High Plains Road Trip, Day 2 – Cap*Rock Winery

WOW.

We had the incredible privilege to visit Cap*Rock winery today with a one-of-a-kind tour guide @seanbuckley (Twitter handle). He may not think this is a compliment, but he”s definitely “one of us”.

Cap*Rock was designed at its inception to be a large-scale winery with two presses, large vats, and state-of-the-art processing. It shows. Unfortunately, the demand for their wines couldn”t keep up with the costs to keep it running, so Cap*Rock went through some hard times the last few years.

Fortunately, the new owners are turning everything around and they are starting a Renaissance phase. Lots of events, new wines, and a ton of excitement.

Another very cool thing we learned about Cap*Rock is that they process many of the grapes grown in the High Plains AVA for vineyards all over Texas. This works out very well because the grapes can be harvested and turned into juice before too much “wild fermentation” sets in. Processing locally ultimately gives the wine makers much more control over the finished wine than if they have to deal with fermentation that can occur during the truck ride to a distant winery. -And I had never heard of “wild fermentation” before this road trip!

We took a butt-load of pictures of this incredible winery, so I”ll post them soon and place a link here. 🙂

We FINALLY got to the tasting are of Cap*Rock (not Sean”s fault, mind you, I was being very @TxWineGeek-ish asking all kinds of questions in and about the processing, fermenting, and production facilities), and we were treated to a good variety of wines. If you are into GORGEOUS wineries, this is right at the top. It”s one of the go-to places for High Plains weddings, for sure.

Oh! The wines! Here are the stand outs:
Muscat Royale. This was a Julie favorite. Light and sweet, but not at all syrupy. Great for a hot day. If you want to lessen the alcohol content, it mixes well with Sprite 😉

2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. OK, online casino it”s California grapes. But it is GOOD. It carries the subtle spiciness of some California blends I have blogged about. I”m thinkinf

Sweet Tempranillo: This wine has a story. Winemaker Michael Vorauer wanted to produce a Tempranillo Nouveau in the tradition and timing of Beaujolais Noveau (a new one for me, too), but couldn”t get it finished in time for the November festival. It was a smaller production than their main labels, so they debated what to do with it. Fortunately, Michael was able to label it Sweet Tempranillo and they sell it out of the tasting room.

Well, it”s sweet, but it”s not SWEET. It”s a light (Tempranillo – light??) semi-sweet red that delighted our taste buds. Tannins were present and accounted for, but soft enough for Julie to enjoy and spicy enough to please my “I want a dry red!” palate. It sucks that they were officially closed and couldn”t sell us some yesterday. Note to self: Drop by before we leave the area.

OK, I”m no wine expert, but I have determined that the Tempranillo grape has replaced Merlot for me. But i”ll get into that tomorrow when I review today”s visits….


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