The good old days of Texas champagne
An Ohioan named Ken Moyer founded the company and made his first bubbly in 1983. He sold Moyer several years later to a French wine executive, Henri Bernabe, who vowed to “compete head to head with the best of California. We plan to fill a void in the marketplace.”
Texas-made sparkling wine is rare, even today. Thirty years ago, when there were only a handful of wineries in the state, it was much less practical. Sparkling wine is difficult, coslty, and time-consuming to make, requires top-notch grapes, and needs an established market for its products. Moyer and later Bernabe used methode champenoise to make their wine, complicating an already complicated business.
That’s because Texas’ producers had neither the skill nor the quality fruit (nor much fruit at all) to do bubbly well then, and the idea that there was a market for it – when it took 20 years for a Texas wine identity to develop – is the definition of “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”
Yes, you’re asking, but how did it taste? The Wine Curmudgeon never had any, but my pal John Bratcher, who sold the wine during his retail days in Lubbock, says he remembers two styles — dry and sweet, and they were OK, nothing more. What really hampered sales, though, says Bratcher, was the price, which was about as much as an entry-level Champagne cost in the mid-1980s.