Aug 042013
 

Take-the-Pledge-2

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 russ@vintagetexas.com (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

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