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Dear Dr. Vinny,
Could you please provide me with a list of wineries or vineyards that produce wines from the state of Texas?
—Dan H., Greenville, S.C.
Ah, if it were only that easy! While Texas might remind you more of oil wells than grapevines, Texas wineries date back to the late 1700's. Currently, Texas is the fifth-largest wine producer in the nation (after California, New York, Washington and Oregon). There are more than 3,100 acres of grapes, 200 commercial vineyards and more than 100 licensed and bonded wineries. The Texas Department of Agriculture has a helpful website, www.gotexanwine.org, which will give you more information.
I learned that Texas is home to the second-largest appellation in the country—the Hill Country Viticultural Area covers 15,000 square miles over 22 counties (they say everything's bigger in Texas). Grapes grown in Texas include Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Merlot, among others. There's even a winery operating out of the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport called La Bodega, the nation's only airport-based winery. They're located in terminal A, right by gate A-15, and make a wine called "Aero Port." Clever!
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