by Julian Coldrey, Full Pour
It wasn’t an easy birth. In fact, the first winery in the County, Sandstone Cellars, had to wait for an amendment to the Texas Constitution before it could sell its wines at cellar door. Mason, you see, is a dry county, and the sale of alcohol is only permitted in specific circumstances. From Sandstone’s establishment in 2003 has sprung a whole industry in Mason County, albeit one that is tangibly emerging from the vacuum of prohibition. There are now about ten vineyards here, most of which were established with Don’s encouragement, and everywhere I go there seems talk of new plantings, both underway and contemplated. A handful of new wineries has also appeared. The wines are still few in number and astoundingly varied in varietal composition, but not style. In fact, stylistic consistency is striking across producers, a fact that becomes much more interesting when one considers how few harvests have taken place, how many different varieties are being used and the relative lack of any winemaking tradition here.
If you follow the wines of Sandstone Cellars, you can piece together the story of Mason County wine…
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