WINE ROOTS IN TEXAS

Posted on February 7, 2014
Filed Under Wines | Leave a Comment

Kim and Doc McPherson. Photo courtesy of Texas Monthly

Note: On January 25, 2014, “Doc” McPherson, the Father of Texas Wine, passed away. This article is published in his memory.

Roots of Texas winemaker Kim McPherson run deep. McPherson Cellars was born in 2008 after Kim renovated a 1930′s era Coca-Cola bottling plant in Lubbock’s eclectic Depot District. Reminiscent of the Frank Lloyd Wright style of the ‘60s, the winery is a showcase not only in the hip neighborhood, but in all of Lubbock.

It’s a family wine road, begun by Kim’s parents, Clinton and Clara McPherson, both acclaimed Texas Tech professors (Chemistry and Department of Food Nutrition, respectively). Kim’s Dad, known as “Doc” co-founded Lubbock’s Llano Estacado Winery in 1976.

Kim’s brother, Jon, is a veteran California winemaker for over 20 years. Daughter Kassie McPherson, followed her father’s exact steps through the vines by completing the enology program at UC Davis and then apprenticing at Trefethen. Wife, Sylvia, runs La Diosa Cellars across the street from Kim’s winery in downtown Lubbock. Her sangria, bottled by Kim, is her logo not just in Lubbock but in Texas. Kim and his father are the only father/son inductees into Who’s Who in Food and Wine in the Texas Hall of Fame.

Kim’s philosophy is: “We’re not Napa Valley and we should quit trying to be. We should be ‘planting to the land’ and focusing on the Mediterranean grape varietals we can grow best – Rhone, Italian, and Spanish.” Taking those words to heart, McPherson plants to the land and produces a Sangiovese, Reserve Sangiovese, Viognier, Rousanne, Reserve Rousanne, Tre Colore (a Rhone-style red blend), Dry Rosé (a dry Rhone-style Rosé), La Herencia (a Tempranillo blend), Los Copains (a Rhone-style white blend), Dry Chenin Blanc, Albarino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sparkling, and two specialty wines, Chansa Solera Reserve Cream Sherry, and La Diosa Sangria.

Photo courtesy of VintageTexas.com

As proof of the success of his philosophy, Kim’s wines have won over 500 medals in state, national, and international wine competitions. Most recently, McPherson Cellars took the top three places out of 17 wines blind-tasted by 19 judges at the “Battle of the Texas Rousannes” in Houston.

Chris Keel, co-owner of Put A Cork In It, says he puts McPherson wines in blind tastings and they always show well. McPherson Albarino (a varietal of northwest Spain) is fantastic for the price (about$12.99). It has a huge aroma of plantain which is characteristic of Albarino, and almost a slight salty character in taste. McPherson wines are all moderate in alcohol — 13.6% to 13.9%. Sadly, a freeze ruined all McPherson white grapes in 2013.

Recent research on Texas wines available by the glass or bottle in Fort Worth-area restaurants revealed that McPherson Cellars is well represented.

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