AUSTIN, TX (March 12, 2021)– Texas Wine Growers (TWG) applauds and fully supports today’s introduction of House Bill 1957 by State Senator Don Buckingham. By John Kempel / Senate Bill 1402. This bill is designed to promote the Texas wine industry by requiring that, in order to use the Texas AVA (American Viticultural Area) designation, a county or a vineyard on a wine label, 100% of the grapes must have been grown in the state of Texas.

The AVA (American Viticultural Area) is a defined wine-growing area with specific geographic or climatic characteristics that distinguish it from surrounding regions and influence the way grapes are grown there. With these new labeling requirements, the bill will allow wine producers to more accurately protect and market the origins of their wines, informing consumers of the characteristics of wines from specific locations in the state. Currently, Texas has no state labeling standards to protect the origin of wine, unlike the largest and most important wine producing states in the United States: California, Oregon, Washington and New York.

TWG president and William Chris Vineyards owner and founder Chris Brundrett said: We spent a lot of time working with business leaders from around the state to get to this point – many of them representing different viewpoints. That’s why we call it the grape compromise. This bill is being introduced because we all agree that Texas would benefit from stricter standards for the appellation of Texas wines – this legislation would enhance the image and value of Texas as a wine region, and if passed, consumers and wine industry professionals would be able to support Texas wines with more confidence. It will also lead to increased sales of Texas-produced grapes, which is a win-win for Texas farmers.

Added TWG founder and lost basement owner Andrew Sides: The best part of this bill is that, if passed, consumers will be guaranteed that any Texas wine labeled AVA, county or vineyard was 100% grown in Texas. This is a big win for the Texas wine industry and will allow us to continue to grow and reach our full potential as a leading wine region in the United States.

The TWG sought similar legislation that was defeated in 2017 and 2019, but with the submission for the 2021 session and the spirit of compromise that this bill seeks, optimism has been rekindled. Due to the lengthy winemaking process, this law does not cover wine made from grapes harvested before 2022.

ON THE TEXAS WINZER

In 2017, Texas winemakers were accepted as members of the Wine Producers Alliance (Origins.Wine), an organization of 23 wine regions around the world that seeks to ensure that the true origin of a wine is clearly stated on the label so that consumers can make informed decisions when buying and consuming wine.

Founded as a non-profit 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, Texas Vineyards mission is to promote and protect the integrity of Texas wine by producing wines exclusively from grapes grown in the unique terroir of Texas. For more information, visit texaswinegrowers.com.

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