Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A toast to Texas Wineries

It was a good year for Texas Wines

Take a moment to look back at the past year in the Texas wine industry because it’s been a significant one, which has provided a great foundation for future success in 2011 and the new decade. We look forward to working with you next year on food and wine news and events.

· New Wineries – this year saw the establishment of the 200th winery in the Lone Star State. At this time, there are 217 wineries, creating a statewide economic impact of more than $1.35 billion.

· Record Harvest – the 2010 Texas harvest was one for the record books. Production for 2010 was 8,900 tons, up 44 percent from a year ago, making Texas the seventh-largest grape producing state in the nation.

· Expanding Wine Grape Acreage – The Texas Department of Agriculture has also helped increase wine grape acreage. The Texas Wine Grape Investment Grant Program has provided grants to farmers and the assistance has added nearly 400 new acres across the state.

· Tex-Med Varieties – Texas grape growers are seeing promise in Mediterranean varieties that enjoy Texas’ hot days and cool nights. Over the coming years, wine enthusiasts can expect to enjoy some spectacular Texas wines made from Italy’s Aglianico, Montepulciano and Dolcetto, and Spain’s Tempranillo, Albarino, and Grenache, as well as southern France’s Marsanne, Syrah and Mourvedre.

· Texas Winery Passport Program – the Texas Department of Agriculture expanded the rewards program and added gifts from winery partners. Since October 2008, more than 20,000 consumers have redeemed their passports to earn rewards, which equals more than 80,000 winery visits. More than 1 million tourists visit Texas wineries each year.

· Big Tex and Texas Wines – the State Fair of Texas Wine Garden featured Texas wines, offering a popular attraction to the fair's more than 3 million visitors. The Wine Garden created more than $100,000 in sales of Texas wines.

· Texas Wines & GO TEXAN Restaurants – for the third year, the GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up offered consumers a sampling of the state’s best food and wines from nearly 400 restaurants. It’s exciting to see more and more restaurants adding Texas wines to their wine lists.

· Enjoying the National Spotlight – from the Grape and Gridiron Classic where Texas wines were put to the taste test and prevailed against New York wines to the many highly respected wine competitions where Texas wines have brought home the gold, Texas continues to receive accolades for the quality of its wines.

The new year also marks a new decade for Texas wine. With exponential growth in the number of wineries, Texas Wine Country visitors and economic impact from the industry, the prospects are exciting for the coming years. In the meantime, Go Out. Go Eat. GO TEXAN.

Looking forward to sharing a glass of Texas wine with you in 2011.


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