Texas Fine Wine: A New Alliance and a Class Act for Texas Wine Consumers & Growers
This initiative will promote their award-winning Texas wines as some of the best in the state (and made from Texas grapes) and their wineries as top wine tourism destinations.
Fredrik Osterberg, co-owner of Pedernales Cellars highlighting this venture said, “Texas Fine Wine represents a distinctive group of highly respected wineries recognized for making quality Texas appellation wines, delivering excellent customer experiences, and setting the highest standards in the Texas wine industry.”
By now, just about everyone has blogged, tweeted and Facebooked the announcement of this new marketing initiative. But, I want to go on record saying that I believe that the formation of this alliance comes at a particularly opportune time and the principals in this venture need to be acknowledged.
2013 was a very difficult year for Texas winegrowers and wineries as a result of the severe late spring freeze that resulted only about 30% of the normal grape crop in Texas last year. It would have been easy for these wineries to fall back on the often used approach of just selling non-Texas wine under an “appellationless” label (one that does not tell the customer the origin of the grapes) but that by federal law carries the confusing moniker “For Sale in Texas Only”.
If you have followed Andrew Chalk’s not so private tête-à-tête with the Texas Department of Agriculture on CraveDFW, you would also know that these wineries could have even slapped a GoTexan sticker on bottles of non-Texas wine, as well, and consumers would have been none the wiser. However, I believe that they will honorably chose to have none of that.
When I posted my “Texas Winegrower and Winemaker Pledge” in 2013 that encourage fair and honest labeling of wines from Texas wineries, Fredrik Osterberg and David & Julie Kuhlken of Pedernales Cellars and Pat Brennan of Brennan Vineyards where the first to step up and agree to sign the pledge. I also know that Bob Young and John Rivenburgh from Bending Branch make both Texas and non-Texas wines, but they proudly and appropriately label these fine wines so that there is no confusion by the customer. Furthermore, Dave Reilly at Duchman Family Winery responded to the pledge by saying that they were basically onboard as it “pretty much sums up our business model”.
What I want to openly acknowledge is that this new marketing alliance is being forged by four wineries that appear to have scruples and a dedicated commitment to their Texas growers and customers to make wine that actually comes from Texas grapes, but when they can’t or don’t they clearly and correctly label the wine with respect to the origin of the grapes.
In the case of these four wineries, they make up one class act!
I attended the unofficially kickoff of this Texas Fine Wines venture at the first-ever Texas Hospitality Suite at the 2013 TEXSOM Conference, a two-day educational and tasting conference wine professionals and enthusiasts. I can say that the room was bursting at the seams with Somms from around the country tasting Texas wines. I’m glad to hear that Texas Fine Wine will host another hospitality suite at this year’s TEXSOM Conference.
Going forward, the privately funded group will host and attend special events and tastings for media, sommeliers, retail buyers, wine educators and wine enthusiasts to provide opportunities for these wine professionals to experience quality Texas wines and meet its winemakers.
All four wineries have achieved significant successes in terms of winning awards from some of the most prestigious national and international wine competition, as well as offer exceptional programs for customers including wine clubs, special wine dinners, and winery events. Here is an overview of outstanding wine awards and other accolades: Texas Fine Wines Award Winning Wines
Texas Fine Wine will be managed by PR veteran Denise Clarke, Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. Clarke represented the Texas wine industry as part of a marketing contract with the Texas Department of Agriculture from 2006 to 2011 where she directed media events and tours, industry tastings, and general industry outreach.