Texas is becoming known as the dream State in the Wine World. The Texas Wine Industry started 44 years after Prohibition ended and has propelled itself to great heights. Our Texas wines continue to earn Double Golds and BEST OF SHOW in various International Wine Shows. Our grapes flourish in the Texas Hill Country, west Texas Mountains, north Texas, the Texas Gulf Coast, and the flat Texas High Plains. The Texas Hill Country is now known from various sources such as the NY TIMES and WINE AND FOOD ENTHUASIST magazine as the Number Two Wine Destination in the USA. The Texas High Plains was known as the area which earned Texas the title of the “King of Cotton” and now is the place where about 70% of Texas grapes are grown. The Texas dream of being a respected wine–producing state is here with the Texas Wine Industry growing into a 13.1 Billion Dollar Industry. This solid base is growing almost daily with new wineries and vineyards evolving. Several times each week I learn of new wineries opening in Texas based on FaceBook posts. I see many wonderful things happening in the Texas Wine Industry in 2020. My predictions for 2020 include:
- Licensed wineries in Texas will increase, reaching almost 750 wineries in the State of Texas. The Texas Hill Country will lead the way in the growth of wineries, increasing the number of wineries to around 150 in the Fredericksburg area. The Texas Wine industry will surpass 15 Billion Dollars by the end of 2020.
- Women in the Texas Wine Industry will be further recognized for their wonderful wines and will mentor women in the wine industry, establishing a core for Texas to become a State recognized for even more outstanding wines. Women such as Benedicte Rhyne (winemaker) at Kuhlman Winery, Demi Matar (Assistant winemaker) and Joanna Wilczoch (Vineyard Manager) with Pedernales Cellars, Rachael Fanning with Becker Vineyards, and Penny Adams at Wedding Oak Winery are just a few of these women contributing to the Texas Wine Industry.
- The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association will continue their outstanding support of the growing Texas Wine Industry. Their annual Conference to be held February 20-22, 2020 in Irving continues to grow each year. In addition, their annual GRAPE BOOT Camp held in the Texas Hill Country continues to be sold out with ongoing efforts to move this informative seminar on grape growing and winemaking to even larger facilities. This organization will continue to grow the Texas Wine Industry through its ongoing educational experiences in support of the Texas Wine Industry.
- Texas Tech University, Texas A and M University, and Grayson Community College in Denison will continue their growth in students which will increase the number of Texas-raised winemakers and vineyard managers. These institutions will expand their facilities with the Fredericksburg campus of Texas Tech University establishing the first University Winery in the State.
- Although the State of Texas has curtailed spending in the support of the Texas Wine Industry, the GO TEXAN program will continue to promote the Texas Wine Industry through its PASSPORT program. However, individuals like Fritz Westover and his Westover Vineyard Advising (vineyardadvising.com) have more than adequately filled in the gap with the State’s elimination of much of the “Ag Extension” support the State previously funded. Now, the private Texas Wine Industry relies on the expertise of individuals like Fritz Westover to solve their problems in the vineyards. Fritz has a “virtual viticulture academy,” webinars, in-field consulting, and more to help the Texas Wine Industry grow without government support. This is a good sign of a maturing industry.
- More wine trails involving wineries to help promote Texas wineries will continue to provide Texans and tourists with winery experiences. Texas has 16 Wine Trails since our State is so large. The newest Wine Trail will be along I-45 and include Conroe as one of its hubs.
- Texas restaurants will continue to recognize the quality and value of Texas wines by listing more Texas wines on restaurant wine lists. This is a great way to experience Texas wines with your food! In addition, Texas wineries and restaurants will offer even more “Wine Dinners” for people to enjoy!
- More Texas wineries will establish and support WINE CLUBS by offering unique wine experiences such as “wine pick-up parties,” special edition wines, wine discounts, and even free tastings.
- Several Texas wineries will break the 100,000 case barrier as they and other Texas wineries grow.
- A significant number of Texas wineries will be using 100% Texas grapes. This is resulting since more people are looking for Texas wines made from 100% Texas fruit. The Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association has implemented special “100% Texas Grapes” labels. This trend to 100% Texas grapes is happening on a broad basis since many vineyards are now expanding along with a CRUSH Pad on the Texas High Plains making white wine grapes more readily accessible.
- Texas vineyards will break through the 10,000 acre number, producing quality grapes for Texas wineries to use. Most of the vineyard growth will be on the Texas High Plains. The Gulf Coast will continue to grow even more Blanc du Bois, of which Texas is the largest grower of Blanc du Bois in the world.
- Texas wines will continue to earn even more Double Gold Medals and BEST OF CLASS, showing to the world that Texas consistently produces quality wines.
- Texas wines will be distributed on a larger basis beyond our State’s boundaries. Less than ½% of Texas wines make it beyond our borders since Texas drink so much wine!
- Until such time as Texas approves cannabis, Texas wines will flourish with increasing wine sales. California and other states with laws allowing cannabis will see significant drops in wine consumption. To substitute for this phenomena, wineries in those states will sell cannabis-infused wines.
Time will tell on how accurate these predictions will be, but I know that the Texas Wine Industry in 2020 will be larger and better as compared to 2019. Texas is poised for continued greatness in the wine industry.