Blue Ribbon Selection Tasting Series

A Taste of the Lone Star State

The Texas wine industry is a vital and growing part of the Texas agricultural. Each year in the Wine Garden, the State Fair showcases the wineries from across the state. This year, while we can’t enjoy a glass of Texas wine and toast Big Tex, the Fair has taken the Wine Garden and the annual Blue Ribbon Selection virtual.

The State Fair of Texas has worked with a panel of Texas wine experts to curate a mixed case of wines that showcase the variety, quality, and value of Texas wines. Below are the twelve wines that make up the 2020 Blue Ribbon Selection. These twelve bottles represent both established wineries and new winemakers, grapes from the High Plains and the Hill Country, and varietals you may recognize and some promising grapes for Texas. We hope these wines provide you a taste of the diversity that is the Texas wine industry.


McPherson Cellars Winery, “Sparkling Chenin Blanc” (Sparkling)

The Grower Project, “2019 Albarino” (White)

Fall Creek Winery, “2019 Sauvignon Blanc” (White)

William Chris Vineyards, “2019 Skeleton Key White Blend” (White)

Dandy, “2019 Dandy Rosé” (Rosé)

Lewis Wines, “2019 Red Blend” (Red)

Pedernales Texas, “2017 GSM” (Red)

C.L. Butaud, “2017 Tempranillo” (Red)

Duchman Family Winery, “2017 Montepulciano” (Red)

1836, “2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend” (Red)

TEXAS Reddy Vineyards, “2019 Red Blend” (Red)

Bending Branch Winery, “Texas Tannat” (Red)

A limited quantity of mixed cases will be available for purchase and delivered directly to your house.

Use promo code BigTex for free shipping

Tasting Schedule

The Fair will host weekly virtual discussions and tastings with wine makers to discuss the Texas wine industry with three bottles from the Blue Ribbon Selection. The virtual tastings are FREE and you do not have to purchase the wine to participate. Registration for the virtual round table discuss moderated by the State Fair of Texas and Heather Queen, The Queen of Grapes will open on September 21.

Blue Ribbon Wednesday 1 (9/30)
Roundtable tasting with Rae Wilson, Owner & Winemaker, Dandy Rose and David Kuhlken, Executive Wine Maker & Owner, Pedernales

Blue Ribbon Wednesday 2 (10/7)
Roundtable tasting with Eric Sigmund, Chief Operations Officer, Reddy Vineyards, Susan Auler, Owner & Winemaker, Fall Creek, Sergio Cuadra, Winemaker, Fall Creek, and Kim McPherson, Owner, McPherson Cellars Winery

Blue Ribbon Wednesday 3 (10/14)
Roundtable tasting with Bob Young, Owner, Bending Branch, Tony Offill, Winemaker, William Chris Vineyards and Wayne Rogers, Regional Market Manager, Llano Estacado

Blue Ribbon Wednesday 4 (10/21)
Roundtable tasting with Tommy Wellford, General Manager, Duchman, Randy Hester, Owner, CL Butaud, and Doug Lewis, Owner & Winemaker, Lewis Wines



The State Fair of Texas leveraged the expertise of a panel of Texas wine experts to assist in assembling the Blue Ribbon Selection.

Heather Queen

Queen of Grapes

In the last year Heather had started The Queen of Grapes. She saw where there is an opportunity for people to come together, like they always do, but create something for them that is different and special. She creates moments to a be a little more than just opening another bottle of wine.

Her experience has spanned over decades within fine dining restaurants, where she has led, managed and designed wine, cellars, menus, the service standards. She is a certified sommelier and has is WSET III certification.

Shelly Wilfong

Creator and host of the podcast “This Is Texas Wine”

She is a Dallas-based wine educator and founder of the Dallas Women’s Wine Club. Shelly is also a frequent contributing writer to the Texas Wine Lover website.

Shelly holds a Certified Specialist of Wine designation through the Society of Wine Educators as well as the Level 3 Advanced award from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET). She is a Specialist of Texas Wine through the Texas Wine School. Shelly is a member of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association and is a volunteer for the TEXSOM International Wine Awards.