A sample of what you need to know to enjoy wine …

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Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association

Texas Wine Features:

  • Table Wine – Still (not bubbling) wine under 14% alcohol
  • Fortified Wine – a wine to which alcohol has been added, most typically brandy
  • Dessert Wine – Wines that are 14% alcohol or higher, typically sweet, served with dessert and considered a sipping drink
  • Sparkling Wine – Wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide making it bubbly.  The carbon dioxide results from a second fermentation either in the traditional French method (méthode champenoise) in the bottle, or in large tanks.

First Vineyard in North America

Texas is the site of the first vineyard established in North America by Franciscan priests circa 1662. As European settlers followed the development of mission outposts, they brought more grapevine cuttings, further developing the industry through the 1800s.

Today Texas has approximately 4,400 acres of producing vineyard farmland. The U.S. Department of Treasury through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau officially designates American Viticulture (Grape Growing) Areas, or AVAs. Texas has eight AVAs although many vineyards exist outside the specified AVAs. For a wine to mention an AVA on the label, 75% of the volume of wine must come from grapes grown in that designated region.

Texas has eight recognized American Viticultural Areas (AVA).

Texas High Plains: Located west of Lubbock in the Panhandle at an elevation of 3000-4000 feet, the climate of this appellation is very dry. While the AVA encompasses over 8 million acres, there were approximately 3500 acres dedicated to grape growing in 2005.

Escondido Valley: This appellation established in 1992 covers 50 square miles in Pecos County in far West Texas, located near Fort Stockton

Texas Hill Country: Located west of Austin and San Antonio, this appellation, like Texas, is large. It is the second largest AVA in the USA, containing more than 9 million acres. Two smaller appellations, listed below, have been designated within the Texas Hill Country due to the unique microclimates they embody. Many wineries are located in this scenic area.

Bell Mountain (within Texas Hill Country): Designated in 1986, it is the first established AVA in Texas, covering five square acres about 15 miles north of Fredricksburg.

Fredricksburg (within Texas Hill Country): This viticultural area covers about 110 acres with approximately 60 under vine.

Mesilla Valley: Located at the far western tip of the Texas border north and west of El Paso, this area is hot and dry with a long growing season and approximately 40 acres of cultivated grapes.

Texas Davis Mountains: With about 50 acres planted with vines, this west Texas appellation is cool and wet at an elevation ranging from 4,500 to 8,300 feet.

Texoma: Located in north-central Texas, this area contains approximately 3,650 square miles along the Texas-Oklahoma line.

Texas Wine and Winegrape Industry Profile

  • America’s No. 5 grape and wine producer
  • Contributes more than $1.83 Billion of Economic Value to the State of Texas
  • 420 growers covering 4,400 acres
  • 100% for wine
  • 273 Wineries (G permit issued by TABC as of January 18, 2013)

Read the Economic Impact Study 
Read What’s in a Bottle 

Five Major Regions

(TWGGA member statistics as of January 18, 2013)

  • Region 1 – High Plains with 5 wineries and 20 vineyards
  • Region 2 – North Texas with 26 wineries and 25 vineyards
  • Region 3 – East Texas and the Gulf Coast with 16 wineries and 14 vineyareds
  • Region 4 – West Texas with 3 wineries and 4 vineyards
  • Region 5 – Central Texas and the Texas Hill Country with 38 wineries and 25 vineyards

The Texas wine, winegrape and related industries produced more than $1.83 Billion of economic value to the State of Texas Wine as of December 31, 2011.

    • Full-time Equivalent Jobs – 10,870
    • Wages Paid – $400 million
    • Texas Wine Produced – 1.4 million cases
    • Grape Bearing Acres – 4,400
    • Wine-Related Tourism Expenditures – $437.8 million
    • Number of Wine Related Tourists – 1,438,000 tourists
    • State and Local Taxes Paid – $91.5 million
    • Federal Taxes Paid – $92.1 million

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