AUSTIN, TX (March 12, 2021) – Texas Wine Growers (TWG) applauds and fully supports the filing of House Bill 1957 by State Representative John Kuempel / Senate Bill 1402 by State Senator Dawn Buckingham today. This legislation will propel the Texas wine industry forward by requiring that in order to use a Texas AVA (American Viticultural Area), County or Vineyard designation on a wine label, 100% of the grapes must be grown in the state of Texas.
An AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a delineated grape-growing region with specific geographic or climatic features that distinguish it from the surrounding regions and affect how grapes grow there. With these new labeling requirements, the bill will allow wineries to more accurately protect and market the origin of their wines, and therefore educate consumers on the characteristics of the wines that come from certain places in the state. Currently, Texas does not hold state-level labeling standards in wine origin protection, unlike the largest and most prominent wine growing states across the U.S.: California, Oregon, Washington and New York.
President of TWG and William Chris Vineyards Owner and Founder Chris Brundrett stated, “We’ve been working for a long time with industry leaders across the state to get here – many with differing viewpoints. As such, we’re calling this the “Grape Compromise.” This bill is being introduced because we all agree that Texas will benefit from stronger standards surrounding the appellation of Texas wines – this legislation will strengthen the image and value of Texas as a winemaking region, and passing this bill will allow consumers and wine industry professionals to support Texas wine with increased confidence. What’s more, it will lead to an increase in Texas-grown grape sales in the state, which is a win for Texas farmers.”
Added TWG Founding Member and Lost Draw Cellars Owner and Founder Andrew Sides, “The really exciting thing about this bill is that if it passes, consumers will be guaranteed that any Texas wine labeled with an AVA, County or Vineyard is 100% Texas-grown. That’s a great victory for the Texas wine industry, and it will allow us to continue growing and reach our full potential as a premier wine growing region in the U.S.”
TWG sought similar legislation that met defeat in 2017 and 2019, but there is a renewed sense of optimism with the 2021 session’s filing and the spirit of compromise that this bill seeks to achieve. Due to the length of the winemaking process, this statute does not impact wine derived from grapes harvested until 2022.
ABOUT TEXAS WINE GROWERS
In 2017 Texas Wine Growers was accepted as a member of Wine Origins Alliance (Origins.Wine), an organization of 23 wine regions from around the world devoted to ensuring that a wine’s true origin be clearly identified on its label in order for consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing and consuming wine.
Established as a nonprofit organization in 2017, by eight founding wineries, Calais Winery, Hawk’s Shadow Winery, Lewis Wines, Lost Draw Cellars, Perissos Vineyard & Winery, Pontotoc Vineyard, Westcave Cellars, and William Chris Vineyards, the mission of Texas Wine Growers is to promote and protect the integrity of Texas wine by making wines solely from grapes grown in the unique terroir of Texas. For more information, visit texaswinegrowers.com.