Support is Building for the Texas Winemakers/Winery Owners Pledge
If you read my previous blog, you know that with the help of several people from the Texas wine industry, I’ve drafted a Texas Winemakers/Winery Owners Pledge (click here) or you can try to read the fine print in the photo above. It has created early support and generated a meaningful conversation among Texas wineries and consumers of Texas wine. This conversation has helped to make more visible what “For Sale in Texas Only” IS and what it ISN’T when it’s printed on a wine label from a Texas winery.
We have received nearly unanimous agreement on the follow points: Each winery should buy Texas fruit (where and when possible) and promote the appellation of Texas. Most respondents also agree that the GoTexan logo should not be used on non-Texas products. Additionally, within the Texas wine industry and especially from wine consumers, the consensus was that if Texas wineries made and sold wine where not enough Texas grapes were used in the wine to allow it to be labeled “Texas” appellation, then it should be clearly labeled “American” or another appropriate appellation of origin as allowed by the federal government that regulates wine labeling. Further, this non-Texas wine should NOT be labeled without an appellation of origin allowable when the label contains the phrase, “For Sale in Texas Only”.
As of today, the following Texas Winemakers and Winery Owners have indicated their support of the Texas Winemaker/Winery Owner Pledge:
Fredrik Osterberg, David & Julie Kuhlken – Pedernales Cellars
Pat Brennan – Brennan Vineyards
Jim Johnson – Alamosa Wine Cellars
Les Constable – Brushy Creek Vineyards
Gary Gilstrap – Texas Hills Vineyard
Dave Reilly and Stan Duchman – Duchman Family Winery
Doug Lewis – Lewis Wines
Billy Cox Jr. – Retreat Hill Winery
Chris Caldwell – Eaglefire Winery
Rick Magers – Grayson Hills Winery
Ben Calais – Calais Winery
Kert Platner – Times Ten Cellars
Gene Estes – Lost Oak Winery
To add your name as a winemaker, winery owner, wine industry or consumer supporter of The Pledge, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org (cut and paste into your email).
Note: I have not officially heard from Llano Estacado Winery yet with respect to the pledge. However, I want to acknowledge that they are effectively following the terms of the pledge in their labeling in recent years. They lead by example…Go Llano Estacado! What about the other major Texas wineries? They’ve remained silent so far.
Both Texas wineries and Texas wine consumers need to embrace the fact that (due to the vagaries of Texas weather) non-Texas grapes are going to be an important part of the Texas wine experience for some time to come. The choice for Texas wineries is to use them as needed to supplement Texas grapes, but to do it clearly and honestly or try to hide it under the veil of “For Sale in Texas Only” labeling. My vote is for them to be open and honest by declaring the appellation of origin for these non-Texas grapes and for Texas wine consumers to be accepting while our industry tries to sort out it’s long term business model – what grapes it can sustainably grow and how to grow them.
Texas wine consumers and members of the wine trade that have indicated their support of the Pledge are:
Dale Robertson, Houston Chronicle, wine editor
Andy Chalk – Wine writer, columnist CraveDFW
Jeff Cope – Blogger, TXwineLover
Bill Elsey – Red Room Lounge, Advanced Sommelier
Jennifer Crawford – Texas wine consumer
Mark V. Fusco, CSW – Blogger @1337wine
Steven Krueger, Westin La Cantera Resort, Sommelier
Heidi Stine – Tempranillo Advocates Producers & Amigos Society
Julie Baker – Texas wine consumer
Jim Baker – Wine artist & blogger, TXwineGeek
Roger L Beery – wine writer, blogger, Bachus & Berry
Dave Potter – Texas wine consumer, blogger, The Grapes Around Texas
Gary Jones – blogger, Texas Wine Camp
Daniel Kelada – Texas Wine & Food Consortium
Leanne Holley – Editor, Texas Wine & Trail Magazine
Laurie Stevens Ware – Texas wine consumer
Darlene Wyatt Bruckbauer – Texas wine consumer
Maureen Demar Hall – Texas wine consumer
Lily Johnson – Texas wine consumer