New York, New York! That is exactly where some Texas residents found themselves recently pouring Texas wines for the folks in New York City.
On May 30, the Texas Department of Agriculture Wine Marketing Program organized this opportunity for New Yorkers to experience Texas wine at its best. Wineries invited were those who had won Gold or Double Gold awards in major wine competitions in the past year. Wineries included:
These wineries represented all regions of Texas. The wine tasting was held in the City Winery in SoHo New York.
Most of the attendees were NY wine enthusiasts, foodies, and bloggers. Participating in the panel discussion were Paul M. Bonarrigo of Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and Messina Hof Winery, Bree Nelson of High Plains Winegrowers and Soleado Vineyards, and Jennifer McInnis of Texas Hill Country Wineries and Bending Branch Winery. They each gave an overview of their AVA including the number of vineyard acres, climate, challenges, and other facts and figures on wine grapes in Texas.
Bonarrigo closed the panel with his comments about why Texas had come to New York. “We are here to raise awareness about the strong and highly diverse Texas wine industry. The industry continues to grow, and more wineries are considering distribution outside of Texas.” He encouraged all in attendance to make time for a trip to Texas and Texas Wine Country.
According to Mary Wilmeth of The Triple D, “They were all very impressed with the quality of our wines and so many were surprised to learn that grapes were even grown in Texas. It was really educational for the people who attended.”
It was also a great opportunity to network with other wineries from around the state and some deals were struck on selling some grapes while at the event.
There was a lot of “Meet and Greet” that went on and bottles were exchanged with other wineries.
Mary stated, “It was almost surreal to think that I was standing in big city New York City pouring my wines that were grown in the West Texas dirt of the High Plains and Tokio, Texas.”
Katy Jane Seaton, Executive Director of the High Plains Winegrowers stated, “This was an event that had been held in the past, and the Texas Department of Agriculture lost their funding for it. Now that it is restored, we have some time we have to make up and getting our name out there and show people the high quality of the grapes and the wines we grow in Texas.”
This is “simply what you do in this business,” according to Katy Jane. “You have to court the like industries and the sommeliers. You have to work with the restaurants in other places to get your name out there.”
This was definitely a great opportunity to get the word out about Texas wine.
Group photo courtesy of TDA staff Alicia Sunderlage. Other photos courtesy of Katy Jane Seaton and Mary Wilmeth.