Texas wine industry exposed (our cover story for the Houston Press)

When food editor Katharine Shilcutt and I first began working on our cover story for this week’s edition of the Houston Press, “Texas Wines: Behind the Cellar Door,” our focus was on the heavy-handed use of chemicals in the cellar, a foregone conclusion for the majority of Texas winemakers.

But as we began to speak to winemakers and ask them some tough questions, it became clear that most of the wine bottled here in Texas is grown beyond the state’s borders — mostly in California but in some cases as far away as Spain and Chile.

As one winemaker put it, the amount of Texas fruit bottled here is “just a drop in the bucket,” even though, across the board, Texas wineries market their products as “Texas wines.”

Click here to read the piece.

6 Responses to Texas wine industry exposed (our cover story for the Houston Press)

  1. orangewesley says:

    We read the article Jeremy. It was interesting and informative. Even if Texas is not a great grape growing state (say that three times fast) we got so much other stuff going on that we can afford to let California grow our grapes.

  2. tracie p says:

    so great 2B! georgia and I are proud of you! very well-written, and i’m glad that someone is finally telling the truth about it.

  3. Brian C says:

    The grapes may come from abroad, but the business & the employees all live and work local. Wine is so mush more than “juice”, their is the culture surrounding a nice glass of wine with friends & family across the table and over the grill.

    The demand for local wines is out pacing supply at an exponential ratio, the vines cant keep up. Please keep in mind, almost all of the Texas wineries are just a small, family owned business that employee Texans.

  4. I kind of wish that our 20,000 case winery using only Texas grapes had merited a one line mention. I think it’s a real issue, but to paint it as just a couple of wineries in Texas using Texas grapes is dead wrong.

    I’m with Cap*Rock winery. Pheasant Ridge here in town only uses estate grown grapes. So half of the wineries in town use Texas grapes, but the article only mentioned the two that don’t.

    • So is your area in an AVA, as if it is not, you cannot claim Estate grown grapes. I am trying to get my labels approved with the statement estate grown., but I am in East Texas, so I put Texas, but that ain’t good enough for these punks. Have to be in an approved AVA….wow

      • We are in the Texas High Plains AVA. Negotiating your way through all of the insane regulations is extremely frustrating. If you want to touch base with me at the winery, I’ll connect you to the lawyer we use for our regulatory issues.

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