Nestled in the scenic Davis Mountains of Texas, Chateau Wright is making waves in the wine industry with its commitment to producing quality artisanal wines from 100% Texas grapes. Led by Radiologist physician Dr. John L. Wright III, the winery has embarked on a journey to create exceptional wines that showcase the unique flavors and characteristics of the region.
Blue Mountain Trail Vineyard, a part of Chateau Wright, benefits from the area’s remarkable geography. Situated in the Chihuahuan Desert on the Southern slope of Blue Mountain, the vineyard stands at an elevation of 5,400 feet. The combination of intense sun, dry air, and cool days and nights results in a flavor concentration that sets their wines apart. Tasting notes reveal hints of cherry, plum, tomato, fig, and desert herb, complemented by a touch of vanilla and caramel. The breathtaking mountain vistas serve as a constant source of inspiration for the dedicated team of winemakers.
Chateau Wright’s roots can be traced back to a fortuitous meeting between Dr. Wright and Adam White in 2008. Driven by a passion for beer brewing and a fondness for wines from southeastern France, Dr. Wright joined forces with White, who had been experimenting with viticulture on his mother’s farm in Natalia, TX. Together, they embarked on a mission to create wines that truly embody the spirit of their origin. The introduction of actual clones of the vines from Chateauneuf du Pape and advancements in grape-growing technology paved the way for their winemaking endeavor.
After extensive research and analysis of climatological and soil conditions, the team determined that the Davis Mountains provided the ideal setting to cultivate their grapes. Interestingly, their findings aligned with those of Gretchen Glasscock, who had hired NASA in 1971 to identify the best location for grape cultivation in Texas. The southern slope of Blue Mountain, where Chateau Wright is situated, was identified as an optimal site. Although the original Blue Mountain Vineyard fell victim to Pierce’s Disease in 2003, Dr. Wright acquired 40 acres nearby in 2011, leading to the birth of the Blue Mountain Trail Vineyard.
Over the years, Chateau Wright has faced its fair share of challenges. Unpredictable late spring freezes caused significant damage to the vineyards in 2013 and 2014. In response, the winery developed a combination late spring freeze prevention and cooling system, which involved the construction of a large cement pond for irrigation and recreational swimming water storage. By implementing innovative Netafim sprinklers that conserve water usage, Chateau Wright has demonstrated its commitment to sustainable viticulture.
The pursuit of exceptional wines led Chateau Wright to establish Jack Rabbit Winery in 2015. Faced with disappointing experiences with custom crush facilities, the team realized the need to vinify their own grapes to ensure the desired quality. This decision marked the beginning of a two-year process to obtain federal and state licenses to operate a winery. Partnering with Blue Lotus Winery in Seguin, they took measures to combat spoilage and maintain the integrity of their wines.
Chateau Wright also embraces agritourism, welcoming visitors from around the world to experience the vineyards firsthand. These agritourists play a vital role in vine trimming, given the scarcity of labor in the Davis Mountains.
The current release, “Heraldic Red,” represents the culmination of Chateau Wright’s journey. With more exciting wines on the horizon, including the highly anticipated Cinsaut, Chateau Wright aims to cater to entry-level red wine drinkers seeking floral qualities and low tannins.
For those looking to explore the world of Chateau Wright wines, the winery’s tasting room is open to the public from Friday to Monday, between 12:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Visitors can savor the unique flavors and aromas while taking in the picturesque surroundings of the Davis Mountains.
To complement the wine-tasting experience, Chateau Wright also offers a delightful selection of food truck offerings. From Friday to Monday, between 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM, visitors can indulge in a variety of culinary delights that perfectly pair with the wines.
The team at Chateau Wright is thrilled about the current release of “Heraldic Red” and the exciting wines that are soon to follow. With their unwavering dedication to craftsmanship and a commitment to showcasing the essence of Texas grapes, Chateau Wright is positioning itself as a prominent player in the Texas wine industry.
125 Blue Mountain Trail, Fort Davis, Texas