Make Go Texan Wine 100% Texan

go1by Andrew Chalk

After recently going into a Dallas wine store and finding a California wine displaying the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) legally protected ‘Go Texan’ mark on the front label I proposed that the TDA raise the standards for Go Texan wines to stipulate 75% of the grapes in the bottle come from Texas. I chose 75% because that is the minimum that the Federal (not state) rules require for a wine to use a designated place of origin.

After further thought, I have come up with a better idea: require wines displaying the Go Texan mark to be made from 100% Texas grapes. Here are what I see as the advantages:

  • The 100% rule is unambiguous. The grapes must be ‘pure Texan’. No tough judgement calls to be made;

  • Consumers expect a wine labelled Go Texan to be 100% Texas grapes (I asked them, and this was their overwhelming response). The Go Texan mark has no reason to exist if it does not help consumers recognize Texas products. Make the Go Texan mark consistent with their expectations;

  • Under the 100% rule the Go Texan mark goes from being a meaningless piece of symbology with respect to wine to the single most recognizable sign of authenticity. It acquires a new raison d’être;

  • The California wines currently misleadingly labelled Go Texan go away;

  • Texas invents a standard for authenticity and provenance for its wines that exceeds Federal minimums. That is a sign of wine industry maturity and why the practise is widely found in Europe and, for that matter, in Oregon;

  • It rewards wine institutions committed to the Texas supply chain. The Go Texan mark creates a demand for Texas grapes and that leads to a supply of Texas grapes;

  • Consumers see a single symbol on the label that indicates the Texas provenance of the grapes. Right now, they have to turn over each bottle and scour the back label on individual bottles for those details;

Since I proposed higher standards for the use of the Go Texan mark, I have been deluged by e-mails of support from wineries and grape growers committed to the entire Texas wine making process. I expect them, many of whom do not use or respect the Go Texan mark under the existing rules (the ones that allow California wine to carry the mark), will start using it under the 100% rule.

I am submitting this suggestion to the TDA and will let you know their response!

3 Comments

Filed under Andrew Chalk

3 responses to “Make Go Texan Wine 100% Texan

  1. Jeffrey

    As a California Vintner I could not agree more. Texas and it’s wine culture should be proud of its grown only in Texas wines. Those varietals that do not thrive in Texas should be replaced by varietals (temparnillo, Viognier etc) that do. Not “fixed” with the leftovers from any state. MacPherson Cellars Viognier is a prime example of what Texas can make from grown in Texas grapes.

  2. Im with you on this! Its funny how all the
    “Texas wine marketers” are silent and not showing their support.
    If your proud to be Texas and Proud of its wines then there is no reason why this should not be what consumers already think it means.
    When consumers become educated about this “Go Texan” nonsense I have seen some of these very proud Texans become upset. And you dont want to get to many of us upset…..

  3. Pingback: Messina Hof Replies to For Sale in Texas Only and GO TEXAN

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