We Are Open Today After the Cold Weather
Now that Texas is warming up, all of our locations are back in action, Meadow, Fredericksburg, and Grapevine. The weather has brought much needed moisture to the farm.
The weather has also slowed down shipping as a choice, but orders will begin going out on Monday. So consider getting an order in this weekend, to add to your celebrations in the coming weeks.
You may wonder what all of this snow and ice means for the vineyards and the organic row crops. The short answer is that for the row crops this moisture is wonderful. We had been going into one of the driest springs that we have had in the recent past. Fields had already been prepared for planting because we were not sure that we would have enough moisture in the soil to get them ready later in the spring. Now we are ready to plant cotton, hemp, wheat, and whatever other contracts are looking good for year.
The vineyards on the other hand are an unknown. Today the Dirt Farmer (Cliff) and two of his daughters will be out in the vineyards gathering “sticks” as one daughter calls them. The buds on these “sticks” will be cut with a blade to see if there is any green life showing in them. If not, then they are dead and will not produce fruit (grapes) later in the year.
So we wait and see. Maybe later this weekend, we will know some news. In a few more weeks, we will know even better.
Still hoping and praying that all are warm and safe.
Thanksgiving at the Binghams
We hope that you all have something to be thankful for this holiday season. This has been a year of ups and downs and the very unexpected.
We hope that you and yours are safe from Covid. We have had five of our children or their spouses get Covid-19. Two are still recovering. We are thankful that vaccines and treats are on the horizon.
But we have much to be thankful for. We are thankful for our friends and neighbors. We are thankful for our great employees. We are thankful for our partnerships with our neighbor businesses Giddens Art Gallery in Grapevine Texas and Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters in Fredericksburg.
We are thankful for the six gold and silver medals that our team won with wines at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. We are thankful that we had a successful organic hemp crop. More news on that soon.
Even as times have been hard, we have had blessings as well. We had a hard time deciding between three great desserts to eat at our Thanksgiving dinner. Blueberry and Lemon pie, Buttermilk pie, or Pumpkin Cheesecake. We had Bingham 2018 Reserve Viognier, 2016 Reserve Carignan (a club member exclusive which is sold out except for a few cases at our shipping fulfillment center and each of our tasting rooms) , and 2019 Reserve Moscato Giallo for wine.
At least it was easy to pair the meal with the Viognier and Carignan, and then ending with desserts with the Moscato Giallo.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all and we pray for happy holidays for you all!
Pumpkin Crepe Cake
with 2018 Viognier
You love wine and food, so we have another pairing for you. Shannon Brown, a long time team member of Bingham Family Vineyards, is here to share her expertise at creating wonderful wine and food pairings. Gather the wine and the ingredients, and try another pairing with us.
This recipe was originally paired with our 2018 Viognier which is not longer available, but try this dessert with our 2019 Viognier.
Recipe and Printing
For the crepes:
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For the pumpkin pastry cream:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
For optional garnishes:
- 2 ounces salted caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup cream, whipped softly with 2 Tbsp. powered sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp toasted pepitas
To make the crepes:
- Place the eggs, milk, flour, butter, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Allow the batter to rest for 20 minutes.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter, swirling the pan to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to brown the other side.
- Transfer the cooked crepe to a wire rack to cool, then repeat until you have used all the batter.
To make the pumpkin pastry cream:
- Place the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Heat the milk in a small pot until small bubbles form around the edge, and wisps of steam are rising from the surface.
- Add the hot milk to the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking to combine.
- When all the milk has been added, transfer the mixture back to the pot and place over medium-low heat.
- Cook the pastry cream, whisking, until thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer, into a heat-safe bowl. (Use the back of a ladle to press the mixture through the sieve.)
- Press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and refrigerate until completely cool. (about 2 hours).
- Whip the cream and powdered sugar together until stiff.
- Fold the whipped cream, pumpkin, and spices into the pastry cream.
To assemble the pumpkin crepe cake:
- Place a crepe on a serving platter, and top with about 2 tablespoons of spiced pumpkin pastry cream, spreading it in an even layer.
- Top with another crepe, and repeat until all the crepes and filling have been used.
- Drizzle caramel sauce on every other layer and over the top.
- Garnish with salted caramel sauce, sweetened whipped cream, cinnamon, and toasted pepitas (optional).
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee.
Now you have the recipe. Don’t forget to buy the wine.
This recipe looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it now that things have slowed down after two weddings within three weeks.
2017 Dugout Wins Again at the 2021 San Antonio Rodeo Wine Competition
Along with 8 other winners
As you all remember our 2016 Dugout won a Double Gold and Best of Show Texas Wine at the 2019 San Antonio Livestock & Rodeo International Wine Competition. As well as a Gold at the 2019 Houston Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition.
Then the tradition continued with our 2017 Dugout winning a DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL, TOP TEXAS WINE, Class Champion, and Texas Class Champion at the 2020 Houston Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition. It was quite a honor for us to be awarded the saddle as I expressed in this post. Now Dugout has won again twice more.
Now our 2017 Dugout has just won a Gold medal at the 2020 San Francisco International Wine Competition. More about the other awards that we won at that competition later. This is often considered the most prestigious wine competition in the nation.
The 2017 Dugout also won a Double Gold at the recent 2021 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition as well as as Top of Class for Texas red wine blends.
More medals from the 2021 San Antonio Livestock & Rodeo International Wine Competition are:
GOLD MEDAL, 2017 Reserve Cabernet Franc, not yet released
GOLD MEDAL, 2017 Reserve Tempranillo, not yet release – but check our our 2016 Reserve Tempranillo
SILVER MEDAL, 2019 Cloudburst
SILVER MEDAL, 2018 Dirt Farmer, not yet released – but check out our 2017 Dirt Farmer which won a Silver medal at both the Houston and San Antonio wine competitions in 2020.
SILVER MEDAL, 2019 Reserve Moscato Giallo, which is currently a wine club member exclusive as an early release for them
SILVER MEDAL, 2019 Texas High Plains Sunset Rose’
SILVER MEDAL, 2019 Viognier
BRONZE MEDAL, 2019 Fine ‘n Dandy
Several of these wines are yet to be released, but the other wines are available for the general public or for our club members as an early release.
A reminder that the San Antonio Rodeo Auction is going on right now. If you would like to be a part of raising money for scholarships for the youth of Texas, check this out.
Update after the Freezing Weather in the Vineyards
Texas grape growers have talked about the problem of early spring freezes in the vineyards for several years. If the plants are awakened and ready for spring, they begin to produce buds. If a hard and long enough freeze happens, then these buds can be killed causing a loss of crop for the year. There has also always been a problem at times with freezing weather in late fall or during the winter, but “winter kill” as they sometimes call it has not been a major problem until this last season.
Normally we enjoy the moisture from the winter cold or snow such as this photo shows from February of this year. You can see more photos from time here. But the vines need to be dormant or “sleeping” for them to not be damaged by the cold weather.
Last year on October 31, 2019 there was freezing weather that caused a large amount of crop loss for High Plains grape growers. Vines that have been weakened by drought, insect injury, disease, chemical drift, or mechanical injury to the trunk or roots, will be more susceptible to this type of cold weather. The effect is much the same as the COVID virus on people with underlying health conditions. The underlying health of the vine is a factor in how much damage freezing weather will cause to the plant.
Shelly Wilfong, host of ThisisTexasWine.com podcast, discussed this with Daniel Pate on a recent podcast.
You will want to check out her web site and hear more of Shelly’s podcasts. The interview that she had with Jessica Duprey was enlightening to hear Jessica’s view on what “Texas” on the label should mean for Texas wines. Jessica has her own vineyard, so she has learned how hard it is to grow wine grapes. We do appreciate both Jessica and Shelly for their stories about Texas wine for all of us to enjoy.
We are now retraining and working with our vines to overcome damage that was caused last year. Then on October 26th through the 28th last month, we had freezing weather in the vineyards. One very good aspect about that weather event was the moisture. The moisture creates a protective layer for the vines as well as giving much needed moisture back to the soil.
Our fields for organic row crops are so dry this year that we will not be doing much deep breaking (or plowing) of the fields during the winter to destroy weeds because of lack of moisture in the soil. But we are preparing the fields as we are looking forward to planting hemp again.
Back to checking on the vineyards, our Dirt Farmer, Cliff, has been out in the vineyards cutting vines and looking for life. So what does that look like? It looks … green.
Do you see green? Yes! Yea! That is what we hope for. Signs of life. Cliff did not find much of any damage in the vines from this last freeze. This freeze will actually help develop the cold hardiness of the vines for the rest of the winter.
We hope and pray for all vines and people that we can make it through this winter freezes and the COVID virus.