As I found out last week from Robert (Bobby) Champion Jr., State Coordinator for Wine Marketing at the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Winery Passport program will continue in some capacity after August 31st.
We were at a winery a few days after that. A couple was visiting the local wineries and the Texas Winery Passport program came up because they were unaware of it. The employee of the winery confirmed what Bobby had told me, but surprisingly, they said the winery had received an email from the Texas Department of Agriculture on July 22nd, four days before I reported it.
The email was read to us and it stated the Passport program would be restructured and would continue. It also said Bobby Champion on September 1st would take on a new position in the Texas Department of Agriculture: State Coordinator of Food and Beverage. Why the great news of the Passport program continuing was not publically made is unknown.
What is confusing is since then, more than one winery has told us again the Texas Winery Passport program was ending on August 31st. I informed them that was not true, which as expected they were very happy. But now it makes me wonder if all wineries got that email, which I would have thought, or if the word just hasn’t reached every employee yet over a week later.