Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – December 27, 2010

Write Off the Vine: Texas Wine News – December 27, 2010

Texas wines a booming industry

San Antonio —  “A fine glass of wine gets better with age.” – It’s a saying that can also be applied to the entire Texas wine industry.

News 4 WOAI’s Mireya Villarreal found out this is one of the fastest growing agricultural industries in the state.

Three Dudes Winery in San Marcos opened back in 2005 when there were only 50 or so Texas wineries across the state. Now, just five years later, this business is booming with over 200 home-grown wine makers.

Three Dudes Winery is a perfect example of a Texas-based wine maker. They’re a small business, with a laid back atmosphere.

More: http://www.woai.com/content/news/newslinks/story/Texas-wines-a-booming-industry/QjGZG5nGIUCEYPvIU0psOQ.cspx

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Texas Wine Trade Association Board Approves State Legislative Agenda

The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA) Board of Directors recently approved the agenda for the 2011 state legislative session. The agenda was developed over the course of the interim via feedback from members and board members at meetings and events.

The proposed agenda was discussed during Grape Camp in Fredericksburg during early November to provide the industry an opportunity to understand and give feedback related to the agenda. Agenda items include:

Protect Current Operating Environment

Protect Current Funding to State Agencies for Industry Development

Participate in State Budget Negotiations

Remove the Cap on Tasting Room Sales

Adjust GF Permit Restrictions

Clarify 2,4-D Regulation

Establish Beer Sales Capability

As reported at Grape Camp, the session will be challenging at best as a result of the state budget shortfall and everyone’s attention to redistricting. The TWGGA team is expecting most resources to be dedicated to defensive measures rather than offensive measures.

The upcoming state legislative session convenes January 11, 2011. In an effort to increase the visibility of the Texas wine and grape industry at the state capitol during the state legislative session and to provide industry members with additional opportunities to interact with their elected officials, TWGGA will be hosting three capitol days during the 2011 session:

Wednesdays – January 19, February 23,  April 13

For more information, contact Dacota Haselwood, chief governmental affairs officer at 210-867-2576.

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San Antonio Wine Calendar: Dec. 26-Jan. 1

Come and Taste It

When: 5-8 p.m. Thursday

Where: The Grapevine Texas Wine Bar, 1612 Hunter Road, New Braunfels, 830-606-0093, grapevineingruene.com

Cost: Complimentary

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Texas Hill Country Wine Trail 2011 Season Pass

When: On sale now.

Where: Passes can be purchased at texas winetrail.com

Cost: $155 singles pass, $252 couples pass

Info: Get one of the 100 limited season passes available from the Texas Hill Country Wineries. Passes provide entry to events throughout the year, including the Wine Lovers Trail, Wine & Wildflower Trail, Harvest Wine Trail and Texas Wine Month.

More: http://www.texaswinetrail.com

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Winery U

When: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Jan. 8, 2011

Where: Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, 1741 Herbelin Road, New Braunfels, drycomal creek.com, 830-885-4076

Cost: $30

Info: Interested in learning about wine? Join Dry Comal Creek for wine classes. January kicks off with Wine FAQ, an introduction and overview to wines of the world.

More: http://www.mysanantonio.com/default/article/Wine-calendar-Dec-26-Jan-1-918345.php#ixzz19HU3nPkW

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Texas Vineyard Living

The novelty of the golf course community may have begun to fade in recent years, but vineyard living has emerged as an alternative. The American fascination with wine has never been more intense, and communities like Vintage Oaks are appearing alongside—or right in the middle of—vineyards across the country.

The Texas Hill Country is no exception; as Hill Country Wineries win awards and praise in international competition, it’s only natural that the beauty for which the Hill Country is known and the relaxed, welcoming lifestyle it promotes would make this an in-demand location for vineyard living.

Vintage Oaks, located right in the heart of the Texas Wine Trail with the popular Dry Comal Creek Winery just across the street, has found a place in the heart of wine country enthusiasts and discerning land buyers alike. This exceptional community doesn’t just offer a desirable environment rich with flavor and fun, but also a unique opportunity to appreciate Texas vineyard living firsthand.

More: http://www.vintageoakstexas.com

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On the Texas Twitter Wine Trail

RT @bgregcobb: Interested in starting a #Texas vineyard? http://bit.ly/etXXqw #txwine

RT @VintageTexas: @akashicvineyard – Think this Biodynamic stuff will catch on in Texas (a skeptic) http://ow.ly/1rYIAh #TXwine

RT @TwitTastings: Take a Trip to the Wine Country of Texas |So. FL Travel: Located in the Texas Hill Country, http://bit.ly/eBtPFG

RT @dry_comal_creek: Folks at @EdibleWandF promote excellence in #TXwine, provide platform for Texas wine & chefs to be recognized. http://bit.ly/gTbNAU

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  1. Is there somewhere I can learn more about these agenda items and what they mean. This jargon does not make sense to me other than the Beer sales. An explanation as to what exactly these are including the “tasting room sales cap”
    As I have said so many times I am just a consumer in the Tx Wine industry but am knowledgeable about the industry and I do not understand this maybe not on the legal side though.
    can you please explain?
    Curious about the “Beer sales” item. Is that to attempt to establish breweries in the same function as wineries here in Texas? What do they mean by this?

    One thing I want to ask though is If this is all to increase the quality of Texas wine, which I think is the reason for TWGGA, is it to tightened or loosen the laws? There are too many loop-holes and unfair advantages that are being done because of the lax wine production laws. Sure the state and the TABC is making revenue, but it is also making it harder to weed through all the FSITO wines to find the real producers.
    As I have stated many a times before the average Joe does not know how to tell that a wine is made from Texas fruit. Many salesman and wine Stewards in many wine shops across the state can not tell as well.
    Will the production of non-Texas appellation wines being made by Texas producers be discussed? This is probably the most important topic in my opinion and should be a big topic for 2011 especially since 2010 was an amazing year here in Texas.
    Again I am just a consumer, and one who is passionate about Texas wines, I want to see it flourish and grow and maintain its identity as being Texas wine made from Texas Grapes.

  2. I suggest becoming a TWGGA member and you will get their newsletter with details.

    They also have their annual conference coming in March…See:


    In summary:

    Protect Current Operating Environment and Current Funding to State Agencies for Industry Development – With budget cuts statewide in Texas, they are working to get as much of the research and development moneys that had been allocated to them prior to the cuts.

    Participate in State Budget Negotiations – They want to participate in the negotiation of the abovementioned items rather than dictated to about them. The Texas wine industry generates excise taxes that make money for the state. If the budget cuts detract from this effort, they the state will lose money rather than save money.

    Remove the Cap on Tasting Room Sales – Back many years, the booze distributors pushed for a cap on sales at winery tasting rooms. It is time that this is dropped.

    Adjust GF Permit Restrictions – This is beyond me, but likely something that permit owners do not want.

    Clarify 2,4-D Regulation – 2,4-D is a spray used on cotton acreage that kills grapevines. Big cotton producers spray this stuff like water and the wind carries it far away and results in lost acres of grapevines. Regulations for the use of 2,4-D need to be tightened.

    Establish Beer Sales Capability – wineries want the capability to sell beer for winery events like weddings. There are still a few people in Texas that still don’t drink wine. It is bad news if it is the brides father.

    I hope this helps.


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