TEXAS WINE INDUSTRY IS HUGE
The Texas Wine Industry has evolved into a major economic component of the Texas economy.
It was 43 years after Prohibition ended that Texas got its first new winery. Four years later in 1980 there were three new wineries along with the ONLY winery to survive Prohibition, being Val Verde Winery in Del Rio, Texas. This winery was started in the 1800’s by an Italian family and survived Prohibition by making Sacramental Wines for Christian Churches. Those three new wineries in 1980 included Llano Estacado, Fall Creek, and Messina Hof Winery. Twenty-five years later in 2005, Texas had 50 wineries. At that point, the Texas Wine Industry grew exponentially exceeding 500 wineries in 2018 with the number continuing to escalate. By the end of 2022, I predict that Texas should have 1,000 wineries.
The last time that the economic nature of the Texas Wine Industry was measured was in 2017 when the national organization of American Wineries called WineAmerica commissioned John Dunham and Associates of New York City to provide an economic study of wineries across the United States. Gathering statistics from this countrywide study done in 2017 for Texas, the Texas Wine Industry had a major impact to the State’s overall economy. A summary of the industry impacts is summarized below:
Total employment provided directly and indirectly in the Texas Wine Industry is approximately equal to the entire population of Wichita Falls, Texas, the State’s 38th largest City. With an average of three per household, the work force would support an entire City of 312,000 which would be Corpus Christi which is the 59th largest City in Texas. The sum of Business Taxes and Consumption Taxes is close to 1.14 Billion Dollars. The annual State Budget in 2017 was 52.5 Billion Dollars of which the Texas Wine Industry Tax Contributions made up about 2% of the State’s 2017 Annual Budget. Average annual wages in the Texas Wine Industry in 2017 was $41,424.
Texas has evolved into the State with the fourth largest number of wineries, surpassing New York State. Oregon, Washington State, and California are ahead of Texas as to number of wineries. Will Texas surpass California? Who knows, but the number of Texas wineries is growing each year. California produces about 80% of the wine in the United States. In the coming years, I predict that Texas will surpass Oregon and Washington State. Educational facilities like Texas A and M University and Texas University are becoming the UC Davis and Fresno State University for our growing wine industry. In addition, industry support groups like the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association provide a great networking organization and support for the vineyard managers and winemakers in the State of Texas.
The one storm on the horizon for the Texas Wine Industry is being “duked out” in a Beaumont Court. A large group of grape growers has sued Bayer because its herbicide Diacamba is killing grape vines on the Texas High Plains. This herbicide is carried by the High Plains winds for miles which can destroy grapes vines. More on this storm in the future as the Court proceedings continue.