The Texas Wine Quality Alliance (TWQA©) is a new group formed to “Advance the Excellence of Texas Wines” through quantitative and organoleptic testing as well as education and marketing. The goal is to develop consumer confidence in the quality of Texas Wines and increase sales of those wineries who participate in the program.
I was told about the formation of the group a month ago and the initial start of the group was spearheaded by Flat Creek Estate. A rollout meeting was held on April 29, 2015 at the TDA Headquarters Building in Austin, Texas. The consensus of those in attendance is the TWQA should be organized and operational. The target is the 3rd Quarter in 2015.
The next meeting will be held on May 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm at the Texas Tech campus on Hwy 290 East of Fredericksburg. The purpose of the meeting is to elect a Board of Directors, adopt the By Laws, and formulate a timeline for the new organization to start operating. All Texas wineries and Texas vineyards are encouraged to attend this meeting and become members.
The voting members of TWQA shall be owners of bonded Texas wineries, as specified under TTB and TABC codes, and are duly licensed to do business in Texas. A voting member may also be an owner of a vineyard producing wine grapes in the state of Texas. Associate members may be any person or Organization who has an affiliation with the Texas wine and Grape Industry but they do not have voting rights.
A Texas Winery can submit wines for evaluation and get issued a Medallion of Excellence for their wine bottle. The wine evaluation process will include a Quantitative Analysis and Sensory Fault Analysis. All wines must satisfy both criteria in order to earn a Medallion of Excellence.
Wines submitted for evaluation by a member must be produced by the winery on the wineries premise or on the premise of another Texas Winery. The origin of fruit in wines submitted for evaluation must be produced on the Estate of the member winery or have been purchased from another Texas grower. The AVA designation on the label of the wine must accurately represent that 85% or more of the fruit in the wine is from a Vineyard in the designated AVA in accordance with TTB guidelines. Only approved Texas AVA designations are acceptable for wines to be evaluated. A Texas only AVA designation on the label must represent that 75% of more of the fruit in the wine to be of Texas Origin.
More information can be read about the Alliance including the By Laws, Operating Agreement, and applications for a Winery and Grower to apply at the website: http://www.texaswinequalityalliance.org