The Texas Wine Growers Association, whose mission is to promote and protect the integrity of Texas wine by making wines solely from grapes grown in the terroir of Texas, has made strides in raising awareness of the Texas wine industry through attending a legislative session, the International Organisation of Vine & Wine conference in Spain, and hosting guests from the Champagne region of France. Their efforts to improve the Texas wine industry are coming to fruition as they meet with industry leaders from across the globe.
The Texas Wine Growers Association is a member of WineAmerica, the only national wine industry association in the U.S. The organization encourages the growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy. Through its connection with WineAmerica, the Texas Wine Growers Association sent board member Chris Brundrett, who also serves on the board for WineAmerica, to legislative sessions in D.C. to further the mission of protecting winemakers in Texas and across the U.S. Together with WineAmerica, they worked to push forward lighter restrictions around USPS’s ability to ship and deliver alcohol.
“We started the Texas Wine Growers Association to raise awareness for and protect 100% Texas-grown wines,” said Brundrett. “Now, we’re connecting with United States legislators to develop protections for winemakers. It has been a passion project for us that is finally moving forward.”
In addition to WineAmerica, Texas Wine Growers Association is also a member of the Wine Origins Alliance (WOA), a group dedicated to eliminating trade barriers on wine, including the lack of protection for wine region names around the world. The organization is home to 33 winery and grape-growing organizations in 11 countries spanning North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Through its connections with WOA, Texas Wine Growers Association was invited to host guests from the Comite Interprofessionnel Du Vin De Champagne from the Champagne region of France, including the directeur general and their two presidents with the purpose of learning more about Texas vines. Doug Lewis of Lewis Wines provided a comprehensive vineyard tour. William Chris Vineyards gave a tour of the winemaking and production areas at their vineyard and Pontotoc Vineyard Weingarten hosted lunch and a roundtable discussion where ideas and information were traded.
“It was an honor to host our esteemed guests from Champagne, as they are known for producing the best sparkling wines,” said Valerie Elkins, the executive director of Texas Wine Growers. “We spent time discussing the different methods of growing grapes, as well as the challenges and opportunities we have in Texas, and of course tasting the best of what Texas has to offer. It was truly a collaborative and incredible experience.”
After hosting the visitors from Champagne, from whom the TWG learned a great deal, TWG members Andrew Sides, Chris Brundrett, and Valerie Elkins attended the International Organisation of Vine & Wine technical conference in Cadiz, Spain. There they spread the word about 100% Texas-grown wine and learned about the issues impacting wine regions around the world. During that time, TWG members sat in presentations that discussed research projects and solutions in areas such as Viticulture, Oenology, Economy & Law, and Health & Safety. Chris Brundrett shared 100% Texas-grown wines with a room full of attendees who were all excited to taste and learn about Texas wines.
For more information about Texas Wine Growers, please visit TexasWineGrowers.com or follow along on Instagram.