New Wine Labeling Law “Will Guarantee Authenticity Of Texas Wine”
AUSTIN, Texas – On a tour of the Texas wine country, it can be difficult to know how much Texas is actually poured into each wine glass. This is a question Carl Money has been trying to answer for several years.
“I have no doubts that they are putting the powder in the eyes of the consumer,” Money said.
Money who owns Ponotoc Vineyards and Weingarten is the former president of the Texas Wine Growers Association. He uses his locally grown grapes in his wines. The organization played a big role in demanding “truth in labeling”.
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“The consumer will know that at least all of the grapes are from Texas, previously you didn’t have that,” Money said.
There are approximately 700 state-issued cellar permits. In a recent industry survey, only about 100 licensees, who responded, said they produced wine 100% from Texas fruit. This may come as a surprise to tasters like Elisa Mahone.
“If we came across something that wasn’t Texas wine, I think it would be disappointing because I really want to see what the state has to offer,” Mahone said.
HB 1957, signed by Governor Greg Abbott, sets new standards on what can be labeled as Texas wine. There are four different names:
- County: County-specific label requires use of 75% local grapes with 25% sourced from other parts of Texas
- AVA: Special grow areas known as AVA must have a mixture of 85% locally grown
- Vineyard: If a vineyard wants its own label, 95% of the grapes must come from its vineyard
- Texas: This less restrictive label requires that only 75% of the grapes come from Texas. The remaining part may come from another state.
The ability to use different grapes from different places got the bill through, a deal that Money admits is a little hard to swallow. “I always thought it should be 100% Texas fruit, I still think so, but it’s a compromise and it’s what happens in the legislature so it’s okay, it’s a step forward. before, ”Money said.
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The mix option provides protection if crops are damaged by inclement weather. It also helps some growers whose vines have not yet ripened, so you have to send juice to make the wine.
“Yes, it was a big time for the industry,” said Roxanne Myers, who owns a North Texas winery and is president of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. Myers said using grapes from different places was more about a limited supply, as there just weren’t enough grapes being grown.
“But what we were really trying to do, not to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, but rather highlight all the nuances that go into a bottle of Texas wine,” Myers said.
The compromise bill, according to Myers, will also give Texas wines a solid footing on the world stage. “We are maturing as an industry, we are maturing with this bill and I think it is aging in a bottle,” Myers said.
The new labeling law will come into force in September.