“Texas Winegrowers” after Ten Years: Are we having fun yet!
Guest Blog by Les Constable
Texas Winegrowers List Owner
Owner/Winemaker, Brushy Creek Vineyards
What were you doing ten years ago? How many wineries were there in Texas?
Shortly after I made the decision to plant grapes (1991) and start a winery, I discovered a few minor problems.
It was not constitutional to have a winery in dry areas of Texas and most of Texas was and still is dry.
It was legal to have a winery but you could not sell wine from your tasting room in dry areas.
Later they passed a law allowing us to give wine away free [i.e. provide wine tastings], but it is still not clear to me how that business model might work.
I got mad and found people like Dr. Bobby Smith and Gabe Parker who had been fighting the good battle for a long time.
The Texas WineGrowers List on Yahoo Groups at:
was initially started to help get the word out about legislative issues so that we could get people in hearing rooms to support our cause.
I think it worked!
It is wonderful to see what has evolved. The Texas wine industry now has money for research, education, and marketing. Do not let anyone fool you about this. The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association (TWGGA – www.txwines.org) and our working together as a wonderful team made this happen.
We have something in Texas that exists nowhere else that I know of. We have wineries big and small working together. We have vineyard owners and winery owners working together. We have had huge support from wine consumers and wine clubs working with us. I can point to examples where individuals from each of these groups have done something that helps us all.
My message on this tenth anniversary of the Texas Winergrowers List is simply: Keep working together. We have tough issues ahead of us. It still annoys me that, as a Texas winery, it is not legal for a restaurant who is a private club to buy wine from me, but I am sure this will go away with time. It is just not right that you cannot find Texas wine in Texas restaurants.
We have come a long way. My special thanks to everyone who helped.
Everyone should try to find a way to help where they can.
Les Constable, List Owner Texas Winegrowers
Brushy Creek Vineyards
Bloggers Note from Russ Kane (VintageTexas):
Les Constable has been a leader in bringing wineries, growers and consumers together to address Texas wine industry issues. Check out Les’ Brushy Creek Vineyards and Winery: 572 County Road 2798, Alvord, TX 76225, (50 miles northwest of Fort Worth on CR 2798 at US 287/81 between Decatur and Bowie), Phone: (940) 427-4747 or (817) 821-0175; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: www.brushycreekvineyards.com
View, join and participate in the Texas Winegrowers List Serve on Yahoo Groups at:
Les was a visionary in realizing how important and necessary the Internet would be to organizing people, creating unity, and disseminating information across this very large state.
Since Les’ pioneering efforts on the Texas Winegrowers List, other Yahoo Groups have evolved that address Texas wine industry and consumer issues:
Non-Commercial Wine Makers List Serve – http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Texas-Home-Winemakers/
The North Texas Wine Maker’s Guild List Serve – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NTXWINEMAKERS
Other Texas wine Internet resources are:
The Food and Wine Foundation of Texas – http://www.winefoodfoundation.org
The Wine Society of Texas – http://www.winesocietyoftexas.org
Texas Wine Marketing Assistance Program – http://www.gotexanwine.org
Texas Wine Grape Network – http://winegrapes.tamu.edu
Texas Wine Marketing Institute – http://www.hs.ttu.edu/texaswine
Pierce’s Disease & Education Program – http://pd.tamu.edu/
TV Munson Viticulture Enology Program at Grayson Community College – http://tvmunson.org
Texas Sommelier Conference – http://texsom.com
Drink Local Wine Movement – http://www.drinklocalwine.com/
The Search for Texas Terroir – https://vintagetexas.com
If you know of other Wine wine Internet resources, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment to this blog post.