Stop The Presses! The Texas Department of Agriculture Wants Your Opinion on Making ‘Go Texan’ On Wine Mean 100% Texas Grapes

go1by Andrew Chalk

We wrote about the astonishing situation regarding the use of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Go Texan mark on wine a few weeks ago. The unsettling truth is that, under current rules, the mark can be used on California wine. I wrote that this makes the mark meaningless and that Texas grape growers and winemakers would be better off if the Go Texan mark could not be put on any wine at all.

Then I had a better idea…. make Go Texan mean 100% Texas fruit. It would not only make the mark meaningful to consumers and reward Texas winemakers and growers, it would also make Texas the first and only state which had a clear, uniform way of specifying that its wines were 100% state-grown fruit. I expect the idea will be copied by other states, but let’s do it first.

I submitted a rules change to the TDA and, stop the presses, this e-mail circular just came in from them:  

Dear Texas Wine Industry Supporter,

The Texas Department of Agriculture recently received a request from a member of the public to change the rule on GO TEXAN certification for wine. The proposed rule changes would require wine using the GO TEXAN mark on the label to be made from 100% Texas-grown grapes with no variance.

Currently, the Texas Administrative Code states the GO TEXAN mark can be applied to wine which is produced or processed in Texas. The current rules can be found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 4, Part 1, Chapter 17, Subchapter C, Rule §17.52.

TDA values your opinion and would like your thoughts on the attached petition for a proposed rule change.   We are certainly interested in your thoughts on the implications to marketing and production of Texas wine, but we are also collecting data on the feasibility of the proposal as well. Because of statutory deadlines, please provide the Department with your written comments by 5 p.m., Wednesday, December 4, 2013.

If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact me. Thank you for your assistance and for your support of Texas agriculture.

Lindsay A. Dickens | Coordinator for Marketing

Texas Department of Agriculture | 1700 N. Congress Ave. | Austin, Texas 78701

(512) 463-9639 | Texas Department of Agriculture

This means that we are at an important juncture in the growth and ongoing success of the Texas wine industry. This is a chance for the state to take a clear stand in favor of authenticity and quality on its way to becoming a fully mature wine-producing area.

Clearly from their e-mail the TDA is listening. At this point we need supporters of this change to send their comments to the TDA via Lindsay Dickens (gotexan@TexasAgriculture.gov) before the December 5th deadline. Stop and do it now! It means more demand for Texas wine. More demand for Texas grapes. More planting of wine grapes in the state, and less California bulk wine passed off on consumers who think they are buying a Texas wine.

California bulk juice shippers and their surrogates in Texas will speak up and their wishes will prevail if supporters of 100% Texas fruit in Go Texan wine don’t speak up. The result will be a smaller Texas wine industry and the Go Texan logo becoming a mark of irrelevance.

This is an important opportunity. Let’s make the most of it!

40 Comments

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40 responses to “Stop The Presses! The Texas Department of Agriculture Wants Your Opinion on Making ‘Go Texan’ On Wine Mean 100% Texas Grapes

  1. david furer

    You go guy!

  2. Gus Mit

    Funny I was thinking about you guys when offered some “LOCAL COFFEE!” at the CM this weekend, rolled around in my head till it pissed me off, LOCAL COFFEE ? The topography of DFW is really changing

    • rick leopold

      Try grinding up some green coffee beans for your next pot of coffee. Then tell me if the “local” roasted coffee wasn’t “made” in Texas.

  3. Thanks, Andrew for following through on this important topic. Is there a petition circculating to sign or should we individually address letter to Ms.Dickens in Austin?

    • Harold: First of all, thank you for contributing and for your support. While I think the idea of a petition is a good one Crave’s resources at present are fully stretched. Also, the state expects comments to come in via e-mail to gotexan@TexasAgriculture.gov. That ensures that they are considered. As a result, we are recommending that supporters use that channel to convey their opinions.

      Incidentally: You may have noticed that the e-mail address for comments changed after the above story was posted. The reason was the volume of comments received. It was overwhelming one hard-pressed official’s e-mail folder. I have been CCed on many of those comments at my Crave e-mail address (andrew@CraveDFW.com) and I have been absolutely slammed — so this thing has legs!

      Once again, thank you for your constructive contribution.

  4. Congratulations on getting your petition into the TDA and some winery forwarding their email to you. As we have learned after research from wineries who have wines on the store shelves and the long label laws, it’s almost impossible to get a label changed in a timely manner if it’s not 100% Texas, so you should have stated your petition to just say don’t use Go Texan on any labels. That way in those bad years when they can’t use 100% Texas grapes, they can still use the label that has been approved.

  5. I see this as potentially being like the VdT of Texas. It doesn’t guarantee quality but it begins to define standards for the industry that must be in place in order to support growth, improve quality and be relevant outside of our borders.

  6. So, we a new commercial venture that has a focus on mead (fermented honey), but we’re technically a winery by federal and state licenses. Not all of honey nor all of our fruit are sourced in exclusively from Texas (some things just dont grow here), However the beverage is produced here in Texas. Should we not be able to use the GoTexan marketing resources? I know there are breweries that use the GoTexan marketing image on their labels and such, and hops and barley certainly dont grow that well down here….

  7. Dave

    I just wonder why you hate the Texas wine industry so much.

  8. Andrew:

    Thinking about this from a couple different vantage points — for label clarity and consistency for wineries and consumers, please check this logic and accuracy — If Go Texan is approved at 100%, the end result would mean that a wine produced by a Texas winery with a legal label of at least 75% Texas grapes, and correctly identified as, say, High Plains AVA, could NOT be stamped with Go Texan unless there was documentation that the entire 100% was sourced from Texas… Is that accurate?

    If so, and if the State is determined to make a change in this matter, then perhaps a 75% minimum of Go Texan, consistent with the regulations for declaring Texas Wine/Texas AVA on the label, would serve the consumer and wine industry interests and regulatory oversight/approval/paperwork filing in reasonable balance.

    While I can appreciate the point of 100% purity for the state to bestow a Go Texan marketing label restricted only to 100% Texas wines, and disqualifying anything less even if the label says High Plains AVA, I’m not sure it’s absolutely necessary.

    With a minimum set at 75%, any wine that is legally declared to be Texas/Texas AVA can apply for and receive Go Texan status if they so desire it, and manage their labels, regulations, and declarations consistently and efficiently.

    Otherwise, if Go Texan is set with a 100% minimum, but a wine is still a legal Texas/Texas AVA wine at 75%+, then you will create consumer confusion of a different kind: Texan vs Pure Texan.

    To make good on this new tiered system, the state must then spend dollars to make – and enforce, and legally defend – the further distinction that Go Texan, a quasi-nonregulated Marketing based consumer icon, means more than the legal, regulated and required Texas/Texas AVA declarations do. That is a cost and a burden the state is not built to accomplish nor actively manage, or that consumer/taxpayers should be mandated to fund.

    It would be like saying that only Native Born Texans are allowed to fly the Lone Star flag. I wasn’t born here, but I got here as fast as I could, and I offend my Northeastern friends day and night with Texanifications. (And my fajitas are definitely better than yours or anyone else’s, I guarantee it! They should say “Go Laredo” on em).

    In this new Pure Texan world, year in, year out, wineries must concern themselves with declaring to the state that, yes, this year the wine is not 100%, or it is 100%, and would you please give us the stamp or re-approve the same label but without the stamp and we will use it… And I just don’t see that as money well spent, or how consumers are that much better served, let alone being educated at some cost on such a distinction as compared to good old Texas AVA wines.

    What I don’t want to see is the state and the wineries spending more time and resources to maintain the 100% pure Go Texan legal test file, when I think the customer will be better served, and satisfied, with Go Texan being applied with the level of consistency applied to Texas/Texas AVA wine declarations in general.

    I think this definitely cures the issue you cited regarding American wines being labeled Go Texan.

    And, I want to avoid hearing this sort of conversation in future tasting rooms:
    – “Excuse me, ma’am, is this wine Texan, or Pure Texan?”
    – “Uhhhh…. what?”

    • Hi Miguel: Making “Go Texan” 75% Texas grapes certainly eliminates the absurd situation under present rules whereby California wines have “Go Texan” on the label. However, it robs the consumer and the winery of the ability to immediately recognize wines that are 100% Texas grapes. Most designated ares of Europe and Australia don’t have this problem — they have a way of saying that they are 100% from a certain area.

      I envisage a situation where the current Federal rules that 75% of the grapes must be from the location on the label would continue to exist, and that would be alongside the “gold ring” of Go Texan — which would mean 100% Texas grapes.

      Enforcement costs would be the same or lower than the current system.

      • Thank you Andrew. Let me follow up…
        Notwithstanding the history of Bordeaux being riddled with decades of use of Tempranillo and Rhone grapes from outside their jurisdictions, or the fact that a Classified Growth Chateaux’s ability to annex a vineyard and thus elevate the once-lowly land status to Premiere Cru Classe just because of a change in title, or the fact that the price of land in Pomerol is so high that having a vineyard within the Pomerol boundary and the élevage literally across the street in a co-located facility in Lalande de Pomerol represents an egregious violation, I don’t see how European and Aussie AVA-based rules apply to this circumstance.

        We are not talking here about a mandated label specific to wine, we are talking about a marketing designation that is optional, and in fact is not even unique to wine, it’s a consumer designation applied to products that have nothing whatsoever to do with wine, yet subject to verified tracking and proof, supplanting what is necessary and required for legal sale. It’s not foolproof. There will be situations where a winery states they are 100% Texan but does not bother with the state-sanctioned marketing designation because they just don’t want to deal with another level of state management, and would prefer the approach of not labeling in the off chance that the specific blend for said wine is less than Pure Texan.

        There is basis in fact for a claim that enforcement costs being neutral or actually saving the state money, since the current system is wide open and the proposed system imposes requirements on the winery that not even the Federal or State alcohol labeling laws impose.

        It would be a mistake to elevate a State-sanctioned, ubiquitous consumer marketing designation (which, it’s hard to believe, was ever intended to impose this sort of a purity test, nor is is staffed to do so) above the authority of the State-required legal designation. Do not impose such a requirement on the State to designate, track and enforce such a distinction.

        Let the AVA elevate its own status to 100% purity based on member, consumer and legal input if that is something that is in the best interests of consumers and the industry.

  9. H Miguel: As I said in an earlier post, the present use of Go Texan on wine is confusing and totally at odds with consumer expectations. Most consumers think that Go Texan means that it is a Texas wine. In fact, under the present rules, it means nothing of the sort. My proposal achieves two things:

    First, it eliminates the confusion. Second, it makes Texas the first (of what I predict will be every serious winemaking state) to give its producers a ‘gold ring’ to declare 100% state fruit.

    As I said in an earlier post, this proposal is specific to wine because wine is different from, for example, beer or coffee. Place (terroir) is a universally defining characteristic of wine. With other products either origin doesn’t matter or the product is not produced in Texas (so there is no confusion). See here:

    http://cravedfw.com/2013/10/27/the-unsettling-truth-about-go-texan-wine/

    Enforcement is irrelevant to this rule change — it is necessary under any set of rules.

    • Andrew, with respect, I am trying to help here. Everyone knows what you said in an earlier post. In fact, that’s what comments are for — an opportunity for the author to learn from his audience. That’s why I wrote in the first place, because it’s a proposal that creates additional problems, and may not in the end serve customers, the industry or the state as well as another option. You are raising an issue of some importance here, but this is not a sinister plot, a betrayal of sacred trust, or even against the law. It’s a consumer mark, broadly applied, subject to misinterpretation under rules created by the state in the first place. It’s an issue that can be addressed in a manner that minimizes the potential for additional problems. Simply reposting your well documented position is not only redundant, it tells the readers that you are blind to additional options, and are unwilling or unable to consider any other solution. You did not offer a single point of acknowledgement to any of the substance of my input. If it is only “your solution” that interests you, as it appears now, there is no point in discussing this further on this forum.

      PS — anyone with a serious interest in wine would not associate Terroir with a politically defined landmass the size of France. This is not about Terrior, and misusing that term here does not bolster confidence for wine advocacy.

  10. Stephen

    I have been expecting one of your next articles to be an apology to Dry Comal Creek for the hatchet job you did on them on your FSITO article. Have you figured out yet that FSITO was not required on that label to get TTB approval? Assume not as you have yet to write your retraction and apology.
    To the topic at hand. Your attempt here is sorely misguided for the following reason.
    1. Your singling out of one industry of this program to have disparate requirements is out of place. While to try to explain this away comparing the beer industry where the brewmaster is all powerful and therefore the ingredients are not of concern contrasted with the wine industry where grapes are the only important part and the winemaker is reduced to a nuance of the process. This seems to be a simpletons understanding of wine making and the role of a winemaker.
    2. The 100% requirement would create a large number of issues you don’t consider. This would include concentrates for sweetening and wines for blending. Requiring only wines from Texas to hit your standard would reduce options from the winemakers toolkit and has every chance of reducing the quality of wine produced in the state.
    3. There are too many varieties that are not grown or grown in limited supply in Texas. Forcing a program that a winery is not able to promote across their product line will create confusion for their customers, be more difficult to administer and when the effort is more than the benefit, cause the program to be dropped.
    4. In your petition to the TDA, you play fast and loose with the resultant impact of your proposal. Currently winery demand significantly outstrips vineyard production in good growing years. Your assertion that this change would speed up growth in vineyard plantings lacks any data to support this. If the current excess demand does not provide enough incentive to plant at a faster rate, it seems unlikely that the incremental demand from this change would affect this. A good analysis of this gap would include why planting have not been keeping up with demand vs your arm waving approach.
    5. Given the significant shortage of Texas grapes (in good years), your proposed change would mean that only some of the wineries would be able to participate in this program. This doesn’t seem like something TDA would want to support or what this program was intended to use.
    6. Given the much varied supply in Texas due to drought, hail, freezes, etc, etc…….having a program that comes in and out of effect will cause more confusion in the market and likely make participation of the wineries less likely. You brush off things like changing labels as a nuance. While not difficult, it does add costs especially to small wineries as they often do large runs of labels that last for more than one vintage.
    7. Your understanding of supply/demand matching, macro-economics, price elasticity of the industry and consumer appears minimal. Your assertion that if it costs more the consumer will just be happy to pick up that added expense doesn’t work in most industries including the wine business.
    When I started, I thought my birth certificate, the location of my winery, the taxes I pay and the employees that I hire would make me Texan enough. My goal is to be the best “Texas” winemaker I can be not the best “Texas Wine” maker. My goal is to use Texas fruit for wines I want to make, when it is available and of sufficient quality and at a competitive price. I will not limit what wines I make or the quality or style to only use Texas fruit. And that is what my customers expect.
    Lastly, since you are so big on standards, I would like for you to champion one for bloggers. It should include more than having a computer, internet access and the ability to write pretty.

    • Stephen: If you want a serious debate use your full, real name and affiliation. I have always had a policy of not even acknowledging people who are not willing to stand behind their statements.

      Many thanks,

    • Stephen: Thank you for your follow up. First, let me see if I understand what you support regarding Go Texan: You support the present rule under which a wine with 0% Texas fruit can sport the Go Texan label. Is that correct?

      Second. You have a popular tasting room at Saddlehorn as I understand (I have not visited personally). Have you ever conducted a survey of consumers as they come thorough your door asking them the question “If a wine has ‘Go Texan’ on the label, what percentage of the grapes do you think have to come from Texas?’

      Third: If Go Texan can be applied to a 0% Texas grapes wine that arrives in a tank car and is maybe mixed with another tank car (that qualifies as ‘processing’) don’t you think that makes the Go Texan logo most useful to those who want to make wine that way (no winemaking skill required)? Does Saddlehorn want to have to compete with people like that in using the Go Texan label, or do you want it to mean something?

      What I have proposed is a vast improvement on the status quo. First, 100% Texas fruit fits consumer expectations. It rewards Texas winemakers and grape growers, and it encourages indigenous growth in grape acreage. Second, it provides producers and consumers with a common, front-label symbol of 100% Texas fruit. That doesn’t exist right now but I bet you that, regardless what the TDA decides on this rule, other state will introduce it (“Pure Virginia”, “100% Arizonan”, “All Oregonian”, etc.)

      A comment on Texas grape output: According to documents on the TWGGA web site, acres under vine grew at 13% per annum over several consecutive years in the late 2000s. That’s an indicator of how quickly any capacity shortfall can be made up. I think that the “not enough grapes” issue is a red herring. Some of the people I hear use it have been in business over 20 years. What have they been doing all this time that they could have planted thousands of acres of grapes? They have been using their “California crutch” — importing bulk tank car wine. Its a business model, not a bad harvest.

      I genuinely appreciate you contributing and i look forward to your reply.

      • Stephen

        Andrew, I thought we were going to have a debate. Your response didn’t address really any of the issues that I raised and all you did was ask me a bunch of questions. At some point it would be great if you could get around to that. In the mean time, I will answer your questions:

        1. Do I support the present rule that allows for 0% Texas fruit and still have a label? What I do support is that since TDA established the program, they get to chose the definitions for the parameters of the program. If they chose these definitions to mostly include value add content then so be it. I also expect the definition to apply generally to all participants in the program. If TDA established an in-state fruit content level for consumables, I would be ok with that as well as long as it was applied to all consumables. What I don’t support is twisted logic that singles out the wine industry to have unique requirements. Finally I don’t support 100% requirement because it doesn’t work (as mentioned, but not addressed, above).

        2. Have I surveyed my customers to see what they think it means. No. That said, I would guess that beer, coffee and other consumable customers would have similar assumptions. Keep in mind that this wouldn’t be the first time a consumer misunderstood what a program was. I think a lot of consumers believe that what is written by bloggers is more than just opinion, has been fact checked and has some editorial review common with traditional reporting. I think many would be surprised (and disappointed) to find out that it is mostly just opinion stated forcefully to sound like fact. Maybe the right answer is educate the consumer that the label indicates that the business is in the state and is doing some value added transformation to the product.

        3. Do I think the label is more useful to those that buy bulk? No. Your comment about bulk wine not requiring wine making skills is misinformed. Keep in mind that we do bulk wine in Texas too and have a new custom crush facility. Makes your bulk argument a little trickier going forward. Do I want to compete with these folks? I wouldn’t be much of a Texan it that bothered me would I?

        4. The comment ” what I have proposed is a vast improvement” you do realize is an opinion and not a fact right? As I have stated above (and not responded to) 100% doesn’t work. I am beginning to think you are not a winemaker or a winery owner. Please let me know if I am misreading this. I’ll take the bet on other states employing a 100% requirement.

        5. Acres under vine grew at 13% over several consecutive years. You go on to say “That’s an indicator of how quickly a shortfall can be made up”. You do realize that is only one side of the equation don’t you? Nowhere do you address demand increases. What if they grew at 15% per annum? Instead of fixing shortfall you would be losing ground by 2% per year. You do realize your comment of ” I believe the “not enough grapes” issue is a red herring” is just an opinion right? No data, no graph showing supply and demand and how they supply line pops above the demand line due to all the new planting? Oh yeah, and it needs to be historical………….not projected………..hard to make wine with projected grapes. One last comment on grape availability. In total we short to demand although I think there has been headway made. However, at a varietal level, there are significant shortages which you fail to consider.

        Bottom line is TDA gets to and should be the ones that define the requirements. It is after all their program. It should be consistent across industries, and not purposefully misleading.

    • Steve: i will address all your points. First I want to check I understand what you are supporting.

      Under the present 0% rule, someone can bring in two tank cars of California wine. Mix them in Texas. Sling Texas memorabilia on the label (Hill Country Artwork on the front, Hill Country poetry on the back), buy a Go Texan membership and put that on the front label as well. As a Texas winemaker, you have to compete with that. Confirm for me that that is the situation you want to continue.

      • Stephen

        Andy, again with the questions. I thought I answered this one earlier. We compete one way or another. Again I wouldn’t be much of a Texan if that bothered me. I am beginning to think that not only are you not a winemaker or a winery owner, but you don’t appear to be a Texan either.

        Ok, at some point when you have a minute, and if not too much trouble, I would like to see you address some of my points. After all you are falling behind…..and I have one more point………..which makes you further behind. This one is really important and you need to really pay attention.

        You mention surveying your customers and that all of the ones thought the Go Texan meant 100% fruit. Prior to winemaking, I was in a job where I learned a little about questionnaire design. One of the things I learned is that putting a questionnaire together is harder than it looks if you want good data coming out of it. It is too easy to knowingly or unknowingly steer the answer by how the question is asked. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say in my tasting room I asked my customers “How dissatisfied are you that bloggers only deal in opinion and are deceitful in their writings”. You see what I did there? I have told the person that blogs/bloggers are all opinion and deceitful. All I am asking them is how dissatisfied they are with that. Then I could say that a 100% of my customers to some level or another believe that bloggers are all opinion and deceitful. You following me here?????? If you didn’t get it the first time, reread it………I’ll wait. So this is what you did with Go Texan. I can’t tell if you did it on purpose or whether you did it accidentally. You asked the people what % of Texas fruit they thought Go Texan meant. You already told them by the way you worded your question that it had to do with fruit content……which is not the case. The right question would have been, “What do you think the Go Texan label means”.

        Another example is the question “Do you still kick your dog”.

    • I’ve been to Stephen’s tasting room and they were very up front about the source of their fruit. I really appreciated that. The “GoTexan” issue never came up, in fact, when I go to tasting rooms (Or businesses that sell wine) looking for the “GoTexan” label never crosses my mind. If you make good wine in Texas and I enjoy it that’s all I really care about. If you make terrible wine with Texas grapes or great wine with California grapes I’m going to buy the bottle with CA grapes to take home with me and feel great about supporting a Texan running a business in Texas.

      • Jim; You may be in a minority of one. Ask consumers and they overwhelmingly think that ‘Go Texan’ means 100% Texas grapes.

        Hopefully, the publicity will correct some of the misapprehensions about the program but they will creep back over time. Better to eliminate the ability of the jug wine juice brokers to use it and change the 0% rule to a 100% rule).

    • Stephen: Dealing with some of the points that you raise.

      Your Point 1: Wine should be 100% because terroir is a defining characteristic of wine. Also, the Go Texan program already requires 100% for eating fruit:

      http://cravedfw.com/2013/10/29/double-standard-go-texan-fruit-is-100-texan-but-not-the-fruit-in-wine/

      but, in wine, 0%! So you could argue that the 100% is unifying, not creating “disparities”;

      I did not argue that the winemaker is irrelevant in the wine making process. What I said was that the origin of corn did not matter in beer making — just the type and grade. Clearly the winemaker is crucial in winemaking, but he is hugely constrained by the quality of the grapes;

      2. The 100% rule would reduce options relative to the current (0%) rule. It would get rid of non-Texas wines using the Go Texan logo. That is precisely the objective.

      As to quality: Go Texan would become an authenticity standard (at the moment it is a nothing standard) not a quality standard. However, once the authenticity issue had been settled in consumers’ minds (by the 100% rule) I would expect market forces to improve the quality of Go Texan wine;

      3. Go Texan should not designate all or none of a winemaker’s product line. It should be on a per-wine basis. No confusion there. it is either on the label or not. Just like some of your labels have “Texas” and others don’t.

      4. Under the 100% rule the number of ‘Go Texan’ bottles would indeed vary year by year. Just like the total number of Texas bottles does. Wine is an agricultural commodity and I would be suspicious of any program that tried to pin the number of bottles every year.

      5. (and dealing with an assertion in your point number 4); According to data on the TWGGA web site, vine acreage grew by 13% a year over a medium-length period in the latter part of the 2000s. That indicates how quickly supply can increase — on a sustainable basis. Lets examine what that means: The effect of the 100% rule will be an increase in demand for Go Texan wines as consumers seek out 100% Texas sourced-wines. That will lead to short-term higher prices for those wines and higher prices for Texas grapes. That will lead to more grape planting and an increase in supply. That will force prices back down. The best cure for high prices is high prices. All the while that increased output means more jobs and higher incomes in the Texas wine industry.

      6. See my answer to 3, above;

      7. My understanding of supply and demand is backed up by a Ph.D. in economics from a major American university. Hardly anybody knows that because I don’t tout it. I mention it here only because you challenged my economic literacy (essentially calling me a near economic illiterate) and that needs to be addressed.

      On using California grapes that you ship in on a reefer truck to make wine that is <> in Texas: You will find that I have said in print that that is a perfectly legitimate business model.

      On standards for bloggers: I completely agree with you. Here is one that I comply with: http://foodethics.wordpress.com/. I think it is incomplete, but a start (a bit like a “75% rule”). In fact, if I didn’t comply with ethical standards why would I be spending so much time and effort proposing, explaining and defending the 100% rule? I could just sit back and take the freebies.

  11. Stephanie

    Thanks Andrew and Miquel for the commentary. In regards to the original post, I find the information somewhat confusing in the sense that Australia is named in the article as indicating 100% grapes are required to be from a specific region if a ‘Geographical Indication’ (Australia’s nomenclature for Appellation) is mentioned. My understanding of Australia’s Label Integrity Program – it does not require that a GI be included on the label at all. If it is included, the requirement is that 85% must be from the designated GI: http://www.wineaustralia.com/en/Production%20and%20Exporting/Labelling.aspx. Is there another designation for Australian wines that I’m not aware of? I’d be interested in finding out more if that is the case.
    This is basically the same as U.S. (Federal) labeling requirements if the wine is labeled with a specifically designated American Viticulture Area (U.S.’s nomenclature for Appellation) – 85%. The exception in the U.S. is that if a political subdivision is used (State, or County) the U.S. requirement is 75%. http://www.ttb.gov/appellation/index.shtml#requirement. This requirement aligns with most new world countries producing wine. Most European (old world) countries label by place rather than grape variety which often creates a different kind confusion – Chateauneuf-du-Pape is always 100% from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but the AOC rules currently list 18 (formerly 13) different grape varieties that are allowed to be used. That is another topic!

  12. Dave

    Stephen, his reply to you is typical blogger. Notice how when you bring up legitimate points rather than address them he complains about your user name.
    Yes in his eyes coffee, beer, and on and on is somehow different. (rolling my eyes) Why this person hates the Texas wine industry so is unknown. I suspect he/she is displaying a portion of their deep seated jealousy they have of those who are willing to make the investment and take the risk of actually being in the industry.

  13. It is not just me but several people which I will not name have the same issue Mr. Chalk. Answer the questions others have asked in fairness. Mr.Stephen Morgan deserves that much in taking the time to answer the questions you have asked. I find this forum of the likes of a stuck car trying to get out of the mud only going backward up hill right now.

    • Dave: I am getting there. I haven’t shied from any debate. At the moment I am still making sure that I have interpreted Steve’s position correctly.

      • Meanwhile, there’s this reality: Go Texan has not updated the wine media center web page for over two years. http://www.gotexanwine.org/mediaguide/

        So, what you are asking everyone to support is an idea, the 100% Rule, whose solution requires a government run agency and website, dependent on taxpayer and legislative funding, apparently unable to support the current mission, to implement a new crusade of questionable value, for a healthy industry that, while already under considerable regulation, is growing and adapting to the needs of the market. Got it.

        Not in theory, or in practice, does this play out.

  14. Stephen: Check my reply at 4:12pm before your reply at 10:29pm

    • Stephen

      Just noticed that. Thanks for the response but not all of my points were addressed.

      I do have one final point/concern. You keep using Terroir as the defining aspect of wine and justification for 100% Texas fruit. By that statement you are lumping ALL of Texas into one Terroir. This makes Valley fruit the same as High Plains fruit………..as long as it is all Texas. That would be like saying all of France is one Terroir. That makes no sense.

      With regards to winemakers……………..one grape source, two winemakers………….two different wines……huge impact on the outcome of the wine.

      I think we are close to a point where you either need to agree that you are wrong or we will just have to agree to disagree.

      • Stephen: We will have to agree to disagree but perhaps you could answer one last question: I see that you have a vineyard. In your ‘business plan’ do you have a long term objective to use 100% Texas grapes or are you totally unconcerned whether you use Texas fruit or not?

      • And to address your point about terroir. I use it as a general term to refer to a characteristic. Not to imply that there is only one terroir in Texas. Clearly there are many (and we are still discovering more).

  15. Stephen

    Since you asked, I will answer your last question: Does my business plan have a long term objective to use 100% grapes or am I totally unconcerned whether I use Texas fruit or not? First let me say you are a funny guy. Are you this black and white in all of your life. In your way of thinking are these really the only two options? Really? Well I thought I answered this earlier. My “business plan” as it pertains to sourcing is as follows: Our preference is to source Texas grapes if there is availability, quality, competitive pricing and the varietals that we want to produce. Am I willing to pay a little more for Texas fruit to promote the industry? A little more but the quality has to be there. As there are varietals that don’t do well in Texas, have limited plantings and little to no additional plantings planned, I don’t believe I will ever be 100% Texas. Am I open to trying new varietals that we think will do well in Texas and help market them through our tasting room? Sure. Will I ever not have a Cabernet Sauvignon available in our tasting room? No. Have I ever been able to source this from Texas? No. Will I? Probably not.

    Final 4 thoughts:

    1. While it appears that we disagree on most everything, I would still sit have a drink with you……after all that is the Texas way.
    2. My examples above using bloggers were for illustrative purposes and not meant to denigrate bloggers……..at least not all of them.
    3. I still think you owe Dry Comal Creek an apology.
    4. In the spirit of your “policy” you should update your biography on the Crave site. Just a little hypocricy on your part……although I did like the scholarship in special ed.

  16. “And to address your point about terroir. I use it as a general term to refer to a characteristic. Not to imply that there is only one terroir in Texas. Clearly there are many (and we are still discovering more).”

    Since you are telling everyone that you use Terroir as a general term in wine, even though you know better, then you should be pleased to see Go Texan used as a general term to describe “Lone Star Pride”. Fortunately, that happens to be the specific definition of the term, nothing more. Any further definitions are inferences. So shall it be in the future, even if the definition changes to 75%. There are many ways to be Texan, and to Go Texan. Let it be. Happy Thanksgiving!

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