost Draw Cellars, to create Yes We Can Winery. The collaboration’s new release is Sway Rosé (Mourvèdre, carignan, muscat, viognier, malvasia bianca), the first rosé made from 100-percent Texas-grown-grapes that’s available in a can—perfect for any outing that requires an ice chest.

With rosé wine continuing to gain in popularity, Texas winemakers are upping the ante and bottling more rosés each season. Instead of the yellow rose, perhaps pink rosé will become the recognized symbol of the Lone Star State. 

Look for Texas Rosés from These Wineries:

• Bending Branch Winery High Plains Rosé (cinsault)
• Brennan Vineyards Dry Rosé (Mourvèdre and grenache)
• Dandy Rosé (Mourvèdre, cinsault, grenache, carignan)
• Duchman Family Winery Dry Rosé (aglianico)
• Kuhlman Cellars Hensell Rosé (Mourvèdre)
• Lewis Wines Parr Mourvèdre Rosé
• McPherson Cellars Les Copains Rosé (cinsault, carignan, vermentino)
• Pedernales Cellars Dry Rosé (cinsault, Mourvèdre, syrah)
• Spicewood Vineyards Mourvèdre Rosé
• Tatum Cellars Rosé (Tatum Cellars is the second label of William Chris Vineyards)
• William Chris Vineyards Cinsault Rosé, Tannat Rosé,
• Petillant-Naturel Rosé, Grenache Rosé
• Yes We Can Winery Sway Rosé

Guide to the Grapes

 Wine  Origin  Grape Similar in Style
 Aglianico  Campania and Basilcata, Italy  Merlot
 Cinsault  Southern Rhône, France  Grenache
 Mourvédre  Southern France and Spain  Pinot Noir
 Tinta Cão  Portugal  Pinot Noir
 Petit Verdot  Bordeaux  Cabernet Sauvignon
 Tannat  Southern France  Cabernet Sauvignon
 Tempranillo Spain and Portugal   Cabernet Sauvignon
 Touriga Nacional  Portugal  Cabernet Sauvignon


By Kristi Willis • Photography by Jenna Northcutt